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Asynchronous communication: Asynchronous communication is communication that takes place over a period of time, usually in writing. A good example of asynchronous communication is an online discussion forum: participants go in at different times and write their thoughts in response to what others have written.

Avatar: An image chosen by a computer user to represent himself/ herself to other people. This may be a simple photograph or line drawing, or in the case of games and virtual worlds, an avatar may be an animated character. 

Blended learning: Learning through a combination of e-learning and face-to-face sessions.

Blog: A blog, or ‘web-log’, is a website containing a journal, usually written by an individual. Members of the public are able to comment on the blog, and many blogs contain lively discussions amongst readers.

Citation: Reference to a source.

Constructivism: A theory that says the way humans learn is by actively constructing knowledge and meaning from their experience. In other words, learners do not ‘receive’ knowledge from a teacher. ‘Each of us constructs our own meaning and learning about issues, problems and topics.' [Ref: Department of Education (2000) Curriculum 2005: Towards a Theoretical Framework. Pretoria. P.11.]

Discussion forum: An online discussion site, in which members of a community can post their thoughts in writing, and respond to others in a ‘conversation’ that usually takes place over an extended period of time. Contributions to a discussion forum are called 'posts' or 'postings', and are organised in topic-based 'threads'.

E-learning: Any learning experience that is enabled or enhanced by the use of computer-based technology. The ‘e’ stands for ‘electronic’, which includes the Internet, CD ROMs, software, other media and telecommunications.

E-learning 2.0: ‘E-learning 2.0 is e-learning that involves collaboration between learners using Web 2.0 technologies. E-learning 2.0 assumes that knowledge is socially constructed, and that learning takes place through conversations about content and grounded interaction about problems and actions.’ (Adapted from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_learning) In this learning guide, ‘e-learning 2.0’ is used interchangeably with ‘online learning’.

E-portfolio: A collection of electronic evidence assembled and managed by a user, usually on the Web. Such electronic evidence may include inputted text, electronic files, images, multimedia, blog entries, and hyperlinks. E-portfolios are both demonstrations of the user's abilities and platforms for self-expression, and, if they are online, they can be maintained dynamically over time. [Ref: Wikipedia]