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Image courtesy of fotologic

For a list of file formats, including XML, please see the List of File Formats in the Appendices.

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."
CC-BY: Creative Commons Attribution license. OER licensed CC-BY can be modified, used commercially and may or may not be shared in the same manner, provided credit is given to the author.
CC-BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. OER licensed CC-BY-NC can be modified and may or may not be shared in the same manner, but credit must be given to the author and it cannot be used commercially.
CC-BY-NC-SA: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. OER licensed CC-BY-NC-SA can be modified, but must be credit must be given to the author. Additionally, it may not be used commercially and must be shared in the same manner.
CC-BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical-No derivatives. OER licensed CC-BY-NC-ND cannot be modified or used commercially. It may or may not be shared in the same manner and credit must be given to the author.
CC-BY-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-No derivatives license. OER licensed CC-BY-ND may or may not be shared in the same manner, can be used commercially, but credit must be given to the author and it cannot be modified.
CC-BY-SA: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. OER licensed CC-BY-SA may be modified and used commercially, provided credit is given to the author and it is shared in the same manner. This license is somewhat similar to the GFDL.
Creative Commons[2]: non-profit organization that manages a set of open content licenses.
Copyleft: variation of the word 'copyright' used to denote open licenses that require derivative works to be shared under the same license as the original.
COSL[3]: Center for Open and Sustainable Learning. Developer of eduCommons software.
Dublin Core: a popular set of metadata fields.
eduCommons[4]: Software designed to manage an opencourseware project. Developed by COSL.
Folksonomy: Bottom-up classification system. Folksonomies often use tags to describe 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. Also called "Fair Dealing" in some countries. Some countries have no legal provisions for fair use.
FORE: acronym for Free and Open Resources for Education.
FLOSS: acronym for Free/Libre and Open Source Software. Free refers to cost, while 'libre' refers to the freedom to modify, adapt and distribute. open source indicates that anyone can view the source code or programming. FLOSS is also referred to as 'free software,' 'open source software,' 'libre software,' and various other acronyms, but all refer to the essentially the same thing.
GFDL[7]: GNU Free Documentation License. Copyleft license sponsored by the Free Software Foundation(FSF).
GNU/Linux: an operating system kernel and set of utilities that are freely available. Often abbreviated to "Linux."
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[8]: Non-profit organization that often funds open education initiatives.
i18n: see "Internationalization."
IMS: a global, nonprofit, member association that provides leadership in collaborative support of standards.
Internationalization: adapting OER for use in multiple locales.
l10n: see "Localization."
Learning Object: any digital resource that can be reused to mediate learning.
License: (noun) A legal agreement describing the terms of use of a resource. (verb) The process of choosing and assigning a legal agreement to an open educational 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: adapting an OER for a specific locale including translation, modifying the formats of dates and currencies, and recontextualizing the OER to be more meaningful for the learners in the local context.
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 PDAs and internet-viewing devices that are smaller than a laptop.
MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The first university to create an OCW[9].
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: acronym for OpenCourseWare. Typically is a collection of higher education courses organized by department. The courses are licensed with a copyleft license.
OECD[10]: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
ODL: acronym for Open and Distance Learning.
OER: acronym for Open Educational Resource.
OLCOS: acronym for 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.
SCORM: acronym for 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 structured information. See Standards 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: keywords assigned to resources, commonly associated with folksonomies.
UNESCO[11]: 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 home to COSL.
UWC[12]: 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