For convenience, this website contains the glossay of the terms that are used in the statutes and in case law in the domain of the tax law research upon the publicly available sources on the Internet, particularly on the website of IRS.
The glossary is taken from public sources and full credit is given to the numerous published sources.  Some of the terms are interpretered in the statutes.

Glossary for Terms used in IRS issues' research on the Internet is compiled from several published sources, no credit is claimed for the terms and definitions reprinted herewith.  The Glossary is in alphabetic order.


Accessibility - A characteristic of technology that enables people with disabilities to use it. For example, accessible Websites can be navigated by people with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments. Accessible design also benefits people with older or slower software and hardware.

ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) - Initiative by the U.S. Department of Defense to achieve interoperability across computer and Internet-based learning courseware through the development of a common technical framework, which contains content in the form of reusable learning objects.

Assessment - The process used to evaluate a learner's skill or knowledge level systematically.

Asynchronous learning - Learning in which interaction between teachers and students occurs intermittently with a time delay. Examples are self-paced courses taken via the Internet or CD-ROM, Q&A mentoring, online discussion groups, and email.

Authoring tool - A software application or program that allows people to create their own e-learning courseware. Types of authoring tools include instructionally focused authoring tools, Web authoring and programming tools, template-focused authoring tools, knowledge capture systems, and text and file creation.



Blended learning - Learning events that combine aspects of online and face-to-face instruction.

Business requirements - Conditions an e-learning solution should meet to align with needs of such stakeholders as content developer, subject matter expert, learner, manager, and training administrator.



CBT (computer-based training) - An umbrella term for the use of computers in both instruction and management of the teaching and learning process. CAI (computer-assisted instruction) and CMI (computer-managed instruction) are included under the heading of CBT.

Courseware - Any type of instructional or educational course delivered via a software program or over the Web.



Distance education - Educational situation in which the instructor and students are separated by time, location, or both. Education or training courses are delivered to remote locations via synchronous or asynchronous means of instruction, including written correspondence, text, graphics, audio and videotape, CD-ROM, online learning, audio and videoconferencing, interactive TV, and facsimile. Distance learning does not preclude the use of the traditional classroom. The definition of distance education is broader than and entails the definition of e-learning.

Distance learning - The desired outcome of distance education. The two terms are often used interchangeably.



EPSS (electronic performance support system) - A computer application that is linked directly to another application so that when it is accessed, it trains or guides workers through steps they need to complete a task in the target application. Or, more generally, a computer or other device that enables workers to access information or resources to help them achieve a task or performance requirements.

Evaluation - Any systematic method for gathering information about the impact and effectiveness of a learning event. Results of the measurements can be used to improve the learning offering, determine whether the learning objectives have been achieved, and assess the value of the learning event to the organization.



F2F (face-to-face) - Used to describe the traditional classroom environment.

Facilitator - An instructor who aids learning in an online, or student-centered environment.



Granularity - The degree of detail something can be broken down into, or the number of discrete components making up any type of system. In e-learning, granularity is defined by the number of content chunks.

GUI (graphical user interface) - Computer interface using icons or pictures. For example, Macintosh, Windows, and graphical simulations.



HRD (human resource development) - 1) A term coined by Leonard Nadler to mean the organized learning experiences, such as training, education, and development, offered by employers within a specific timeframe to improve employee performance or personal growth. 2) Another name for the field and profession sometimes called training or training and development.

Hypermedia - A program that contains dynamic links to other media, such as audio, video, or graphics files.



Internet-based training - Training delivered primarily by TCP/IP network technologies such as email, newsgroups, proprietary applications, and so forth. Although the term is often used synonymously with Web-based training, Internet-based training is not necessarily delivered over the Web, and may not use the HTTP and HTML technologies that make Web-based training possible.

ILS (integrated learning system) - A complete software, hardware, and network system used for instruction. In addition to providing curriculum and lessons organized by level, an ILS usually includes a number of tools such as assessments, record keeping, report writing, and user information files that help to identify learning needs, monitor progress, and maintain student records.

ILT (instructor-led training) - Usually refers to traditional classroom training, in which an instructor teaches a class to a room of students. The term is used synonymously with on-site training and classroom training (c-learning).



Just-in-time - Characteristic of e-learning in which learners are able to access the information they need exactly when they need it.



Knowledge asset - Intellectual content that an organization possesses that enables it to operate. Any piece of information that a worker at a company knows, from customer names to how to fix a piece of machinery, can be considered a knowledge asset. Assets can be codified in a variety of formats, including PowerPoint slides, Word documents, audio and video files, and so forth.

