When discussing online learning (eLearning), writers and software developers use many terms, abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms. This eLearning glossary is Mintbook’s attempt to decode commonly used eLearning jargon for learners, instructors, trainers, and training managers.

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Adaptive Learning

As an education method, adaptive learning or adaptive training emphasizes the customization of learning parts according to the precise needs of individual learners. Companies and educational organizations adopt adaptive learning to increase online course completion rates by providing data-driven instructions and content to learners. They combine eLearning data and tools to customize learning experiences by understanding a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Application programming interfaces (APIs) help organizations combine various eLearning tools and solutions by acting as intermediaries. The cloud-based eLearning solutions talk to each other using APIs. APIs make it easier for organizations to build a unified learning platform by integrating several eLearning tools.


Instructors and trainers use assessments as a robust tool to monitor learner progress and evaluate learner performance in a virtual learning environment. Assessments help them understand how well a student understands a topic. However, they use eLearning assessments in many formats – formative, adaptive, and summative.

Asynchronous Learning

The asynchronous learning model drives eLearning by enabling students to engage with the course content at different times. The flexibility creates opportunities for learners to acquire knowledge and develop skills at their own pace and schedules. New-age eLearning tools facilitate asynchronous learning by ensuring 24/7 access to eLearning content across devices and platforms.

Authoring Tools

Authoring tools help trainers and instructors create digital learning content in a short amount of time. Leading eLearning content software enables instructors to create eLearning content in popular formats like eBooks, videos, audiobooks, quizzes, and simulations. Also, trainers can use authoring tools to save time and effort by reusing and repurposing existing content.


Blended Learning

Blended learning or hybrid learning refers to the adoption of multiple learning models. For instance, many educational institutions extend classroom-based learning by enabling students to access a digital library. Likewise, many enterprises implement blended learning by combining self-paced and instructor-led training. They allow students to access eLearning content by implementing learning management systems (LMSs). At the same time, they enable students to attend live classes or watch video lectures by implementing online classroom software.

Branching Navigation

Branching navigation refers to the design approach software developers adopt while creating eLearning tools. The approach enables eLearning software users to access eLearning content using their preferred pathway or navigation options. The multiple navigation options boost learning experiences by allowing each learner to access eLearning content in their preferred way.


Classroom-Based Learning

Classroom-based learning is the traditional learning model. It requires students to acquire knowledge in a physical environment by interacting with teachers. Likewise, teachers help students understand topics and clear doubts. The real-world learning method is still popular with schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions.

Cloud LMS

A cloud learning management system (LMS) simplifies the creation, delivery, administration, and monitoring of online courses and training programs. However, cloud computing makes the eLearning tool easier to implement, customize, integrate, and scale than on-premise LMS. Organizations can further build a unified learning platform by integrating the cloud LMS with digital library software and online classroom software using APIs.

Compliance Training

Compliance training refers to an important corporate training program. As the name suggests, these learning and development programs help employees comply with mandatory legislation, rules, regulations, and policies applicable to their job responsibilities. In addition to making employees responsible and confident, compliance training helps them prevent legal actions and liabilities.

Content Authoring

Content authoring refers to the creation of eLearning content in-house. An organization creates engaging and in-depth content by deploying skilled trainers and content creators. In addition, it curtails content creation time and costs by implementing eLearning authoring tools.

Content Curation

Content curation refers to the process of finding and delivering relevant content from third-party sources. Organizations share thought-leadership content with employees using AI-powered content curation tools. Also, leading digital library software shares curated content with learners, along with providing access to off-the-shelf content.

Content Library

Content library refers to a repository of digital learning content. Organizations these days implement digital library software to deliver eLearning content to learners in various formats and languages. Also, they prioritize digital library platforms that share curated content to learners, while providing off-the-shelf content.

Corporate Training

Corporate training or workplace training refers to the learning and development initiatives of companies and startups. Enterprises these days train, reskill, and upskill employees by running various corporate training programs. Also, they streamline and boost the corporate training programs by implementing eLearning tools and platforms.

Customer Training

Customer training refers to the initiatives taken by businesses to educate customers about a product or service. The education helps customers meet desired goals by leveraging the product or service fully. Leading brands implement eLearning tools and solutions to educate customers by reducing costs and complexities.


Digital Learning

Digital learning, unlike conventional learning, is facilitated by digital technologies and devices. Digital learning allows learners to determine the time, place, and pace of knowledge acquisition. Students understand topics by accessing digital learning content in various formats – text, audio, video, and quizzes. Likewise, eLearning solutions help them access the eLearning content using their preferred device and platform.

