A Guide to our industry definitions


Have you ever came across a term in the online learning world that you haven’t heard before or don’t fully understand the meaning? If so, we are here to help! Here are some of our most commonly used terminologies and processes, in addition to their meaning. We hope these can add clarification and help you throughout your training journey, however, if there is a word you think needs to be added or would like to have more clarity on, just send us a message below and let us know! We are always here and happy to help make things easier for you when possible.

508 Compliant

A course that adheres to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for persons with disabilities. All images must have Alternative Text that describes what the image portrays for visually impaired learners, among other requirements.

Addie Model

The generic process traditionally used by instructional designers and training developers. The five phases – Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation – represent a dynamic, flexible, guideline for building effective training and performance support tools.

Agile Method

Developers start off with a simplistic project design, and then begin to work on small modules. The work on these modules is done in weekly or monthly sprints, and at the end of each sprint, project priorities are evaluated and tests are run. These sprints allow for bugs to be discovered, and customer feedback to be incorporated into the design before the next sprint is run.


Means the entire content of this Basic Terms and Conditions document, the Proposal document(s), together with any other Supplements designated below, together with any exhibits, schedules or attachments hereto.


A visual cue that the learner completed a task. Our industry calls them badges because of the achievement / reward system is similar to that used by boy and girl scouts.

Blended Learning

A course with both instructor-led classroom training and eLearning. In blended learning, the E-Learning course is typically used as pre-work for learners to complete before attending the classroom training, and/or as follow-up assignments to help learners retain information.

Client Content

All materials, information, photography, writings and other creative content provided by Client for use in the preparation of and/or incorporation in the Deliverables.

Content Readiness Tier

How ready is your content to go into the production phase.


The property rights in original works of authorship, expressed in a tangible medium of expression, as defined and enforceable under U.S. Copyright Law.


An educational unit which covers a subject or topic.


The services and work product specified in the Proposal/Scope of Work to be delivered by Designing Digitally, Inc. to Client, in the form and media specified in the Proposal.

Design & Development Tools

All tools developed and/or utilized by Designing Digitally, Inc. in performing the Services, including without limitation pre-existing and newly developed software including source code, Web authoring tools, type fonts, and application tools, together with any other software, or other inventions whether or not patentable, and general non-copyrightable concepts such as website design, architecture, layout, navigational and functional elements.


Any training delivered through the digital format is considered eLearning. Learners can use a computer, a tablet, or any other hand-held device to access information over the internet, anytime, anywhere.

Final Content

All materials, information, photography, writings and other creative content provided by Client for use in the preparation of and/or incorporation in the Deliverables must be final and remain unchanged after being provided.

Finished Assembled Work

The final finished assembled versions of Deliverables provided by Designing Digitally, Inc. and accepted by Client. This does not include RAW files to for the production of the finished assembled work.

Final Deliverables

The final versions of the agreed upon deliverables as outlined in the contract and/or scope of work.


Adding simple game mechanics like rewards, badges, progress meters, levels, and sound effects to E-Learning to create a fun and engaging experience.


Graphical user interface; the graphics learners see that stay consistent on the screen throughout the game.


Involving the actions or input of a user.

Kirkpatrick Model

The worldwide standard for evaluating the effectiveness of training. It considers the value of any type o training, formal or informal, across four levels. Level 1 (Reaction) evaluates how participants respond to the training. Level 2 (Learning) measures if they actually learned the material. Level 3 (Behavior) considers if they are using what they learned on the job, and Level 4 (Results) evaluates if the training positively impacted the organization.


A division of the course or module.


Learning Management System. This is a web-based system used for deploying the course to the end user and tracking of user data such as progress.

LMS Package

A learning management package containing SCORM compliant content for a course.


Multilingual feature that translates audio and text.


A data store system that serves as a repository for learning records necessary for using the Experience API (xAPI). The Experience API is also known as the “Tin Can API” and is commonly considered the successor to SCORM.


Learning Tracking System - A website custom built to track progress of a learner.


A way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. The learners are in control of what and when they’re learning. These usually last from 3-10 minutes depending on the content structure.


Mobile learning. A course designed for learners to take on their phone or tablet.


An educational unit which covers a subject or topic.

Preliminary Works

All artwork including, but not limited to, concepts, sketches, visual presentations, or other alternate or preliminary designs and documents developed by Designing Digitally, Inc. and which may or may not be shown and or delivered to Client for consideration but do not form part of the Final Deliverables.

Production Tier

A level of production sophistication that classifies project development.


The scope and purpose of the Client’s identified usage of the work product as described in the Proposal.

Serious Game

An exciting online game that teaches defined learning objectives.


A single “page” of a lesson.


Subject Matter Expert. Members of the client’s organization who best understand the learning material.

Social Learning

Social learning theory (Albert Bandura) posits that learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement.


A document that specifies the visual elements, text elements, audio elements, interactions and branching of every screen in an online course.

Tin Can API/xAPI

Tin Can is the newest way of tracking learner progress and achievements. It allows much more flexibility and precision than traditional SCORM tracking.


An overarching plot and storyline that resembles the concept created by Designing Digitally.

Training Simulation

A type of learning tool that mimics an actual or probable real life condition, event, or situation.

Project Milestones

Specific progress points along a project timeline.

Raw/Source Files

The editable work-up files used to create the finished assembled work. -Services means all services and the work product to be provided to Client by Designing Digitally, Inc. as described and otherwise further defined in the Proposal.

Third Party Materials

Means proprietary third party materials which are incorporated into the Final Deliverables, including without limitation stock photography or illustration.


Means trade names, words, symbols, designs, logos or other devices or designs used in the Final Deliverables to designate the origin or source of the goods or services of Client.

Waterfall Model

A sequential (non-iterative) design process, used in software development processes, in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production/implementation and maintenance. Despite the development of new software development process models, the Waterfall method is still the dominant process model with over a third of software developers still using it.