Terms from K - L - M - N - O

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K12, Inc. - An Internet-based company that offers curriculum and other educational services in an online delivery format covering to kindergarten to twelfth grade. Originally established by former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett, but now a publicly traded company, the K12, Inc. curriculum is often used by homeschoolers and cyber charter schools in the United States. In most instances, a cyber charter school that is named "X Virtual Academy" uses the K12, Inc. curriculum.

Keeping Pace - Keeping Pace is an annual report reviewing of state-level policies and procedures, along with the level of activity, pertaining to k-12 online education completed by John Watson and his colleagues since 2003.


Learning Management System - Also called a "course management system", a learning management system (LMS) is an infrastructure platform which allows instructors to deliver and manage learning content in an Internet-based environment. An LMS commonly includes tools that perform a variety of functions related to online and offline training administration and performance management, such as the ability to host static and multimedia content files, synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, assignment submission systems, etc..

Learning Object Repository - "A storage site for digital learning resources. [A learning object repository] (LOR) enables teachers to access single learning objects (such as visual aids), units of study, or remediation units. These resources may be used to support classroom learning or for credit courses delivered through [a] learning management system" (e-Learning Ontario, 2007).

Learning Point Associates - Formerly the North-Central Regional Educational Laboratories (NCREL), Learning Point Associates (LPA) is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to deliver the knowledge, strategies, and results to help educators make research-based decisions that produce sustained improvement. LPA offers services in the areas of evaluation, policy, professional services, and research to K–16 education stakeholders at the school, district, state, regional, and national levels, Learning Points Associates lists competencies including: comprehensive school improvement, teacher quality, after school programming, data tools for school improvement, and literacy.

Licensed Content - "Content purchased and used by an education agency, which has not developed it but has entered into a formal agreement for its distribution with the original developer. A teacher hired by the education agency (school/district) may be assigned to deliver the purchased material in the online environment as part of his/her regular assignment (also, third-party content)" (Northwest Educational Technology Consortium, 2005).

Local Control - "Local districts, rather than the state, independently make decisions on policies regarding curriculum and its compliance to state standards, teacher requirements, evaluation processes, and other specifications" (Northwest Educational Technology Consortium, 2005).


Mediating Teacher - A mediating teacher facilitates an online course by “keeping discussions on track, contributing special knowledge and insights, weaving together various discussion threads and course components, and maintaining group harmony" (Rohfeld & Hiemstra, 1995, p. 91).

Mentor - "Mentors assist by functioning in the role of sponsor, coach and facilitator while offering challenging work or protection. The mentor relationship requires a high level of involvement, commitment and time leading to linkages at a deeply personal and professional level, and it extends well beyond the initial interaction" (Whelley, Radtke, Burgstahler, & Christ, 2003)

Meta-Data - "Coded information about a learning object that enables a person to search for and use the object" (e-Learning Ontario, 2007).

Moodle - Moodle or Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment is an open source, learning management system originally developed by Martin Dougiamas. This LMS is the most common open source option utilized at present.

Multidistrict Online Program - "Program administered by multiple districts, often in a formal consortium. Not to be confused with a program that is administered by a single district even though it accepted students from multiple districts" (Watson & Kalmon, 2005, p. 121).


Netcourses - "Courses offered primarily over the Internet" (Elbaum & Tinker, 1997). A term used primarily by the Virtual High School Global Consortium.

Netiquette - "A combination of two words, Internet and Etiquette. It refers to necessary and appropriate behavior that occurs online when communicating via the Internet. This is often spelled out in an acceptable use policy" (Northwest Educational Technology Consortium, 2005).

Non-Completer - "Students who drop an online course prior to its completion" (Rehnborg, 2007, p. 7).

Non-Starter - An individual who enrolls in an online course and fails to log in to begin the instruction or logs in but does not complete any of the assigned instruction.

Non-Teacher-Mediated Credit Courses - "Courses that are self-taught. The student's learning is confirmed by periodically sending assignments to markers" (e-Learning Ontario, 2007).

North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) - A professional association representing those involved or interesting in K-12 online learning whose stated mission "is to increase educational opportunities and enhance learning by providing collegial expertise and leadership in K-12 online teaching and learning" (NACOL, 2008).

North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) - “The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory® (NCREL) was one of 10 federally funded laboratories whose contract to operate ended in 2005” (Learning Point Associates, 2008a). The activities conducted by NCREL were under the guidance of Learning Point Associates, which continues to operate at present.


On-Site Mentor - "Person designated by an institution to provide face-to-face support to students taking online courses (sometimes referred to as a 'surrogate nag'). Person serving in the mentor role may also be known as the site coordinator " (Northwest Educational Technology Consortium, 2005) or mediating teacher

Online Learning - Watson and Kalmon (2005) defined online learning as "education in which instruction and content are delivered primarily via the Internet. Online learning is a form of distance learning" (p. 121), while Butz (2004) defined online learning as a form of distance education where the primary manner in which a student would access materials and interact with the teacher or other students was mediated through the Internet.

Online Learning Program - "An educational organizational that develops and offers online instruction and content. An online learning program may be a cyberschool, or it may provide supplementary learning opportunities for students enrolled in physical schools or cyberschools" (Watson & Kalmon, 2005, p. 121).

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