Distance Learning

Distance learning refers to an education model that enables students to earn degrees and certificates by learning at home. Educational institutions these days facilitate distance learning by offering online courses and certification programs. Also, they boost distance learning by implementing eLearning tools that support mobile, collaborative, and gamified learning.

Digital Library Software

Digital library software drives eLearning by enabling learners to access digital learning content in different formats – eBooks, videos, audio, quizzes, journals, and simulations. In addition to providing off-the-shelf content, leading digital library platforms share curated content with learners. Educational institutions curtail content creation time and costs by implementing cloud-based digital library software. Also, they form unified learning platforms by integrating the digital library with a learning management system or digital library software.


Education Technologies (EdTech)

Education technologies refer to the software solutions and tech tools facilitating digital learning or online learning. Educational institutions streamline and boost the online learning process by implementing and integrating various edtech tools and solutions. Also, they form a unified learning platform by integrating the edtech solutions using APIs.


E-learning or online learning refers to the delivery of education or training over the Internet. Electronic learning (eLearning) is driven by a slew of edtech tools and solutions. For instance, organizations create, deliver, manage, and monitor online courses by implementing learning management systems (LMSs). Likewise, they implement digital library software to ensure that each student can access eLearning content in his preferred format and language.

E-learning Standards

ELearning standards keep eLearning courses accessible and reusable by setting guidelines and specifications. They help developers build eLearning tools and solutions that communicate with other edtech tools seamlessly. The seamless communication boosts online learning experiences by keeping online courses accessible across devices and platforms. Some of these commonly used eLearning standards are AICC, SCORM, and xAPI.

Employee Training

Employee training refers to the process of reskilling and upskilling employees by running various learning and development programs. Companies invest in employee training to attract talent and reduce employee turnover. They help employees acquire new skills and hone existing skills by investing in the right employee training LMS which helps in running essential employee training programs like onboarding, compliance, technology, soft skills, communication, and leadership.


Flipped Classroom

As a blended learning model, a flipped classroom does not require students to listen to lectures or get direct instructions while attending classes. Instead, students understand topics or concepts by accessing content before or after attending a class. While attending classes, they focus on solving problems, analyzing information, and completing projects. Educational institutions set up filled classrooms to encourage active learning, critical learning, and problem-solving.


Instructors use feedback as a tool to help students monitor their progress and measure their performance in a virtual learning environment. ELearning tools provide real-time feedback to students when they complete an assignment, course, or exam. In addition, they help instructors collect learner feedback regularly by conducting surveys and opinion polls.


Game-Based Learning

Game-based learning refers to the practice of boosting learner engagement and learning experience by incorporating game characteristics and principles. The game elements make eLearning content more interesting and engaging. At the same time, they make lessons more competitive and interactive. Organizations support game-based learning to increase online course completion rates by engaging and motivating students.


Gamification can be defined as the strategy or technique that boosts various elements using video game elements. New-age eLearning tools engage learners through the gamification of learning activities. Providers design eLearning tools and solutions with built-in gamification features like badges, coins, and scorecards. These elements of game playing make the eLearning solution effective in keeping learners engaged and making them complete online courses.


Human Resource Information System (HRIS)/ Human Resource Management System (HRMS)

A human resource information system (HRIS) or human resource information system (HRMS) automates important activities performed by HR professionals. Leading HRMS or HRIS automates common administrative tasks like timekeeping and payroll management. An organization can integrate the HRIS or HRMS with cloud-based eLearning tools using APIs. The integration makes the enterprise system effective in tracking training programs completed by employees.

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid learning refers to the implementation of multiple learning models. Organizations support self-paced and instructor-led learning simultaneously by adopting hybrid learning or blended learning. They facilitate self-paced learning by implementing a learning management system (LMS), while online classroom software helps them facilitate instructor-led learning.


Interactive Content

Interactive content refers to the eLearning content that engages with learners actively. Active engagement makes it easier for organizations to increase online course completion rates. Content creators usually produce interactive eLearning content by embedding multimedia and gamification elements. Also, new-age eLearning authoring tools help them produce interactive eLearning content without putting in extra time and effort.

Immersive Learning

The immersive learning model focuses on making students acquire knowledge and develop skills by simulating real-world scenarios. In addition to boosting learner engagement and knowledge retention, immersive learning fosters practice-based learning. While adopting immersive learning, organizations simulate real-world scenarios using cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).

Instructor-Led Learning

Instructor-led learning refers to the conventional learning methodology that requires organizations to set up physical learning experiences. In an instructor-led environment, a teacher or trainer helps learners understand topics and clear doubts. Many organizations these days facilitate instructor-led learning in a virtual environment by implementing online classroom software. The software enables learners to understand a topic by attending live lectures, watching recorded lectures, and joining doubt-clearing sessions.


Just-in-Time (JIT) Learning

Just-in-time (JIT) learning is a corporate training methodology that focuses on helping employees develop need-related skills. The approach ensures that an employee develops relevant skills whenever the need arises. Businesses foster just-in-time learning by supporting self-directed learning. In addition to implementing learning experience platforms (LXPs), they create opportunities for employees to develop the required skills by accessing digital libraries, knowledge bases, and video tutorials.


Knowledge Base

A knowledge base helps students understand topics by providing content and resources. New-generation digital library software helps organizations build robust knowledge base without escalating costs. The software allows learners to understand a topic by accessing content in various formats – eBooks, journals, videos, audios, and quizzes. At the same time, curated content shared by the software helps students understand a topic deeply by accessing content shared by subject matter experts and industry leaders.

Knowledge Check

Knowledge check refers to how trainers and instructors review and monitor learner progress. The technique helps them check if learners are understanding and retaining knowledge effectively. Trainers usually conduct three categories of knowledge check – basic comprehension, applied knowledge, and interactive process. Each form of knowledge check requires them to choose questions according to the training material shared with learners.

Knowledge Retention

Knowledge retention refers to the preservation of knowledge and skills over a longer period of time. No organization can make online courses or training programs successful without improving knowledge retention. While planning online courses or training programs, organizations foster knowledge retention by focusing on learner engagement, active learning, practice testing, and topic switching.


Learner Engagement

As a key metric, learner engagement helps decision-makers measure how learners engage with the learning process behaviorally and motivationally. While strategizing eLearning initiatives, they increase online course completion rates by fostering learner engagement. In addition, they evaluate learning based on different types of learner engagement – emotional, behavioral, cognitive, physical, cultural, and social.

Learning Analytics

As a form of data analytics, learning analytics focuses on gaining actionable insights by analyzing large volumes of eLearning data. Organizations automate the collection, measurement, and analysis of eLearning data by implementing advanced learning analytics solutions. Leading eLearning tools and platforms simplify eLearning data analysis by featuring built-in learning analytics solutions.

Learning and Development (L&D)

As an important HR activity, learning and development (L&D) focuses on helping employees acquire new skills and hone existing skills. Several studies have highlighted how L&D helps businesses improve talent acquisition and employee retention. While planning L&D initiatives, HR professionals focus on training, reskilling, and upskilling employees regularly. In addition, they drive operational efficiency and foster employee development by running various L&D programs.

Learning Content Management System (LCMS)

A learning content management system (LCMS) simplifies and streamlines the creation, delivery, management, and monitoring of digital learning content. In addition to featuring eLearning authoring tools, LCMSs automate administrative activities related to eLearning content. However, many organizations prefer LMSs to LCMSs to streamline various eLearning activities, including digital content management.

Learning Experience

Learning experience refers to the activities, interactions, and environments that impact how learners acquire knowledge and develop skills directly. Organizations boost knowledge retention and application by focusing extensively on learning experience optimization. Also, they implement eLearning tools that deliver optimal learning experiences across devices and platforms.

Learning Experience Platform (LXP)

Learning experience platforms (LXP) facilitate self-directed learning using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It enables employees to acquire specific skills by sharing curated content and recommending relevant content. Also, the new-age eLearning tool fosters knowledge retention by personalizing learning experiences and boosting learner engagement. However, enterprises still prefer LMSs to LXPs to control learning and development initiatives.

Learning Management System (LMS)

A learning management system (LMS) drives eLearning by simplifying the creation, delivery, monitoring, and management of various courses or training programs. In addition to featuring content authoring tools, leading LMSs help administrators monitor and measure the learning process by featuring dashboards. Likewise, they increase online course completion rates by supporting mobile, collaborative, and gamified learning. Organizations these days build unified learning platforms by integrating the LMS with other eLearning tools and solutions.

Learning Model

A learning model helps managers plan and streamline learning activities by providing a structural framework. While designing the learning and development process, managers adopt a slew of learning models. Each learning model streamlines the L&D activities based on specific principles and theories. However, many organizations boost eLearning initiatives by combining multiple learning models.

