Glossary of common terms

This glossary defines a number of words you will see used often in discussions about Moodle - you'll find them highlighted throughout this course.

If you wish to import this glossary to your Moodle site, you can download this file of exported entries: glossary_of_common_terms_20101214.xml.

Please feel free to add new words here!

Browse the glossary using this index

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Matt Bury


by Matt Bury - Friday, May 17, 2013, 3:42 PM

Constructionist learning is inspired by the constructivist theory that individual learners construct mental models to understand the world around them. However, constructionism holds that learning can happen most effectively when people are also active in making tangible objects in the real world. In this sense, constructionism is connected with experiential learning, and builds on Jean Piaget's epistemological theory of constructivism.

Seymour Papert defined constructionism in a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled Constructionism: A New Opportunity for Elementary Science Education as follows: "The word constructionism is a mnemonic for two aspects of the theory of science education underlying this project. From constructivist theories of psychology we take a view of learning as a reconstruction rather than as a transmission of knowledge. Then we extend the idea of manipulative materials to the idea that learning is most effective when part of an activity the learner experiences as constructing a meaningful product."


Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Sunday, October 19, 2003, 12:55 PM
This point of view maintains that people actively construct new knowledge as they interact with their environment.

Everything you read, see, hear, feel, and touch is tested against your prior knowledge and if it is viable within your mental world, may form new knowledge you carry with you. Knowledge is strengthened if you can use it successfully in your wider environment. You are not just a memory bank passively absorbing information, nor can knowledge be "transmitted" to you just by reading something or listening to someone.

This is not to say you can't learn anything from reading a web page or watching a lecture, obviously you can, it's just pointing out that there is more interpretation going on than a transfer of information from one brain to another.

Think I am older now :)


by Chris Collman - Monday, July 8, 2019, 7:56 PM

In Moodle, the term "context" may have a specific meaning.

A Moodle context is a place where permissions are assigned to a user (usually through a role).  In Moodle, contexts are layered in a hierachry.  Some examples: a site is the overall context; each course category is a context in the site; each course is a context in it's course category; each topic/section is a context and the resources and activities in a topic/section are contexts.   Blocks, filters and special pages are contexts that are at minimum part of the  site context.    Permissions are passed down automatically. For example, a user who has a teacher role in a course will be assigned that role when a Forum context is created.   Roles for individuals or groups can be changed in a context. This makes it possible for one user to be a teacher in one context and  a student in another. 


by Simon Pavitt - Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 6:51 AM
Many webhosting companies provide CPanel (short for Control Panel) as a convenient, graphical menu system which allow users to administer their own webspace.

For more information go to:


by Jason Grey - Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:44 PM

Cron is an Automatic sytem in moodle that sends out messages to the system through.

  • EMail
  • Rss
  • Assignement Uploads  (This is normally for the teachers - for notifications that a student has uploaded an assignment).

For more information on Cron check the moodle docs page and your help section in moodle.

Happy Moodleing.


by Jurgis Pralgauskis - Tuesday, November 1, 2005, 8:33 AM
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.
It has much to do with internet and social constructivism ;)

Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 2:14 PM
Abbreviation for "Cascading Style Sheets". CSS defines styles and colours and how they should be applied to a web page.

Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 6:42 PM
The Concurrent Versioning System (CVS) is a method of storing files on a server that helps coordinate many people working on those files. Moodle's code repository was managed using CVS from the beginning of the project up until 2010 before switching to Git.




by Guillermo Madero - Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 10:21 PM

Digital Accessible Information SYstem. DAISY refers to a digital book designed for people with vision impairment difficulties. Just like a SCORM or an EPUB file, a DAISY book consists of different (text, image, audio) digital files.


by Michael Milette - Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 3:24 PM

Dashboard is a customisable page in Moodle that provides users with links to their courses and activities within them, such as unread forum posts and upcoming assignments.

See the documentation Dashboard for more details.

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