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 this file of exported entries: glossary_of_common_terms_20101214.xml.
Please feel free to add new words here!
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Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a collection of standards and specifications for web-based e-learning. It defines communications between client side content and a host system called the run-time environment (commonly a function of a learning management system). SCORM also defines how content may be packaged into a transferrable ZIP file.
The areas within a course that hold activities are known as sections. This is a generic term that covers weeks and topics.
Shibboleth is not only a kind of linguistic password that identifies one as a member of an 'in' group, it's also the name of a middleware project of Internet2.
The Shibboleth project is developing architectures, policy structures, practical technologies and an open source implementation (also called Shibboleth) to support inter-institutional sharing of (web) resources subject to access controls.
Some key concepts of Shibboleth are:
Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another. In addition, SMTP is generally used to send messages from a mail client (or a program like Moodle) to a mail server.
Social constructionism is a term that defines a particular view of education. It acknowledges constructivism as a description of what each learner experiences, while focussing on the power of constructing artifacts (like text) within a social environment.
From this point of view, education is best served by creating experiences that would be best for learning from the learner's point of view, rather than just publishing and assessing the information you think they need to know. Each participant in a course can be a teacher as well as a learner. A 'teacher' in this environment is an influencer and role model of class culture, connecting with others in a personal way that addresses their own learning needs, and moderating discussions and activities in a way that collectively leads students towards the learning goals of the class.
Moodle tries to promote this view, but is not constrained by it.
Standard Operating Procedure.
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.
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'.)
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.