Learning Path

Learning path refers to the route a learner takes to acquire specific knowledge or develop specific skills.  Some learners need more time or specific assistance to accomplish learning goals. Hence, managers focus on personalizing or customizing the learning path according to a learner’s needs, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. New-age eLearning tools facilitate learning path personalization using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.


Mobile Learning

Mobile learning focuses on enabling learners to acquire knowledge and develop skills using their mobile devices. Organizations facilitate mobile learning (mLearning) by ensuring that learners can access digital learning content in their preferred format using a smartphone or tablet. Also, they implement eLearning tools and solutions that deliver optimal use experience across mobile devices and platforms.


Microlearning is an eLearning strategy that boosts knowledge retention by delivering information to learners in small chunks. In addition to driving learning engagement, the approach reduces learner fatigue. Organizations support microlearning by dividing a topic or lesson into small units. Also, they boost microlearning by sharing videos, infographics, and cheat sheets with learners.


Modules help learners understand a topic or concept by delivering relevant digital learning content. A learner can understand a topic deeply by accessing and revisiting specific modules. While creating eLearning modules, content creators focus on delivering content in multiple formats – eBooks, simulations, audio, and video. Also, they ensure that a learner can access the module seamlessly using computers or mobile devices.



Navigation helps learners complete an online course or training program, without guessing the next move. Content creators foster learner engagement by keeping eLearning navigation simple and straightforward. However, they help eliminate confusion using various navigation elements – consistent layout, next buttons, brief descriptions, and progress tracking.


Onboarding Programs

Onboarding programs focus on making new employees familiar with the organization. While planning onboarding programs, HR professionals ensure that a new employee acquires the knowledge, skills, and behavior required to perform professional responsibilities, while contributing to the organization. They further reduce employee turnover rates by simplifying the employee onboarding process.

Online Classroom Software

Online classroom software facilitates communication, interaction, and collaboration between instructors and learners in a virtual learning environment. The software allows learners to acquire knowledge by attending live lectures or watching prerecorded lectures. Also, instructors can use the software to share eLearning content, initiate discussions, and clear doubts.

Online Learning (eLearning)

Online learning or training refers to the knowledge acquisition or skill development initiatives conducted in an online learning environment. While adopting online learning, organizations build unified learning platforms by implementing and integrating essential edtech solutions. In addition, they make online learning successful by improving the learning experience and learner engagement in various ways.

Open-Source eLearning Tools

Open-source eLearning tools refer to software whose source code can be modified and enhanced by users without restrictions. Most organizations opt for open-source eLearning software to reduce costs and complexities. However, most open-source eLearning tools lack the advanced features and tools provided by licensed eLearning platforms.


Partner Training

Partner training refers to the learning and development initiatives a company takes to provide knowledge and skills to its partners. Companies run partner training programs with the intention of boosting sales and simplifying post-sales support. They implement eLearning tools to educate partners across locations without escalating costs.


Persona refers to the fictional representations of targeted learners. L&D managers create learner personas to understand the learning needs, preferences, and challenges of employees. They make the learner personas effective by combining demographic, behavioral, psychological, and motivational information. In addition, they identify learning needs based on data collected from internal and external sources.

Personalized Learning

As an educational approach, personalized learning emphasizes customizing learning activities according to the needs, interests, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses of individual learners. Most organizations support personalized learning by enabling learners to control and customize the learning process. Also, they implement eLearning solutions that personalize learning experiences using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.


Question Pool

A question pool is developed as a database or repository of questions. The pool helps instructors measure learner performance by drawing and combining questions randomly. Also, instructors can create tests and surveys quickly by reusing the questions. They also have the option to include the same questions in various online courses or training programs.



Reskilling refers to the process of helping employees acquire new skills. The new skills help employees enhance their current roles and move to more advanced positions. In addition to reducing employee turnover rates, reskilling helps businesses boost operational efficiency and adopt emerging trends. Companies and startups boost talent acquisition and retention by running reskilling programs.

Responsive Design

Responsive design makes web pages look good on various devices and platforms. While building web-based tech tools, developers adopt responsive web design to boost their user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) across screens. They customize the content according to precise screen sizes using HTML5 and CSS.


Resources refer to the digital learning content an organization uses for online training programs. Most organizations these days create and deliver eLearning content in multiple formats and languages. Also, they ensure that each learner and trainer can access the eLearning resources seamlessly using computers or mobile devices.



