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​“Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.” (Web Accessibility Initiative). Federal websites must meet the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act that provides standards for Internet accessibility. Accessibility includes a wide range of concepts, including but not limited to including closed captions on all videos; offering written transcripts of video and audio content; ensuring sufficient contrast between text and background colors; using appropriate font sizes, headings, and document structure; providing alternate text for all images that are more than decoration; ensuring scanned documents include recognized text that can be read by screen readers; and much more. (Accessible Learning Materials)

Active Learning
​Refers to a learner’s involvement in the process of one’s own learning, made possible by frequent opportunities for interaction and feedback with the instructor, materials, and other learners.

​The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires schools, universities, businesses, and agencies to supply reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities to ensure equal access to services and programs. (UT Student Disability Services)

​Rapid display of a sequence of images to create an illusion of movement.

Application Sharing
​In LiveOnline@UT (Zoom), a function that allows moderators or participants to share applications (e.g., websites, Excel files, and Microsoft Word documents).

Archived Recording
​In LiveOnline@UT (Zoom), a stored recording of a live online session that can be accessed by learners and instructors once a class session is over.

​Time-delayed communication that occurs when communicators are not in the same time and place.


Courses that offer learning materials and resources online in a synchronous and/or asynchronous format, as well as learning that occurs in a traditional face-to-face format.

Contracted form of “web log,” it’s an online chronological collection of personal commentary and links (EDUCAUSE). The Online@UT (Canvas) assignment feature can be used for individual and group blog writing assignments (e.g., student and instructor journals).​

Breakout Rooms
In LiveOnline@UT (Zoom), a feature that allows the instructor to put students into small groups for real-time two-way audio conversations.​


Canvas is the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s learning management system. Online@UT is the university-branded name.

Chat/Instant Message
​An online conversation tool in which participants send real-time text messages to one another via a computer or mobile device.

​A student learning and collaborative space in UT’s Hodges library that provides OIT and library services driven by student needs. The Commons website.


Discussion Board
​An asynchronous online communication tool by which participants can post items (e.g., video, text, photos) and respond to other posts.

Distance Education
​A method of offering learning resources and education to students at a distance, which may or may not include online learning methods, conferencing, satellite centers, etc., without a required face-to-face format.


The extent to which a learner is involved in the learning at hand, promoted through problem-based learning, project-based learning, opportunities for reflection, feedback, and interaction with other learners.​


​A social networking website where users can create personal profiles; communicate with friends; create and participate in groups; share messages, photos, and other media; and use various web applications. Facebook website.

As used in LiveOnline@UT (Zoom), a method used by instructors to get quick responses from participants by using the reactions buttons, polling buttons, chat, or audio.​

The design and appearance of a document (e.g., text size, font type, spacing).​

Formative Evaluation
Assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of a course, so that information gained can be used to make changes and improvements to the course.​


Hybrid/Blended Courses
​Courses that offer online learning materials and resources in a synchronous and/or asynchronous format as well as learning that occurs in a traditional face-to-face format.

​Text or image on any web page or online document that, when selected/activated, opens another documentation or location or causes related information to be displayed.


Instant Messenger/IM, a.k.a., Chat
An online conversation tool in which participants send real-time text messages to one another via a computer or mobile device.​


Learning Consortium at UTK
A group of UTK faculty, students, and administrators who meet regularly to discuss issues related to teaching and learning.​


Macintosh computers.​


​An online platform that allows people and organizations to create their own custom social networks. Ning website.


​UTK Office of Innovative Technologies. OIT website.

Online Learning
A department that facilitates the university’s mission of providing “high-quality educational opportunities for people at every stage of life, whenever and wherever they seek to learn.” Online Learning website.

Online Course/Learning
​A course that is delivered via the internet and is comprised of instructional materials designed and developed to be student-centered and uses a variety of tools and techniques to facilitate communication and convey the subject matter.


Online video delivery platform of choice at UT. Panopto allows users to upload video and audio media, record video presentations, and perform basic video editing. This video content integrates seamlessly with Canvas and can be used for recorded lectures and other videos, as well as video assignments. Zoom meetings that are recorded to the cloud automatically populate into Panopto as well.

Personal Computer. Usually refers to a computer using Windows software.​

Persistent Link
​A permanent link to an article in a library database, as opposed to a link that is generated for a single session.

A series of recorded audio or audiovisual files that are released episodically and can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device.​


The act of thoughtfully considering new information and making connections between what is already known and what is being learned.​ Reflection often takes the form of a written assignment, response to an open-ended question, or a blog/journal entry.

A scoring scale used to assess student performance along a task-specific set of criteria. More information.​


Social Networking Service/Social Media
​Social networking services are online services, platforms, or sites that focus on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who share, for example, interests, activities, or backgrounds. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are examples of social networking services.

Streamed Media Content
​Data, delivered from a server to a host, that represents information that must be delivered in real time. This could be video, audio, graphics, slide shows, web tours, combinations of these, or any other real-time delivery of media.

Student Disability Services (SDS)
​A UT department that provides accommodations, services, and awareness to the University of Tennessee students, the overall campus community, and the general public. Student Disability Services website.

Studio, Canvas
Online video delivery platform by the makers of Canvas. Studio allows users to upload video and audio media, record video presentations, and perform basic video editing. This video content integrates seamlessly with Canvas and can be used for recorded lectures and other videos, as well as video assignments.

Studio, The
A UT Libraries multimedia production lab. Open to UT students, staff, and faculty, the Studio provides media equipment, computers, software, and consultation services to assist users in the creation of multimedia-enhanced educational products. The Studio website. ​

Type of communication that occurs when participants, located in different places, are able to communicate in real time, for example, through text-based chat or two-way audio/video tools.​


Teaching & Learning Innovation (TLI)
Teaching & Learning Innovation engages faculty in the creation and implementation of educational experiences and environments that are transformative, innovative, inclusive, and outcomes-focused. Teaching & Learning Innovation website. ​

Two-Way Audio-Video
Two-way real-time communication via computer or other devices using audio and/or video.​ At UT, this is most commonly done using Zoom.


Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
A framework for proactively creating accessible learning environments and experiences. Through the UDL lens, instructors design multiple and flexible strategies that are effective for our variable and diverse students. UDL puts emphasis on the role of the environment on enabling or disabling learners, rather than negatively labeling students themselves. (Learn more about UDL)

Web address; Uniform Resource Locator (e.g., is the URL for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s website.)​


A tool used for virtual meetings in which all participants are connected by real-time audio and video.​

Referring to computer- or other device-mediated representation of an individual and their activities.​

​Malicious computer program that can damage other computers, usually downloaded without the user’s awareness.


Web App
​Websites that allow participants to modify the content of the site, provide application software for participants to use, allow users to share information, such as blogs, wikis, and social networking sites. These web apps run natively in the user’s browser, without the need to install an app on the operating system (although some services provide enhanced experiences through their official apps).

A built-in (or attached) camera that allows the user to transmit video to other users.

A collaborative website in which participants create and modify the content, e.g., Wikipedia.​ Instructors can include Wiki pages in their Canvas courses by setting permissions to allow students to contribute to those pages.


Zoom, a cloud-based technology, allows faculty, staff, and students to have high-quality interaction in real time from their computers and mobile devices. Zoom’s web-based conferencing uses high-quality video and audio and is accessible on macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android mobile devices. Zoom also includes free telephone bridging, so you can bring in participants via telephone as well. The Zoom recording feature will allow you to save a session for future reference and/or send it to those who are unable to attend. LiveOnline@UT is the university-branded name.