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

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

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Picture of Sakshi Goel


by Sakshi Goel - Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 3:19 PM

Standard Operating Procedure.

Art Lader


by Art Lader - Sunday, May 15, 2005, 12:32 PM
Electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings. Some people define spam even more generally as any unsolicited e-mail. However, if a long-lost brother finds your e-mail address and sends you a message, this could hardly be called spam, even though it's unsolicited. Real spam is generally e-mail advertising for some product sent to a mailing list or newsgroup.
In addition to wasting people's time with unwanted e-mail, spam also eats up a lot of network bandwidth. Consequently, there are many organizations, as well as individuals, who have taken it upon themselves to fight spam with a variety of techniques. But because the Internet is public, there is really little that can be done to prevent spam, just as it is impossible to prevent junk mail. However, some online services have instituted policies to prevent spammers from spamming their subscribers.

There is some debate about the source of the term, but the generally accepted version is that it comes from the Monty Python song, "Spam spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam, lovely spam, wonderful spam" Like the song, spam is an endless repetition of worthless text. Another school of thought maintains that it comes from the computer group lab at the University of Southern California who gave it the name because it has many of the same characteristics as the lunchmeat Spam:

Nobody wants it or ever asks for it.
No one ever eats it; it is the first item to be pushed to the side when eating the entree.
Sometimes it is actually tasty, like 1% of junk mail that is really useful to some people.


Picture of Markus Ebenhoeh


by Markus Ebenhoeh - Saturday, July 5, 2008, 5:29 AM
short for 'Structured Query Language'

(I entered this entry only because a forum search for 'firebird' also brought up ALL the entries that included 'sql' even as a substring as e.g. in 'mysqladmin'.)



by Waldeck Schutzer - Friday, September 25, 2009, 3:17 PM

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a markup language based on XML for representing two-dimensional vector graphics. It allows for both static and dynamic graphics. Vector graphics usually perform better when compared to raster formats like JPEG, PNG or GIF, and can be rescaled arbitrarily without loss of quality, and the rescaling does not imply a larger digital footprint. Thus, for instance, the graphics for printing an entire outdoor picture could fit in just a couple megabytes of disk space (the same as a good cellphone picture) without loosing its quality.

SVG can also be used to represent text where the required fonts are unavailable, by converting each individual character to a set of graphical paths. It can also be used to represent other types of content like mathematical formulas,

Some web browsers have native (but incomplete) support for SVG. The list includes browsers based on the gecko engine (Firefox, Netscape, Camino, Epiphany, and SeaMonkey), browsers based on the webkit engine (Safari, Chrome, OmniWeb), Opera and Amaya. On the other hand, browsers based on the MSHTML engine (Internet Explorer, Wikibrowse, Maxthon, and NetCaptor) do not provide support for SVG.


  1. The W3C recommendation on SVG.
  2. SVG on Wikipedia.


Picture of Darren Smith


by Darren Smith - Monday, May 2, 2005, 3:59 AM

This is an abbreviation for 'Thanks in advance'

Often used in usenet but has become increasingly popular in e-mails, text messages, instant messages, chat rooms and forum posts. In fact, you could come across this abbreviation in any modern electronic communication.

moi!!! it is what is is...


by Colin Fraser - Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 8:52 AM

An anti-plagiarism module originally developed by Dan Marsden, but was redeveloped by Turnitin, who now maintain it, as a Third Party Plugin. John McGettrick is the Lead on behalf of Turnitin.   


Picture of Ian Darwin


by Ian Darwin - Friday, March 4, 2005, 6:19 AM
UNIX is a computer operating system that originated around 1970 at Bell Laboratories and has been in continuous use and development since.
Linux is a rewrite of UNIX, whereas FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS X and Solaris, among others, are descendants of the original UNIX implementation.

Today UNIX and Linux run the majority of servers and other "infrastructure" on the Internet, but is also used on a lot of desktop systems (including Mac OS X, the #2 best-selling commercial operating system in the world).

Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 2:19 PM
To move your files from a personal computer "up" to a server. Also see FTP and download.

Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Monday, November 3, 2003, 1:04 AM

A Uniform Resource Locator is the address that is used to reach a website. For example,

Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Wednesday, March 2, 2005, 7:28 PM
The effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which users can achieve tasks in a particular environment of a product. High usability means a system is: easy to learn and remember; efficient, visually pleasing and fun to use; and quick to recover from errors.

With software, the usability is very dependent on the interface.

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