The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) sets technical standards and specifications for various eLearning tools and solutions. While developing eLearning solutions, software developers follow these standards and specifications to ensure that learners can access online courses across devices and platforms. Also, SCORM helps them build eLearning solutions that can communicate and exchange data with edtech solutions launched by other providers.

Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learning enables learners to arrange, manage, and evaluate learning opportunities on their own. Organizations support self-directed learning by implementing learning experience platforms (LXPs). LXPs allow employees to acquire knowledge and develop skills by learning their choice of topics. Employees can learn the desired topics by accessing the curated content shared by the LXP. In addition, they can interact with virtual instructors by accessing the AI-powered chatbot provided by the LXP.

Self-Paced Learning

Self-paced learning creates opportunities for students and working professionals to acquire knowledge at their own pace and schedule. Organizations support self-paced learning by implementing cloud-based eLearning solutions. ELearning tools enable learners to access digital learning content in various formats and languages using computers or mobile devices. Also, learners can complete online courses or training programs without following preset routines and schedules.

Social Learning

Social learning focuses on making students acquire knowledge and skills by imitating and observing the behavior of others. In addition, the education model enables them to discuss problems and share knowledge with peers. The interaction and collaboration keep learners engaged and make them complete online courses. Most organizations these days support social learning to foster knowledge retention and communication skill development.

Synchronous Learning

The synchronous learning model requires students to acquire knowledge on schedule by attending classes. While implementing eLearning, organizations support synchronous learning by implementing online classroom software. The software enables learners to join live classes, interact with instructors, and collaborate with peers in a virtual learning environment.


Training Audit

Training audits help organizations assess their learning and development (L&D) activities using important metrics. In addition to identifying the shortcomings of L&D programs, training audits help organizations reskill and upskill employees by creating new L&D programs. Organizations conduct training audits regularly to monitor key L&D metrics like employee engagement, employee disengagement, employee attrition, and impact on productivity.

Training Needs Analysis

HR professionals conduct training need analysis with the intention of identifying knowledge and skill gaps. The analysis helps them understand if the existing training programs meet preset workplace reskilling and upskilling goals. Also, HR professionals gain the insights required to strengthen L&D plans and launch new L&D programs. While conducting training needs analysis, HR professionals consider individual employees, specific teams, and the entire organization.



Upskilling boosts employees’ productivity and performance by acquiring new skills and improving existing skills. Organizations help employees elevate existing skills to the next level by running upskilling programs. In addition to improving operational efficiency, upskilling programs help companies drive talent acquisition and employee retention.

User Experience (UX)

User experience (UX) can be defined as how an end-user feels while using a specific eLearning tool or solution. While planning eLearning software, developers boost UX by focusing on the needs and pain points of targeted users. Also, they ensure that the software keeps users engaged by delivering superior user experience across devices and platforms.

User Interface (UI)

A user interface consists of visual and interactive elements of an eLearning solution. While designing UI, developers focus on two important aspects – making the software user-friendly and communicating the brand’s value. In addition, they make the UI more appealing using graphics, typography, illustrations, and photographic artwork.


Virtual Classroom

A virtual classroom allows students to interact with instructors and collaborate with peers in an online learning environment. Organizations set up virtual classrooms by implementing cloud-based online classroom software. The software enables students to attend live classes or watch recorded lectures. Also, students can understand a topic by accessing the eLearning content shared by instructors and interacting with other class members. Organizations strengthen virtual classrooms by integrating online classroom software with digital library software and learning management systems.



White-labeling enables organizations to rebrand eLearning tools and solutions provided by third-party companies. Leading eLearning solutions support white labeling by allowing customers to alter styles and embed logos. Most organizations these days opt for white-label LMSs to set up customized eLearning portals according to their branding strategies and goals.

Workflow Learning

Workflow learning is a practical employee training approach that facilitates workplace reskilling and upskilling without disrupting business processes and activities. Companies support workflow learning to create opportunities for employees to develop required skills as they perform their professional responsibilities. They implement workflow training by enabling employees to access relevant eLearning content in different formats.



As an emerging eLearning standard, Experience API (xAPI) makes various eLearning tools communicate and exchange data with each other. The integration helps decision-makers boost eLearning initiatives by recording and tracking learning experiences across eLearning tools and platforms.


We have put in deep research and collated all the important terminologies and jargons in the eLearning industry to create this eLearning Glossary. If you want to add anything which is missing here, please feel free to put a comment on our blog and if we find this relevant, we will definitely include it in our eLearning glossary.