Online learning, which was defined as a learning environment using computer communication systems for learning delivery and interaction (Harasim, 1990), has been involved into all facets of society’s education. Online learning can be considered as a subset of the category of e-learning because it refers specifically to learning that is occurring via the Internet or Intranet. Online learning environment normally refers to learning via electronic communications, coursework, and/or information posted on the Web, and through other instructional activities by using Internet.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Listserv: It is also called an electronic mailing list. It is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. Software is installed on a server to process incoming e-mail messages according to their content. The process could either distribute the e-mail to all subscribed users or just process it inside the server. Some popular tools of mailing list software are GNU Mailman, LISTSERV, and Majordomo.
Web 2.0: Web 2.0 generally refers to the second generation of services available on the World Wide Web. In contrast to the first generation, its main features are collaboration and interaction. The term may include blogs and wikis but it is also incorporating whatever is newly popular on the Web (such as tags and podcasts), and its meaning is still changing.
CMS (Course Management System): A course management system is a tool that allows an instructor to post the course content and other information on the Web without Web page programming. The instructor and students could access the online course via a Web browser, usually with controlled access to materials, dynamic class lists, inner e-mail system, grading system, online management of assignments and tests, and synchronous and asynchronous communication tools such as chatting rooms, discussion boards, and so forth.
Discussion Board: A discussion board is an application on the World Wide Web for holding discussions. A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have regular users. Discussion Boards are also commonly referred to as Web forums, message boards, Internet forums, discussion forums, discussion groups, bulletin boards, or simply forums.
RSS Aggregator: RSS refers to RDF Site Summary, or Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication—A XML format for distributing news headlines and other content on the Web. A RSS aggregator is a software application or remotely hosted service that collects RSS feeds from dispersed sources and provides a single consolidated view.
IM: IM is the abbreviation for “instant messaging.” It is the act of instantly communicating between two or more people over a network such as the Internet.
Blog: Blog is the short form of the term “Weblog.” It is a Web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles (normally in reverse chronological order). Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, or they can be run using blog software on regular Web hosting services. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.
Bcc: Bcc is the abbreviation of blind carbon copy. It is similar to that of Cc except that the e-mail address of the recipients specified in this field do not appear in the received message header and the recipients in the To or Cc fields will not know that a copy has been sent to these addresses.
Cc: Cc is the abbreviation of carbon copy. It means that the addresses after the “Cc:” header would receive a copy of the e-mail. Also, the Cc header would appear inside the header of the received message.