Glossary for Educational Technology & eLearning

Glossary for Educational Technology (EdTech) & eLearning

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Educational Technology has advanced immensely in the last few years: as a result, a great amount of people do not know how to properly use them when teaching and studying. Not knowing how to use those innovative assets may come as an intimidation to many, and it stops them from switching to online learning.

At EdTick, we want to encourage people to adapt online teaching and learning methods, to a greater or smaller excent. The aim of this glossary is to define the most important terms when talking about educational technologies and online learning so that people have more information and confidently approach them.

Trends in educational technology (EdTech)

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning is a method of instruction that uses a computer system to create a personalized learning experience. Instruction, feedback, and correction are adjusted based on student interactions and demonstrated performance level.

Affective Computation

Affective Computation is a computer system capable of detecting the affective state of users. In education this technology can have a great impact since learning is associated not only with cognitive skills but also with emotions, expectations, prejudices and social needs. There are many technologies that can be used to create an emotionally deep learning environment: such as simulations, role-playing games, language detection, and facial recognition.

Augmented reality (AR)

The Augmented Reality (AR) is the use of technology that complements perception and interaction with the real world and allows the student to superimpose a layer of information on reality, thus providing richer and more immersive learning experiences.

Badges and Microcredits

Badges are mechanisms for granting students certification of informal learning in the form of microcredit. Students can collect, organize and publish them to demonstrate their skills and achievements on different websites: social networks, social networks, professional networks and virtual communities.

Big Data and Learning Analytics

Big Data and Learning Analytics are the use of tools and techniques that handle large amounts of student data available on learning platforms, admissions tests, academic records, student interactions in discussion forums and the library. By managing this student data, they can determine their current learning status, make a forecast of their performance and take corrective actions.

Custom Learning Environments

Custom Learning Environments are systems that students can configure themselves to take control and management of their own learning: it includes setting learning objectives, managing content and communicating with other students. These environments can be made up of one or more subsystems: LMS, blogs, feeds. It can be a desktop application or it can be made up of one or more web services.


e-books are the Electronic version of a book that can be accessed on computers and mobiles and allows the student to interact in a more enriching way with the content.

Internet of things

Internet of things refers to the interconnection of everyday objects with the Internet. This interconnection allows the exchange of relevant data generated by the devices, facilitating daily life. For example, a student can learn a language by touching physical objects since objects will reproduce their name through a message or voice.

Learning in Social Networks and Collaborative Environments

Learning in Social Networks and Collaborative Environments is the use of existing or proprietary platforms often hosted in the cloud that enhance social and collaborative learning regardless of where the participants are. It uses various technological resources such as social networks, blogs, chats, online conferences, shared whiteboards, wikis.

Learning with Wearable Technologies

Learning with Wearable Technologies is a learning strategy that incorporates the use of electronic devices in clothing and accessories worn by students in order to carry out a learning activity.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) is an online course that makes use of the connectivism didactic strategy that has the potential of having thousands of participants in a single virtual space. It is accessible to anyone who has the Internet. In addition to videos, readings and learning activities, they provide forums where the teacher and students engage in an exchange of knowledge.

Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is the use of mobile technologies such as laptops, tablets, MP3 players and smartphones to support the teaching-learning process. Access to educational resources can be done from the device that the student carries at all times.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning resources open to the public to be used freely and free of charge because they do not have a start / end date and which allow the participant to learn at their own pace. OERs may include: full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, videos, exams, and any other knowledge resources.

Remote and Virtual Laboratories

Virtual labs are web applications that emulate the operation of a real laboratory to practice in a secure environment. Remote labs provide a virtual interface to a real lab. Students work with the equipment and observe the activities through a web camera from a computer or a mobile device, allowing them to have a real point of view of the behavior of a system and access professional laboratory tools at any time. they need it.

Telepresence in Education

Telepresence in education refers to the use of audiovisual technologies for educational purposes that allow students and teachers to interact remotely and synchronously in conversations, classes and teamwork.

