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SyberWorks Learning and Performance Glossary


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SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol): a means of allowing user connection to the Internet directly through a high-speed modem. SLIP is older, and used less frequently, than PPP.

Slip Writing: a session of individual brainstorming on paper, followed by sharing these written ideas in small groups.

Small-Group Evaluation: the second stage of formative review, where a small number of students use an instructional program without intervention from its designer, and are then tested, to assess the effectiveness of the instruction.

SME (Subject-Matter Expert): an individual who is recognized as having expert knowledge about, and skills in, a subject area.

SMIL: a markup language under development by the W3C that will allow web developers to divide multimedia content into separate files and transmission streams, such as, of text, images, audio and video.

Social Development Theory: a philosophy that learning occurs through social interactions and emphasizes the importance of cooperative learning groups, motivation and student attitudes.

Socratic Method: a learning technique where the teacher "leads" students through concepts by asking a series of ordered questions, rather than by just "presenting" the concepts to them.

Soft Skills: business skills such as communication and presentation, leadership and management, human resources, sales and marketing, professional development, project and time management, customer service, team building, administration, accounting and finance, purchasing, and personal development.

Software: a set of instructions (or "code") that a computer follows to perform a task; a program or application.

Sort Cards: words and images associated with a topic are put on individual cards. Groups then sort the cards into categories, to label and discuss the categories.

Source Code: instructions written by a software developer and later translated (usually by a compiler) into the machine language that computers execute.

Spacer Images: small, transparent images placed on a page (usually in a table) to control its layout. These are not usually recommended from a usability perspective, since they are graphic files used only as spacers.

Spam: junk and unsolicited email that is sent to advertise products or services, or to spread a message.

Specification: a plan, instruction or protocol for e-Learning that is agreed upon or established.

Spelling Notebook: a list of words generated and maintained by the student, to remind them of words they need to practice.

Spider Map: a form of graphic organizer to help students see the relationship between a main topic and its details.

Spiral Sequencing: an instructional approach in which ideas are presented to students beginning with simple concepts, and then periodically revisited and expanding upon, as appropriate for the learners' cognitive levels.

SQL: a language for accessing and updating information in a specific type of database.

Stakeholder: a person with a vested interest in the successful completion of a project. Stakeholders in e-Learning often include developers, facilitators, users, training managers, and customers.

Standard: a specification established as a model by a governing authority (such as IEEE or ISO), to ensure quality, consistency and interoperability.

STOPS: stands for Sentence structure, Tenses, Organization, Punctuation, Spelling; an acronym that helps students remember aspects of their writing that they should check when editing.

Storyboard: an outline of a multimedia project in which each page represents a screen to be designed and developed.

Strabismus: the medical term for "crossed eyes."

Strategic Plan: a process for allocating resources, to achieve a long-range organizational goal.

Strategic Resource Allocation: the process of aligning an organization's strategies with its budgets.

Streaming: a technique where media (audio, video or both) are downloaded to the user's computer in a continuous stream, and continuously played upon arrival.

Structural Capital: any assets an organization possesses that compliment its human and process assets. Structural capital is used with these other assets to create value.

Structured Controversy: students in groups of four "argue" a controversial topic, using research to support the viewpoints that are assigned to them. Afterwards, the groups work to reach a consensus, based on the argued points.

Student Expectations: often used as a first-day activity, teachers ask students about their expectations for a course. As the course progresses, student understanding is similarly assessed by asking about their expectations for upcoming topics.

Student Response Group: a small group of students who evaluate the work of other students in the group.

Student Teams-Achievement Divisions (STAD): a highly structured cooperative learning method following a "Teach, Team study, Test, Team recognition" strategy.

Study Aids: carefully constructed tools provided by the teacher, to help students learn within specific structures or environments. For example, before a multiple-choice test, the teacher may provide study or test-taking tips.

Studying: the self-directed practice of reviewing instructional material (usually as a follow-up to instruction), to improve retention and understanding; may occur before an exam or quiz, using material that the instructor provides.

Style Guide: a document that defines rules for developing a website, such as accessibility rules and standards, and which ensures that accessibility is embedded in a website.

Style Sheets (or Stylesheets): specify how documents should appear in print and web publishing, and standardize such elements as fonts, page layouts, line spacing, and repeated content. Web style sheets help ensure consistency across web pages, but HTML coding may still override them. Also see Cascading Stylesheets and Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL).

Subordinate Skill: a skill that must be achieved before learning a higher-level skill; also known as a subskill, prerequisite or enabling skill.

Subsumption Theory: a theory proposed by David Ausubel that describes the importance of relating new ideas to a student's existing knowledge base BEFORE new material is presented.

Suchman Inquiry: a learning technique in which the teacher poses a problem and helps students solve it by asking them "yes" or "no" questions; similar to the "20 questions" game.

Suggestion Box: a useful method for collecting anonymous feedback and student opinions. These may be collected regularly, as part of defined class activities, or informally, to gather student comments about classroom activities.

Summative Evaluation: the act of gathering (usually quantitative) information about instructional effectiveness, and using this information to plan future instructional materials and procedures.

SVG: a language for vector graphics coded in XML, which produces images that are smaller, transmit more quickly, and can be scaled without loss of resolution. SVG files have searchable text labels, and may contain links to parts of an image. SVG is being developed by the W3C.

Syllabus: a course overview that is distributed to students and parents at the beginning of training. Provides students with valuable information about concepts they will be learning, and about behaviors and procedures they are expected to follow.

Symposium: a meeting or conference for discussing a topic, especially one in which the participants are the audience and make the presentations.

Synchronous Learning: a real-time, instructor-led, online learning event where multiple people participate at a specified time, and where interaction occurs without time delays.

Synectics: metaphors generated by students, to help them understand controversial issues or solve problems.

Synergy: cooperative interaction and communication among individuals or groups in an online class.

Syntax: the use of the structure of language, or knowledge about the structure of language, to solve problems or understand text.

System Requirements: the technological conditions required to run a software application, including the minimum necessary operating system, programming language, database, hardware configuration, communications bandwidth, and CPU processing power.

System: a set of integrated parts working together toward a defined goal.

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