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Glossary : Starting from S

Satellite TV

Video and audio signals relayed via a communication device that orbits around the earth.


The degree to which a computer application or component can be expanded in size, volume, or number of users served and continue to function properly.


A machine that digitizes the markings from a piece of paper or a page, creating an electronic image of the original.


1) A relatively simple textual description or representation of the internal structure of a database, including table names, element names, and relationships between elements. 2) One of several new entities that define the structure and content parameters for XML documents.

Screen reader

Computer software that speaks text on the screen. Often used by individuals who are visually impaired.


A picture of a computer display that shows the display at a given point in time. Also called a screen capture. Annotated screenshots are often used in software manuals and training programs.


A program or set of instructions not carried out by the computer processor but by another program. Code is interpreted at run time rather than being stored in executable format.

Scripting language

See script (Above this topic)


To move text and images on a computer screen in a constant direction--down, up, right, or left.

Seamless technology

Technology that's easy to use, intuitive in nature, and isn't the focus of the learning experience. Also called transparent technology.


If a book is not on the shelves and it is not checked out, you may place a request at the circulation desk for one of the library staff to try and find the book and hold it for you.

Search engine

Generic name for the programs and sites on the World Wide Web that allow you to search other sites.

Search operators

Commands that are used to combine keywords to broaden or narrow a search.

Section 508

The 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 hardware such as copiers, fax machines, telephones, and other electronic devices as well as application software and Websites.


The process by which the learner determines his or her personal level of knowledge and skills.

Self-Check Station

Bar-code reading machines for members to check out materials themselves, rather than checking materials out at the circulation desk.

Self-paced learning

An offering in which the learner determines the pace and timing of content delivery.


A device or system that responds to a physical or chemical quality to produce an output that is a measure of that quality. Sensors are comprised of two basic parts - a sensing element and a transducer. The sensing element interacts with the environment, generating a response. It is the sensing element that is the primary part of a sensor, and determines the nature, selectivity and sensitivity of the sensor. The transducer is a device which reads the response of the sensing element and converts it into an interpretable and quantifiable term. Sensors are widely used in digital libraries as barcode readers.


Any publication issued in successive parts, appearing at intervals, usually regular ones, and, as a rule, intended to be continued indefinitely. Publication issued in successive parts that is intended to be continued indefinitely, usually multiauthored and sequentially numbered. Also known as a journal.


Publications that appear regularly. In addition to periodicals, this term is often used to describe book series.

Serial bus

A channel through which information flows, one bit at a time, between two or more devices in or connected to a computer. A bus typically has multiple points of access through which devices can attach to it.

Serial port

A connection point for peripheral devices to be attached to a computer, through which data transmission occurs one bit at a time.


A computer with a special service function on a network, generally to receive and connect incoming information traffic.


Highly interactive applications that allow the learner to model or role-play in a scenario. Simulations enable the learner to practice skills or behaviors in a risk-free environment.

Shelf Mark

Used in Library Catalogue records to indicate the location where a book is shelved. For books this usually consists of a Dewey Decimal Classification number followed by the first three letters of the author's surname. Some Shelf Marks include a prefix (e.g. Reference Area) indicating that the book is shelved in a separate sequence


Where materials are kept in call number order in the library.


Collectively, the shelves upon which books and other library materials are stored.

Short Loan

Used in Library Catalogue records to indicate Short Loan books, which can be borrowed for 4 hours or overnight, or over the weekend. Short loan books are kept in a separate Short Loan area at each campus library.


Scanable barcode on all issues of a serial, identifying volume and number.

Skill gap analysis

Compares a person's skills to the skills required for the job to which they have been, or will be, assigned. A simple skill gap analysis consists of a list of skills required along with a rating of the employee's level for each skill. Ratings below a predetermined level identify a skill gap.

Skills inventory

A list of skills or competencies that an individual posssess, usually created by self-evaluation.

Slow scan converter

A transmitter or receiver of still video over narrowband channels. In real time, camera subjects must remain still for highest resolution.

Soft skills

Business skills such as communication and presentation, leadership and management, human resources, sales and marketing, professional development, project and time management, customer service, team building, administration, accounting and finance, purchasing, and personal development.


A set of instructions that tell a computer what to do; a program.


A statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem

Source code

Program instructions written by a software developer and later translated (usually by a compiler) into machine language that a computer can understand.


(noun) Junk email that is sent, unsolicted and in bulk, to advertise products or services or publicize a message. The term may have originated from a Monty Python song. (verb) To send unsolicited bulk email to advertise products or services or publicize a message.

Spatial Data

Spatial data is data pertaining to the location and spatial dimensions of geographical entities.

Special Collections

Many libraries have materials which are not placed in the public stacks. These may be old, rare, or expensive. They may also be materials of a local or regional nature, or written by local authors. These materials may be available to the public, but usually special arrangements must be made in advance to view them.


A plan, instruction, or protocol for e-learning that's established or agreed upon. Specification is often used interchangeably with standard, but the two terms are not truly synonymous. Specifications become standards only after they've been approved by an accrediting agency.


Language for accessing information in a database and updating entries.


The shelves where books and bound periodicals are kept in call number order in the library. Also called ranges. Rows of shelves where the Library's collection is housed.


A person with a vested interest in the successful completion of a project. Stakeholders in e-learning often include the developer, the facilitator, the learners, the learners’ managers, customers, and so forth.


An e-learning specification established as a model by a governing authority such as IEEE or ISO to ensure quality, consistency, and interoperability.


The place in an online catalog record that tells you whether an item is available, checked out, etc.


Some databases automatically search for all of the words that come from the same "stem" word (also called "root" word) unless you indicate that you only want the word you entered. An example would be if you entered computer, the database would also search for computing, computers, computation, etc.

Stop Words

Stop words are small, frequently occurring words that are often ignored when typed into a database or search engine search. Some examples: THE, AN, A, OF. If a stop word is typed at the beginning of a title search, this will often stop the search entirely.


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

Streaming media (streaming audio or video)

Audio or video files played as they are being downloaded over the Internet instead of users having to wait for the entire file to download first. Requires a media player program.


The self-directed practice of reviewing instructional material (usually as a follow-up to instruction) to improve retention and understanding. Aims to increase or improve skills or knowledge in the long-term, although some people argue that studying only places information in the short-term memory and mainly serves the goal of improving performance on tests.

Style Manual

A book or web page that prescribes how materials used in research should be listed in a bibliography or Works Cited page.

Style sheets

In traditional print publishing and on the Web, style sheets specify how a document should appear, standardizing such elements as fonts, page layout and line spacing, repeated content, and so forth. Web style sheets help ensure consistency across Webpages, but HTML coding can also override the sheets in designated sections of the pages. Also see CSS.

Subject Heading

The word or phrase used to describe the subject content of a work.

Subject Headings

Words or phrases assigned to books and articles to describe what the item is about. These words and phrases come from controlled lists that are available in library reference areas so researchers can know which terms to use in their searches.

Superintendent of Documents Classification System

A system of arranging federal government publications in an alpha/ numerical order based on the name of the major issuing government department (such as Agriculture Department, Commerce Department, etc.).

Synchronous learning

A real-time, instructor-led online learning event in which all participants are logged on at the same time and communicate directly with each other. In this virtual classroom setting, the instructor maintains control of the class, with the ability to "call on" participants. In most platforms, students and teachers can use a whiteboard to see work in progress and share knowledge. Interaction may also occur via audio- or videoconferencing, Internet telephony, or two-way live broadcasts.


The dynamic energetic atmosphere created in an online class when participants interact and productively communicate with each other.

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