Glossary of Terms


The following terms are for Instructional Design & Technology use only and do not necessarily reflect the terminology used by Regis University. Please contact your advisor or department chair for definitions specific to your college or program.

This glossary is provided to help ensure there is a shared understanding when using the following terms within the ID&T department. Terms are listed in alphabetical order. 


active learning

  • The opposite of passive learning. Requires the student engage with the course content. Participation and application of the learning is required.
  • The process of keeping students mentally, and often physically, active in their learning through activities that involve them in gathering information, thinking, and problem solving. Requiring students to regularly assess their own degree of understanding and skill at handling concepts or problems in a particular discipline. The attainment of knowledge by participating or contributing (Collins & O’Brien, 2011).
assessment / grading criteria - Describes the criteria, method(s) or rubric(s) that will be used to give a grade to a student assignment.

assets - Course components including multimedia, graphics, photos, learning activities, knowledge checks, discussion questions, deliverables, concept papers, tutorials, etc. that are embedded in or linked from the Course Page. Some of these may become part of a digital repository.

assignment - Work a student is expected to do for successful completion of a course, including  written papers, activities, and discussions. Assignments are usually but not always graded.

blended course - The fusion of real-time, required synchronous learning experiences and independently accessed asynchronous learning experiences, developed and presented in a planned and structured way, to accomplish stated learning outcomes within the context of a single course.  May also be referenced as Hybrid or Limited Residency. 

content - Concepts, information, knowledge, examples, illustrations, anecdotes, etc., that together form the core intelligence of the course. The content may be presented in a variety of ways to facilitate the achievement of the course outcomes.

context - Informs the learner exactly how the learning activity or reading fits into the study of this content, how it adds meaning. It explains how experts use this information or skill, where they might see it in the community of practice. It guides them to focus their efforts in a meaningful way.

course description - The course description uniquely identifies a specific course at Regis University and provides the necessary detail and clarity for both students and faculty to understand the purpose and content to be covered in a course. It is a legal description and cannot be altered without proper processes and approvals.

course outcomes - Things learners should be able to do as a result of taking this course. They are derived from the Program Outcomes. Course outcomes take into consideration how this course fits in with the overall curriculum. Learner Outcomes, detailed in each topic or week, flow up into the achievement of Course Outcomes and Program Outcomes.

course overview - The course overview gives the learner a map of the main topics in the course, provides information on summative assessments, navigation, expectations, and the location of the course in the discipline’s body of knowledge.

course mapping - A way of ensuring that Learner Outcomes align with Course Outcomes and all Learner Outcomes have associated activities that demonstrate mastery of at least one Learner Outcome. 

course master - This is used to create the sections of a course  All courses will have a course master and it lives within the LMS.

course maintenance master - This allows the Course Maintainer to make updates to a course and the updates don’t have to be completed by the sectioning date since the sectioning happens from the Course Master.   Once the course maintenance is complete, ID&T needs to be notified to replace the Course Master with the Course Maintenance Master. 

course section - This is what is created from the Course Master for each class being offered in a specific term for all the courses.  The faculty gets the Course Section 4 weeks before term start. 

deliverables - Deliverables are tangible work products submitted to the facilitator for grading. They include individual and team projects, papers, answers to guiding questions, plans, proposals, presentations, etc. that demonstrate whether the student has achieved the topic learning outcomes.

discussion forum - A vital part of Regis online courses where students post responses to questions posted by the facilitator or students interact with each other regarding course content. Discussion Forums take place asynchronously, allowing participation at the convenience of the student. The discussion in this format is often more reflective than classroom discussion because students can thoughtfully prepare their comments before posting them. Forum discussions are facilitated by the facilitator/instructor, who actively participates.

facilitator/instructor notes or TIPS - A document in the folder named Documents for Facilitator (Hidden from Learners). This document contains valuable and important information for facilitators/instructors.

facilitator’s/instructor’s virtual office - A discussion forum where the facilitator and learners may interact informally to ask questions of the facilitator and one another.

facilitator/instructor virtual office hours - time that is set aside each week to provide students with an informal opportunity to meet with the instructor for a synchronous conversation. The tool used to facilitate the communication can vary from Skype or Google Hangouts to a simple conference call—the most important element is that the tool is easy for everyone to use. During virtual office hours, student questions are answered and issues are addressed. This time is also valuable in that it provides an opportunity for students and instructors to establish a connection with one another.

Kaltura - A central media repository, accessed through a cloud-based management console. The management interface provides numerous tools to organize content and metadata, easily search media, edit, moderate, and create playlists. Utilizing an auto-detect feature, media is delivered from Kaltura to the user's specific device making it accessible on all mobile platforms.

knowledge checks - Are quick assessments done for non-graded evaluation of whether the student has grasped the content. They are more frequently used in undergraduate courses than graduate courses. Types of knowledge checks include matching games, drag-and-drop exercises, multiple choice questions, etc.

learner outcomes - Sometimes called Learner Objectives, Learner Outcomes are derived from Course Outcomes. They are measurable statements of what the student will be able to do after completing a topic. They help both the facilitator and student understand what must be achieved to successfully meet the requirements of a course.

MediaSpace - MediaSpace serves as the  “front end” to the university’s Kaltura video repository. It enables the creation and sharing of videos for all RegisNet users.

online course - An asynchronous course that can be taken regardless of geographical location of the student. Internet access is required. Within a class students may establish synchronous activities. Synchronous activities may exist, but should not be mandatory in online courses.

passive learning – The opposite of active learning. This is a method of learning where students are expected to receive instructions from the instructor and memorize the information presented.

readings and research - These include textbook readings plus additional readings such as articles and background papers. Research includes books, websites and other sources of information as appropriate.

rubric - A rubric is a grading tool that lists the criteria to assess student learning objectively and consistently. This tool assists the facilitator to score assignments in a fair, impartial, and objective manner.

student engagement – Necessary for active learning. Student engagement varies from student to student and is the responsibility of both the student and Regis University. Fredricks, Blumenfeld and Paris (2004, 62-63), identify three dimensions to student engagement:

  1. behavioral engagement - Students who are behaviorally engaged would typically comply with behavioral norms such as attendance and involvement, and would demonstrate the absence of disruptive or negative behavior.
  2. emotional engagement - Students who engage emotionally would experience affective reactions such as interest, enjoyment, or a sense of belonging.
  3. cognitive engagement - Cognitively engaged students would be invested in their learning, would seek to go beyond the requirements, and would relish challenge.

topic - Learning topics are the key concepts for a course. These are high-level chunks of content based on the Course Goals, which represent the concepts/skills you want students to remember many years from now. (Think of major outline headings, or chapter titles of a book.)

topic or weekly overview - The overview should provide "scaffolding" for what the student will be learning. The overview should answer the following:

  • Why learn this?
  • How is the information relevant to the expert practitioner?
  • How does it relate to real world experiences (authenticity)?
  • What’s in it for the student?

WorldClass - The term used for Regis University's learning management system (LMS). The LMS currently in use is BrightSpace, by D2L.


Collins, J. W., & O'Brien, N. P. (2011). The Greenwood dictionary of education (2nd ed.). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Fredricks, J. A ., Blumenfeld, P. C. & Paris, A. H . (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74 (1), 59–109.