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Key terms in distance learning

What do they mean and for what purpose are they used?

If you haven't shown any interest in the topic of distance learning before, it is likely that much of the terminology used is unfamiliar to you.

Approximate reading time: 1m 41s

Today we will introduce you to three of the most commonly used terms and what lies behind them.

Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning management systems (LMS), also called distance learning platforms, are a set of interactive online services for creating, presenting, managing and using learning content, with features for tracking, analysing and reporting on performance.

LMSs automate the process of delivering distance learning and are the preferred means of achieving the educational goals of various types of institutions and organizations.

What can you use distance learning platforms for?

Distance learning platforms offer a myriad of possibilities, regardless of the application area.

Whether you are an educational institution, a private company or a government organization, you can reap the benefits of this type of software. In addition to creating and delivering distance learning courses, learning management systems can also be used for:

  • Import training materials.
  • Create training materials (including tests and exercises).
  • Assigning tasks (individual or group).
  • Manage and use interactive e-learning.
  • Keeping records and reports.
  • Issuing certificates.
  • Assigning roles and rights.
  • Tracking learners' educational progress.
  • And much more.

Tools for creating e-learning

A variety of e-learning authoring tools are available on the market. Some of the most widespread are:

  • Articulate Storyline
  • Articulate Studio
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Trivantis Lektora
  • ISpring Suite

The programs listed have many features in common, including:

  • HTML5 support;
  • the ability to create animations and visualization on desktop and mobile devices;
  • a library of ready-made characters;
  • option to create interactive tests - with predefined or custom interactions;
  • PowerPoint compatibility;
  • SCORM/AICC compatibility;
  • export to Microsoft Word;
  • audio/video recording.

Of course, some of them to better developed - with a greater number of ready-to-use themes, templates, characters and functionalities, such as exporting the training to pdf format, integration with YouTube, etc..

When choosing such a tool we advise you to consider two mandatory factors:

  • the complexity of the training you are going to create - how developed interactions you need, whether or not you will use characters, animations, etc.;
  • whether you will integrate training into the LMS - if so, you must choose a tool compatible with the standards used by the platform (SCORM, AICC).


In order for the training material you create to be used in the LMS, it must conform to one set of standards. The most common standard is SCORM.

It is a set of technical standards, specifications and recommendations for creating e-learning software products (distance learning platforms, e-course creation tools). In plainer language, these are the rules that developers need to follow to create an e-learning product that can work with another e-learning product.

The main goal of the standard is to make it possible to create accessible, compatible and reusable e-learning content. SCORM is a technical standard and has nothing to do with pedagogical principles. 

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