Glossary for Newbie eLearning Developers

My previous article was about choosing the right eLearning authoring tool. But now comes the hardest part—starting to work with it, even if you worked with similar tools before. Here is a short glossary of general and tool-specific terms to help you get eLearning done in leaps and bounds. The tools covered in my glossary include Adobe Captivate, Articulate StorylineLectora Inspire, and TechSmith Camtasia.

General terms

Branch scenario
A practice activity based on possible paths which the user may choose when using an application; used to show users the consequences of different choices.
BranchScenario

Illustrated character
A cartoon-style character used to enhance eLearning by providing a social context that motivates learners, thereby improving cognition and recall; available in different poses and shots, as well as with different face expressions.
illustratedCharacters
See also Photographic character

Letterboxing
The horizontal black bars at the top and bottom of a screen.
Letterboxing
See also Pillarboxing

LMS (Learning Management System)
A software application for managing, documenting, tracking, reporting, and delivering educational courses or training programs.

Lower third
A graphics overlay placed in the lower area of a screen; used to introduce the person speaking, chapter opened, functionality demonstrated, etc.
LowerThird

M-learning (Mobile Learning)
Learning received through wireless devices, such as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or laptop computers.

Photographic character
A lifelike character used to enhance eLearning by providing a social context that motivates learners, thereby improving cognition and recall; available in head-, torso-, and full shots.
photoCharacters
See also Illustrated character

Pillarboxing
The vertical black bars on the sides of a screen.
Pillarboxing
See also Letterboxing

Smart object positioning or placement
Automatic snapping of objects to a specific size or position with relation to the edges of the screen, its center, or other objects.
SmartObjectP

Software simulation training
An interactive training which allows the user to get hands-on experience in mastering necessary workflows and functionality by actually performing tasks or carrying out operations.

Storyboard
Collections of frames that roughly illustrate the content and sequence of scenes that will be represented to the user.

Screencast
A video showing the recorded computer screen, usually with mouse movements or application events; used to demonstrate complicated workflows and difficult-to-grasp functionality.

Tool-specific terms

Down in Articulate Storyline
The state of an object appearing when the object is being clicked.
downState

Mouse enter in Lectora Inspire
The effect of hovering over an object.

Publish (produce in TechSmith Camtasia)
Compiling the finalized project into a shareable video format.

Question bank in Articulate Storyline
A group of questions from which you draw slides to create dynamic quizzes in your courses.
QuestionBank

Ripple delete in TechSmith Camtasia
Having subsequent clips move in when a previous clip or section of a clip is deleted.

Scene in Articulate Storyline
A larger organizational unit in the hierarchical structure of a project, containing a slide or slides; used for better content organization.

Story in Articulate Storyline
Synonym of a project. Initially, Articulate Storyline opens in Story View, giving you a big-picture view of your entire project and a place to manage scenes and the layout of your course.
Story

Rollover slidelet in Adobe Captivate
A mini-slide within a slide which appears only when the user moves the mouse over a specified area on the slide.
Slidelet

Title in Lectora Inspire
Synonym of a project in other eLearning tools.


Hope you have found the glossary for eLearning tools useful. I’d love to learn more about unusual or non-intuitive terms you’ve come across!

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