Ubiquitous Learning

Ubiquitous Learning is a training strategy in which learning occurs anywhere and at any time thanks to the use of technologies that are integrated into our daily lives in the most everyday objects. Through these technologies, content and training activities are always available to students.

Virtual assistant

Virtual assistant is an artificial intelligence application capable of interacting with human beings in their own language. In education, a virtual assistant could facilitate interaction with the teacher and the student by offering greater accessibility and improving personalization of learning by providing information, tutoring, administering exams and more.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is an immersive technological environment made up of a three-dimensional simulation in which the user involves various sensory senses to interact with said simulation. The user experiences the sensation of being mentally immersed in the artificial environment.

3D printing in education

3D printing in education is the use of printers that allows students to create volumetric parts, prototypes, or models from a computer-made design. It helps teachers and students to visualize in 3D concepts that are difficult to illustrate otherwise. Students can design and print their models, test them, evaluate them and if they don't work with them again.

Trends in pedagogy

Active learning

The active learning is a teaching-learning strategy that focuses on the student by promoting their participation and continuous reflection through activities that are characterized by being motivating and challenging, aimed at deepening knowledge, developing the skills of search, analysis and synthesis of information, promoting an active adaptation to problem solving.

Authentic Learning

Authentic learning is a type of learning based on constructivist psychology in which a student relates the new information with the one he already has, readjusting and reconstructing both information in this process. The structure of prior knowledge conditions new knowledge and experiences, which in turn modify and restructure the former knowledge base.

Case Method

The Case Method is a didactic technique in which students build their learning from the analysis and discussion of real-life experiences and situations. They are involved in a problem situation analysis process for which they must formulate an informed solution proposal.

Challenge-based learning

The challenge-based learning is a strategy that provides students with a general context in which they must collaboratively determine the challenge to be solved. Students work with their teachers and experts to solve this challenge in communities around the world and thus develop a deeper understanding of the topics they are studying.

Collaborative learning

The collaborative learning is the didactic use of small groups in which the students work together to obtain the best learning results both individually and collectively. It promotes the development of skills, attitudes and values in students.

Competency-Based Education (CBE)

Competency-Based Education (CBE) or competency-based learning focuses on student learning and is geared toward developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes that must be tangibly demonstrated and based on performance standards. Competences allow the subject to actively adapt to change processes, developing understanding and solving increasingly complex problems.


Connectivism is a theory that learning occurs as a result of many and diverse connections. It is about building networks with the support of information and communication technologies and generating new knowledge while learning.


Constructionism is a learning theory that highlights the importance of action in the learning process. It states that students learn more effectively by building tangible objects and in this way they build their own knowledge structures.

Experience-based Learning

Experience-based learning is a model in which the student experience occupies a central place in all teaching and learning considerations. This experience may comprise previous events in the student's life, current events, or those that arise from the student's participation in activities implemented by teachers. The main goal is for student to reflect about a certain topic.

Experiential Learning

The experiential learning (EXL) is a learning model that involves living an experience in which the student can feel or do things that strengthen their learning. "Learning through reflection on doing" does not necessarily involve students reflection on the topic.

Flexible Learning

The Flexible learning focuses on offering the student options of when, where and how to learn. This can help students to meet their particular needs as they will have greater flexibility in the pace, place and way of delivering educational content. Flexible learning can include the use of technology for online study, part-time dedication, acceleration or deceleration of programs.

Flipped classroom

The Flipped classroom is a didactic technique in which the content is exposed through videos that can be freely consulted online, while classroom time is devoted to discussion, problem solving and practical activities under the supervision and advice of the professor. Learn more about the flipped classroom in the EdTick's guide 'The Flipped Classroom as a way of learning'.


