gray background
magnifying glass printer icon


    Activate the Course Space

    Enrolled students cannot access the course space until it is "activated" - like opening the door to the classroom. Information about how to activate your course and merge sections is available in this tutorial.


    Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires equal access to all materials by all students.


    Not occurring at the same time. Distance courses are designed to be asynchronous so that students can access the course space and complete their work at their convenience, while still adhering to a common course schedule.  Many distance students are working professionals, parents, individuals with obligations for whom the traditional synchronous class time will prohibit access to education.


    Blackboard Collaborate

    Blackboard Collaborate is WSU’s official web conferencing program, available free to faculty and staff for professional use.


    A blog is a journal, often with a comments section, that is published on the web. A blog could serve as a community learning tool for campus online students. For example, faculty might create an assignment where students regularly post about the steps they have taken to find sources for their research project. Not only can the instructor track student progress, but students can learn and share ideas.



    Camtasia is a screen capture software.


    Copying a course space with all of the data (text book, media, tracked items) associated with that course so that each delivery term there is a unique course space.

    Course Space

    On campus classes are held in a classroom. In the online environment, we refer to that classroom as a "course space." A course space is a website housing all of the materials students will need to take your course. It is also in the course space that students will interact with each other and the instructor in the discussion forum, the instructor will access and grade assignments, and students will take any online assessments. The "course space" is your classroom, and most of what happens in the classroom, will happen in your online course space.

    Course Verification

    The system used by Global Campus to communicate with instructors about any updates needed to their course or materials associated with the course.  Using course verification, which is a link within the course space, allows tasks to be routed to the appropriate specialist systematically.  This prevents loss of emails or time when an email request goes to someone who is unavailable.


    Design Matrix

    A blueprint of the course used to plan out each aspect, ensuring that activities and assessments are appropriately aligned with learning outcomes and that the faculty developer and Instructional Designer are on the same page throughout course design and development.

    Discussion Board

    A section of the online course space where students and instructors converse asynchronously.

    Discussion Forum

    Online discussion is critical to a successful online course. The discussion forum provides a space for student and faculty to interact, build a learning community, for faculty to  get to know students, and for students to collaborate.  Much of the teaching in an online course occurs through the asynchronous discussion forum.


    Face to Face

    The best differentiation between the classes taught online, and those "face to face" is really asynchronous (online) and synchronous (face to face). Both are taught in classrooms (the Blackboard Learn course space is a classroom), and are affiliated with a campus.  We sometimes refer to online and on-ground as well.


    Instructional Designer

    Each course/instructor is assigned to an Instructional Designer, by department, to provide support for online delivery.

    Interactive Activity

    As you develop your course, the Instructional Designer may talk with you about adding "interactive activities." These are activities/exercises that allow students to actively engage with, or manipulate the content being learned. For example, students may drag and drop names onto areas of a map, or manipulate the dials of an audiometer. Check out our showcase page for examples of interactive activities that have been built to support the learning goals in some of our courses.



    Learning Management System. An LMS is a software platform designed to deliver and/or track information delivery and acquisition. As needed, an LMS can supplement face to face courses, be adapted for self-led learning, or be designed to be an interactive learning community. At minimum, an LMS should allow for instructors to post course content, enter grades, and receive student work electronically.

    Lecture Capture

    Capabilities of lecture capture software vary, but, most include the ability to record your on-campus lecture along with any supplementary materials you show from your computer. These recordings can then be uploaded for your students, allowing them to review items they may have missed in class. Panopto is WSU’s supported lecture capture software available to faculty and staff.


    Merge (merged, merging) Courses

    Multiple scheduled sections from one or more campuses combined into one online course space.


    Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching. A free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students.



    "Netiquette" is network etiquette. Netiquette covers both common courtesy online and the informal rules of cyberspace.



    Open Educational Resource


    Open Learning Resource



    Panopto is a lecture capture tool that can be used either in WSU’s General University Classrooms, or on personal computers. Panopto replaced Tegrity as the official University supported tool in Fall 2015.


    Portable Document Format file



    A rubric identifies a set of criteria against which student performance will be judged.


    Screen Capture

    Screen Capture software is similar to Lecture Capture. However, screen capture software generally provides robust editing features allowing you to “build” a lecture rather than simply recording on. For example, you can import video, edit existing video, and move segments of your lecture to different spots in the presentation. As with other software, free programs are not always as sophisticated as premium programs.

    Second Life

    An online virtual world.

    Social Media

    Online media such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikis and blogs that promote networking and community building.

    Social Networking

    The use of a dedicated website to communicate informally with other members of the site, by posting messages, photographs, etc.


    At the same time - face to face courses are primarily synchronous.


    Teach Act

    The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 is an act of Congress. The importance stems from the previous copyright laws that allow educators to copy documents or use copyrighted materials in a face-to-face classroom setting. Because of the growth of distance education, revisions to these laws, particularly sections 110(2) and 112(f) of the U.S. Copyright Act, needed to be made.

    Third Party Site

    An outside website, such as YouTube, used in courses. Often this is a publisher's website or companion to the text that provides students additional information. WSU Online cannot provide technology support for these sites. In addition, the instructor is responsible for ensuring there are no ADA compliance issues. If a student with a WSU Access Center accommodation cannot access a third party site, you must provide an equivalent activity.


    Twitter is an informal communications tool.  Send a “tweet” to remind students of important dates, or require students to tweet applied class concepts from their daily lives. Tweets must be under 140 characters.


    Virtual Field Trip

    Taking advantage of all that is available online to create the equivalent of the traditional field trip, but for free and asynchronously.  In addition, you can add your own video and images to create a customized field trip.

    Virtual Mentor

    A VM, or Virtual Mentor is an individual employed and trained by WSU Online, with experience as a WSU Online student, who serves as a mentor to the entire course, assisting students in navigating the course space, providing time management and other resources and promoting community building.  A VM is not a TA and cannot assist in grading or other evaluative activities. Further, they cannot fix technical issues in the course space. If you’d like to request a VM, navigate to the Virtual Mentor tab in Course Verification, or contact your eLearning Consulatant. The VM program is funded through ASWSU Global S&A fees.


    Web Conferencing

    Web conferencing has become an important tool in today’s global community. Bring in a guest lecture from across the globe or demonstrate difficult concepts and applications to your students in real time. Common features include ability to communicate via headset or chat, desktop application sharing, and whiteboard drawing capabilities.

    Web Quest

    Utilizing the resources of the web to create learning activities for students, incorporating information literacy into the learning outcomes of the course.


    Wikis are easy to create online documents based on community knowledge building/sharing. A simple example is one person starting a Wiki page with the basic idea or intent of the page and saves it for other users to view and add to. At this point other users will add their expertise or research and so on. In this fast paced world, a document may remain in a constant state of flux as current research and events emerge. Additionally, wiki pages (documents) allow the creator to track versions of the page and manage editing privileges.

    The Global Campus, PO Box 645220, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5220, 800-222-4978, 509-335-3557, Contact Us
    Copyright © 2017 Board of Regents, Washington State University | Accessibility | Policies | Copyright