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The most important terms related to eLearning


API and xAPI
An Application Program Interface (API) is a language and message format built into an application. It communicates with operating systems or other computer programs, such as ERP applications, in order to share data and functionalities. It helps you to share learning data between multiple applications and systems.

The Experience API (xAPI or Tin Can API) is a new specification that makes it possible to collect data about a person in a consistent format from many different technologies. These distinct systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing a user’s activities using the vocabulary of xAPI. Thus, an activity is recorded and sent as a secure statement in the form of “noun, verb, object”, such as “I did this” to a Learning Record Store (LRS). An LRS records all the statements. It either exists on its own, or inside an LMS. In contrast to SCORM (see below), xAPI records data from anywhere and is not restricted to activities within an LMS.
Authoring tool
An authoring tool is a software that helps users to create e-learning or other digital content. Different tools range from low complexity (similar to MS PowerPoint) to high complexity (similar to Photoshop).
Auftragsverarbeitungs-Vertrag (AVV) in German, or Data Processing Agreement (DPA) in English, describes a contract following Art. 28 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This agreement needs to be signed by any party that acts as data processors on behalf of another party. The contractor is required to process personal data exclusively within the framework of the agreement made and according to the instructions of the client. Photoshop).
Blended Learning
Blended learning describes combinations of different learning formats, such as e-learning, classroom training and virtual classroom in one training scenario.
E-Shop Function
This function offers a range of services: simple invoicing to a fully integrated web shop. In its simplest form, invoices can be automatically generated, sent and transferred via an interface. If this is no longer sufficient, it can be extended to a fully integrated web shop. This allows the training portfolio to be displayed in an international context, including country-specific currencies and taxes. In addition to the classic payment methods, online payment systems such as credit card payment, PayPal or instant bank transfer are also covered.
Event Management
Event management is one of the main characteristics of an LMS. It handles attendance events including registration, participant lists, trainer organisation and room management.
Extended Enterprise
These functions allow to integrate different customers, partners and multiple brands in the same LMS. Thus, external stakeholders are able to administer their customers on their own. While administrators work in just one system, the different target groups can only see their specific content in their familiar corporate design.
Knowledge Database
Basically, a knowledge data base is a media library with different media types such as videos, PDFs, links and many more. It can be made publicly accessible or tailored to specific target groups. Typically, it consists of online content which can be accessed anytime and searched using filters. Some LMS include the functions to recommend, bookmark and rate media provided.
Developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) describes a method for learning systems to communicate with external systems. For instance, an LMS may use LTI to display course content from external systems. In order to access these courses, learners do not need to log in separately on the external systems – the LMS shares information about the learner and learning context with the external systems. 
A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course with open online access and without any limitation of participants. Usually, they consist of filmed presentations and lectures. Nevertheless, many MOOCs also include interactive elements, such as a user forum or social media discussions. 
Reporting function
Reporting helps to monitor and document learners’ performances which can be relevant for legal reasons, especially with regard to compliance training. Usually, reports include the following features: course completion, course subscriptions, last access by user, total time spent on courses and learning media, test scores, payment data, user activity reports, certification reports and survey responses.
Request form
This function integrates request forms for new courses. Trainers who identify a need for an additional training can fill in a request form and suggest frequency, topic and scope of a new course.
The Sharable Courseware Object Reference Model (SCORM) is the most widely used e-learning standard. It is a set of technical standards for e-learning products that allow a communication between e-learning content and LMS. Thus, you can create your courses in any authoring tool, integrate it in your SCORM compliant LMS and obtain reports on your users’ learning performance. SCORM makes sure that content is compatible with an LMS and that an LMS can import, launch and track content.
Survey and analytics
The survey and analytics functions are integrated in most LMS. It allows to conduct surveys – either standardised or customised – in order to retrieve users’ opinions and satisfaction with the training. These surveys can then be evaluated and analysed according to an organisation’s needs.
Virtual classroom
A virtual classroom is an online teaching and learning environment where trainers and users can interact, communicate, work in groups together and engage with learning resources. Through a video conferencing application, the virtual classroom takes place anywhere in a live, synchronous setting. Usually, tools in a virtual classroom include: online whiteboard for real-time collaboration, instant messaging, moderator toolkit for interactions and adjoining rooms for smaller group discussions.
Vocational Training
This function presents complete curricula for the deployment of trainees, students as well as apprentices and thus allows to plan detailed schedules. By combining learning and training management, instructors can use digital report booklets and have the most important information at a glance on their instructor dashboard. Additionally, students have their own dashboard where they can upload their tasks.
A Web-Based Training (WBT) is a browser-based training that is delivered over the internet or a local intranet. Learners can do this training anywhere and at any time.
Similar to the virtual classroom, a webinar (short for “web-based seminar”) takes place in an online, synchronous setting. While definitions of webinars and virtual classrooms overlap to a certain degree, webinars are often understood as virtual presentations with the possibility to ask questions at the end. They often take place with more people (+20) than a session in a virtual classroom. Nevertheless, they can also be conducted with a small group including various tools for communication and interaction.