Gamification involves the design of a real or virtual educational environment that involves the definition of tasks and activities using the principles of games. It is about taking advantage of the natural predisposition of students with playful activities to improve motivation towards learning, the acquisition of knowledge, values ​​and the development of skills in general.

Global Learning

Global Learning consists of collaboratively analyzing and tackling complex problems that transcend borders, bringing students closer to different cultures and eliminating stereotypes.

Hybrid Learning

The hybrid Learning is a formal educational modality where under the guidance and supervision of the teacher the student learns in a combined way: on the one hand through the delivery of content and online instruction and on the other hand through a classroom format. The student under this modality has the possibility of controlling some aspects of the process such as time, place, route and rhythm, maintaining the possibility of interacting with their teacher and their classmates.

Just-In-Time Learning

Just-In-Time Learning system delivers the training content to students at the time and place that best suits them. Students can focus only on the information they need to solve problems, perform specific tasks, or quickly update their skills.

Learning throughout life

A learning throughout life is a process of individual learning and development throughout life, from learning in early childhood to learning in retirement. It is an inclusive concept that refers not only to education in formal settings, such as schools, universities, and adult education institutions; but also to learning "throughout life" in informal settings, at home, at work and in the community in general.


A makerspace is a space where students learn by making their own creations by using design software, as well as tools and equipment to carry out their own projects: 3D printers, laser cutters, numerical control machines, welding equipment and textile area.

Mastery Learning

The mastery learning is a modality of the teaching-learning process where the contents are divided into learning units, clearly indicating the objectives that the student must achieve. Students work through each block of content in a series of sequential steps and must demonstrate a certain level of success in the knowledge domain before moving on to new content.


Mayeutic is a method that consists of questioning a person to make them come to knowledge through their own conclusions and not through learned knowledge and a pre-conceptualized concept. Mayeutics is based on the intrinsic capacity of each individual, which supposes the idea that the truth is hidden within oneself.


Mentoring is an interpersonal relationship in which the development of the student is promoted by a person with greater experience or knowledge. The person receiving mentoring has traditionally been called a disciple or apprentice.

Online learning or eLearning

Online learning or eLearning is a group of teaching-learning processes that are carried out through the Internet and characterized by a physical separation between teachers and students but with the predominance of both synchronous and asynchronous communication through which continuous didactic interaction is carried out. The student becomes the center of training by having to self-manage their learning with the help of tutors and peers.

Peer learning

Peer learning is a reciprocal learning experience that involves sharing knowledge, ideas and experiences between a pair of students. It can be understood as a strategy of taking students from independent to interdependent or mutual learning.

Problem-based learning

The problem-solving based learning method is a didactic technique in which a small group of students meet with a tutor to analyze and propose a solution to the approach of a real or potentially real problematic situation related to their physical and social environment. The objective is not focused on solving the problem but on using it as a trigger for students to cover the learning objectives and also develop personal and social skills.

Project-based learning

The project-based learning is a didactic technique that is oriented in the design and development of a project collaboratively by a group of students, as a way to achieve the learning objectives of one or more disciplinary areas and also achieve the development of competencies related to the administration of real projects.

Research-based learning

The Research-based learning consists of the application of teaching and learning strategies that are intended to connect research with teaching, which allow the partial or total incorporation of the student in research based on scientific methods under the supervision of the teacher. It is a systematic process that collects and analyzes information so that the student understands a phenomenon under study.

Self-Organized Learning Environment

Self-Organized Learning Environment is a teaching methodology where educators are guides and observers of what happens in the session and students start by their own decision to search for new concepts. The academic curriculum is based on questions and questions that arouse the student's curiosity, from which an investigative, autonomous and collaborative work follows, to make way for the internalization of the new knowledge, which can be reinforced by the educator.


Service-Learning is a didactic technique that links two complex concepts: community action, the "service" and efforts to learn from the action, connecting what is learned from it with the already established knowledge: "learning", and can be used to reinforce the contents of the course and develop a variety of competencies in the student with civic responsibility.

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