Are you new to eLearning?

Are you new to eLearning? Are you hearing words and phrases that sound like a different language to you? Learning new industry terminology can sometimes be difficult, but don’t be overwhelmed. Here are 10 words you should be familiar with as you begin your journey into the world of eLearning!


  1. mLearning: Mobile learning, or mLearning, is a big trend in the eLearning industry today and is continuing to grow. With mLearning, your learners can access online training anywhere, anytime using their smartphones or tablets. mLearning is changing the way developers think about eLearning as well as their content creation and delivery methods.
  2. Responsive Design: In order to create the best content viewing experience on all devices, many developers are turning to responsive design—a way of laying out content so that it adjusts to each device. Beta test Responsive Course Design in Lectora Online to learn more.
  3. Gamification: Techniques that turn your eLearning content into an interactive and engaging experience for your learners. Gamification presents information to your learners in a fun and unique way and often features elements such as rewards, levels, titles, and positive feedback.
  4. Social Learning: Collaboration, brainstorming, and discussion with co-workers are all part of social learning. In the scope of eLearning, this could be anything from using social media outlets to discussion threads or live chats within your eLearning course.
  5. Storyboarding: Storyboards allow developers to outline eLearning courses before the eLearning development process begins. This helps designers identify what texts, visuals, and other elements they want to incorporate throughout the course.
  6. Experience API (xAPI): Formerly known as Tin Can, xAPI is the next generation of SCORM and makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of learning experiences a person encounters online or offline. The Experience API lifts many of the older restrictions and captures data in a consistent format about a person or group’s activities from multiple technologies.
  7. Learning Management System: Commonly referred to as an LMS, this online software platform will publish, manage, track results, and create reports for online courses and training.
  8. 508 Compliant: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act established accessibility standards for all types of content. An eLearning course that is 508 Compliant ensures that all learners, including those with disabilities, can access the content in your course. This is often required if you are creating learning for a government organization, but is also a general best practice.
  9. Rapid eLearning Software: Tools you can use to build eLearning courses quickly, with little time needed to output the finished project. Some features of rapid eLearning software include templates and wizards.
  10. SME: This stands for subject matter expert. SMEs are the people who hold the knowledge needed for your eLearning course or are experts in the field. You’ll work with them to ensure your content includes the most important information.


This is just a quick glance into some of the key terminology used daily in the eLearning world. Originally published on the Everything for eLearning Blog by the makers of Lectora® authoring software.