Mobile Learning Glossary

• 5 min read

Mobile Learning Glossary

Do you know what ‘chunking’ is, or audioblogging? Have you heard of an mLMS or BYOD? If it’s time you brushed up on your mobile learning vocabulary, read this comprehensive list of must-know terms! Here is a list of must-know terms to do with mobile learning:

The following is an excerpt from the just released – and free to download – m-learning report “Learning on the Go – tips and trends in m-learning



3G refers to third generation. It is the latest evolution in phone technology, following on from 1G analogue and 2G digital mobile phones. 3G offers high-speed data transfer rates which allows mobile broadband and two-way video calling.


An Accelerometer is generally used for measuring acceleration. Within a mobile phone the accelerometer detects the motion of the handset, and will auto rotate the display to show in landscape rather than portrait mode when the phone is rotated 90 degrees. This is ideal for viewing photos on the phone screen in full screen mode.


A blog that mainly publishes audio files (music or podcasting) sometimes with text and keywords for search engine optimization.


Bandwidth (the width of a band of electromagnetic frequencies) is used as a measurement for the amount of data that can be transmitted per unit of time. Any digital or analog signal has a bandwidth. To download a photograph in one second, a higher bandwidth is needed than to download a page of text in the same time.

(SAP Mobile Business Glossary)

Big data

Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.


BYOD refers to the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and to use those devices to access privileged company information and applications. The term is also used to describe the same practice applied to students using personally owned devices in education settings.



Bluetooth technology allows connections between electrical devices without the need for wires. The benefit includes car kits and headsets that can be connected to a mobile phone without the need for wires. Bluetooth is a short range technology, usually working up to a distance of 10 metres.


The process of separating learning materials into brief sections in order to improve learner comprehension and retention. (


A cookie is an information for future use given to a Web browser by a Web server and is stored by the server on the client side of a client/server communication. The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them.

(SAP Mobile Business Glossary)


In a mobile context, device includes PDAs, Palms, Pocket, PCs, cell phones or any hardware that provides location-independent access to information, applications or services. (SAP Mobile Business Glossary)

Digital Natives

A person for whom digital technologies already existed when they were born, and hence has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3s. (


Global Positioning System; refers to the use of satellite-to-handheld receiver signals to determine location.


An area where wireless service is made available for Wi-Fi enabled devices or computers to access the nternet.


HTML5 is a collection of proposed specifications for the next generation of HTML. Beyond this, HTML5 is used as a short-hand label for all that’s new with the Web, including CSS3 and changes to HTTP.


LTE and its successor LTE-A are cellular technologies that improve spectral efficiency and will push cellular networks to theoretical peak downlink speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Additional benefits include reduced latency. