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For a list of file formats, including XML, please see the file format section.

Accessibility: Accommodation for persons with disabilities.
Applet: Usually refers to Java applets, which are small programs written in the Java (free to download[1]). Applets are often used for small simulations.
Attribution(BY): Creative Commons license condition that allows others to copy, distribute, display and perform a copyrighted work - and derivative works based upon it - but only if they give credit to the original author.
Bandwidth: Amount of internet traffic a connection can handle. Slow or intermittent internet connections are said to be "low bandwidth."
Creative Commons[2]: non-profit organization that manages a set of copyleft licenses.
Copyleft: Variation of the word 'copyright' used to denote licenses that are required to be resulting works to be shared in the same manner as the original.
COSL[3]: Center for Open and Sustainable Learning. Developer of eduCommons software.
Dublin Core: Popular set of definitions for structuring metadata.
eduCommons[4]: Software designed to manage an OCW. Developed by COSL.
Folksonomy: Non-expert system of classification. Folksonomies often use tags to mark content. Social bookmarking([5], Ma.gnolia[6], etc.) is one popular example of a folksonomy.
Fair use: Legal term for the usage of copyrighted materials without permission under certain allowable conditions.
FLOSS: Free/Libre and Open Source Software. Refers to both "Free Software" and "Open Source Software." In this handbook, FLOSS means software that is licensed so users have the freedom to use, adapt, enhance and distribute the software.
FORE: Free and Open Resources for Education.
FOSS: Free and Open Source Software.
GFDL[7]: GNU Free Documentation License. Copyleft license sponsored by the Free Software Foundation(FSF).
Free Software[8]: software that is released under a license which ensures users the freedom to use, adapt, enhance and distribute the software.
Granularity: The size of an educational resource. The more granular a resource, the smaller the chunk of information it contains. For example, a single learning object, such as a graphic used in a lecture is more granular than a complete course, though the course can be reduced into more granular parts
Hewlett Foundation[9]: Non-profit organization that often funds open education initiatives.
IMS: IMS Global Learning Consortium is a global, nonprofit, member association that provides leadership in collaborative support of standards.
Learning Object: A digital resource that can be reused to mediate learning. (credited to David Wiley)
License: 1) A legal agreement for usage of content. 2)The process of choosing and assigning a legal agreement to an open educational resource by the original creator of that resource. OER creators can choose from several licenses offered by organizations such as Creative Commons—with the license typically stipulating the conditions under which that resource can be used, shared, adapted, or distributed by other users.
Localize: the act of making a resource better suited for a particular situation.
Linux: often used to describe a set of operating systems that are freely available. Based on another operating system called Unix.
LMS: acronym for Learning Management System. Examples of learning management systems include Blackboard, WebCT and Moodle.
Mac OS X: proprietary operating system used on Apple computers.
Mashup: the resulting product of two disparate sources being combined.
Metadata: sometimes defined as "data about data." Information that is part of an OER which describes things such as author, date, institution etc.
Mobile devices: Often used to describe cell phones, but also applies to PDA's and internet-viewing devices that are smaller than a laptop.
MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The first university to create an OCW[10].
Non-Commercial(NC): Creative Commons license condition that allows others to copy, distribute, display and perform a creative work - and derivative works based on it - but for non-commercial purposes only.
No Derivatives(ND): Creative Commons license condition that lets others copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of a creative work, not derivative works based on it.
OCW: Open CourseWare. Typically is a collection of higher education courses organized by department. The courses are licensed with a copyleft license.
OECD[11]: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
ODL: Open and Distance Learning.
OER: Open Educational Resource.
OLCOS: Open eLearning Content Observatory Services.
Open source: Refers to software in which the 'source,' or program code is available for anyone to use and modify.
PHP: acronym for PHP: Hypertext Processor. It is a computer programming language well-suited for web development and is used for several content management systems.
Proprietary: Denotes traditional copyright restrictions or something that is exclusive.
Public domain: a state in which a resource is completely free of any copyright restrictions. The laws regarding public domain vary from country to country.
SCORM: Sharable Content Object Reference Model - a collection of specifications that enables interoperability, accessibility and reusability of web-based learning content.
Share Alike(SA): Creative Commons license condition that allows others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work.
Social software: Type of software, including websites, that allows for the establishment and maintenance of relationships as well as discourse.
RDF: Resource Description Framework. Format used for sharing between websites and applications. See Packages and Metadata section in Use OER for more information.
Remix: the act of taking two of more resources and merging them in part or entirety to create a new resource.
RSS: Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication. A format used to aggregate and distribute web content (e.g. news headlines or blog posts).
Tag: Tags are a bottom-up, user-generated classification system for resources, and frequently serve as an alternative or addition to a top down, expert-created classification system. Tags are words assigned to resources by the users of those resources. For example, one user of a lesson plan about the Spanish influenza of 1918 might assign a tag such as "flu," while another might assign a tag such as "pandemic." Once assigned by users, tags are tied to the given resource, and become a searchable way to find that resource as well as other resources that are tagged or associated with the same labels.
UNESCO[12]: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. Supporter of OER initiatives.
URL: Acronym for Uniform Resource Link. URLs are more commonly known as "web addresses" and generally look something like
USU: Utah State University. A university with an OCW and is the location of COSL.
UWC[13]: University of the Western Cape.
Wiki: Type of interactive website that allows for fast and easy text editing. Many wikis allow anyone to edit them. Example wikis include WikiEducator and Wikiversity.




OER Glossary. OER Wiki. Retrieved March 21, 2008, from
ISKME. The "How Tos" of OER Commons. Connexions. Retrieved March 21, 2008, from