Ollie the octopus holding a book.

Online Teaching Terms Glossary

These are words that are useful for teaching online. Some of this language will be familiar to you, but you may not have had a specific definition to use if you are seaking tech support or talking to a co-worker.

Asynchronous
adjective
Asynchronous describes an online class that does not meet via video or voice at one, prescribed time. Rather, the class is organized such that all participants can take part whenever they are able to.

Breakout Room
noun
A virtual meeting area where a smaller group of participants “breakout” of a large online meeting. These can be used to hold more directed and focused conversations that can then be taken back to the larger group.

Chat
noun
This is referring to the chat box feature in an online platform. In the late 80s early 90s these were called “chat rooms”. Modern apps use this as an integrated feature (rather than a separate platform) where participants can dialogue via text sent back and forth.

Discussion Boards
noun
Discussion boards describe a way for conversations to happen digitally in written form. Participation via discussion board is usually a requirement of asynchronous classes and sometimes also a requirement of synchronous classes. Responses can be threaded (nested under each other so that they read in a conversation flow) or posted in order of time and date. Threading allows for full conversations to happen among participants rather than merely a collection of responses to the initial prompt.

F2F
adjective
F2F stands for Face To Face, and describes a class that meets at one, prescribed time, in person.

Flipped classroom
noun
Flipped classroom describes a class where the facilitator has recorded themselves presenting material in a lecture-like format for participants to watch between F2F classes. During classes, participants do homework, write essays, etc., while the facilitator moves between them, supporting their individual processes. This is “flipped” from a standard classroom, where facilitators lecture in person and participants do homework between classes.

Gamification
noun
Gamification is a teaching technique where a game, including points and the potential to win, is a part of the learning process. While not done (yet!) for very much online sex ed related content, this is a common approach to F2F sex ed classrooms. There will probably be an increasing number of online games related to learning about sexuality and sexual health. You can see the three games UN|HUSHED has developed here: unhush.us/arcade.

LMS
noun
LMS stands for Learning Management System. It refers to systems like Canvas, Blackboard, Edmodo, and Google Classroom (there are more!) where facilitators create online classes. They typically include ways to have online discussions, quizzes, assignment submission, and more.

Screen sharing
verb
Using software (usually during a video call) to show someone your computer desktop remotely.

Screen time
noun
The amount of time spent watching or engaging with technological devices like televisions, game consoles, computers, smart phones, etc.

Sustained attention
noun
Continued focus on one task and/or stimulus. The amount of sustained attention a student is capable of usually increases as they age.

Synchronous
adjective
Synchronous describes an online class that meets via voice or video at one, prescribed time. The facilitator is offers real time lectures and activities that participants must be present for. They may also do asynchronous activities that function as homework.

Zoom
noun
While Zoom is a specific platform, much like the phrase “google it” zoom has become a verb meaning to meet virtually using a web conferencing application. Example: Let’s zoom about it later.

Zoom Bombing
verb
The act of someone entering a zoom meeting or webinar that did not have permission to enter, and then shares violent and/or graphic content. That could be audio, video, graphics, or in the chat box. It is important as a facilitator to have a plan on how to handle this if it were to happen in your classroom. There are also a variety of settings to implement to avoid this in your meetings.

Zoom Fatigue
noun
The feeling of exhaustion that comes from back to back video meetings without the usual break that in person meetings once had. These breaks might have been as small as walking from one office to another.