Knowledge management - The process of capturing, organizing, and storing information and experiences of workers and groups within an organization and making it available to others. By collecting those artifacts in a central or distributed electronic environment (often in a database called a knowledge base), KM aims to facilitate innovation thereby helping a company gain competitive advantage.



LCMS (learning content management system) - A software application that allows trainers and training directors to manage both the administrative and content-related functions of training. An LCMS combines the course management capabilities of an LMS (learning management system) with the content creation and storage capabilities of a CMS (content management system).

Learning object - A reusable, media-independent chunk of information used as a modular building block for e-learning content. Learning objects are most effective when organized by a meta data classification system and stored in a data repository such as an LCMS.

LMS (learning management system) - Software that automates the administration of training events. The LMS registers users, tracks courses in a catalog, and records data from learners; it also provides reports to management. An LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple publishers and providers. It usually doesn't include its own authoring capabilities; instead, it focuses on managing courses created by a variety of other sources



M-learning (mobile learning) - Learning that takes place via such wireless devices as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or laptop computers.

Mentoring - A career development process in which less experienced workers are matched with more experienced workers for guidance. Mentoring can occur either through formal programs or informally as required and may be delivered in-person or by using various media.



Navigation - Finding your way from page to page on the World Wide Web.



Onground environment - The traditional classroom environment, also known as face-to-face (F2F).

Online learning - Learning delivered by Web-based or Internet-based technologies.



Page turner - Derogatory term for e-learning material that offers little to no graphics or interaction, instead comprising mainly pages of text on screen.

Prescriptive learning - A process in which only coursework that matches a learner's identified skill and knowledge gaps is offered to him or her, with the goal of making the learning experience more meaningful, efficient, and cost-effective.



Repurpose - To reuse content--by revising and restructuring it--for a different purpose than it was originally intended or in a different way

ROI (return on investment) - Generally, a ratio of the benefit or profit received from a given investment to the cost of the investment itself. In e-learning, ROI is most often calculated by comparing the tangible results of training (for example, an increase in units produced or a decrease in error rate) to the cost of providing the training.



SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) - A set of specifications that, when applied to course content, produces small, reusable learning objects. A result of the Department of Defense's Advance Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative, SCORM-compliant courseware elements can be easily merged with other compliant elements to produce a highly modular repository of training materials.

Section 508 - Section of the 1998 Rehabilitation Act that states that all electronic and information technology procured, used, or developed by the federal government after June 25, 2001, must be accessible to people with disabilities. Affected technology includes such hardware as copiers, fax machines, telephones, and other electronic devices, as well as application software and Websites.

Storyboard - An outline of a multimedia project in which each page represents a screen to be designed and developed. (verb) To create a storyboard.

Synchronous Learning - A real-time online, facilitated learning event in which all learners are logged on at the same time and communicate directly with each other or the facilitator. Also known as a virtual classroom, the facilitator maintains control of the event with the ability to "call on" learners.



TBT (technology-based training) - The delivery of content via Internet, LAN or WAN (intranet or extranet), satellite broadcast, audio or videotape, interactive TV, or CD-ROM. TBT encompasses both CBT and WBT.

Template - A predefined set of tools or forms that establishes the structure and settings necessary to create content quickly.



Usability - The measure of how effectively, efficiently, and easily a person can navigate an interface, find information on it, and achieve his or her goals.



Value-added services - In the context of the e-learning industry, value-added services include custom training needs assessment and skill-gap analysis, curriculum design and development, pre- and post-training mentoring and support, training effectiveness analysis, reporting and tracking tools, advisor services and implementation consulting, hosting and management of Internet- or intranet-based learning systems, integration of enterprise training delivery systems, and other services.

Virtual - Not concrete or physical. For instance, a completely virtual university does not have actual buildings but instead holds classes over the Internet.



WBT (Web-based training) - Delivery of educational content via a Web browser over the public Internet, a private intranet, or an extranet. Web-based training often provides links to other learning resources such as references, email, bulletin boards, and discussion groups. WBT also may include a facilitator who can provide course guidelines, manage discussion boards, deliver lectures, and so forth. When used with a facilitator, WBT offers some advantages of instructor-led training while also retaining the advantages of computer-based training.

Webinar - (Web + seminar) An online learning event, usually synchronous (real-time), that can also be archived and accessed asynchronously (on demand). Webinars enable a presenter and audience members to communicate via text chat or audio about concepts that are often illustrated via online slides and/or an electronic whiteboard.


Glossary of Terms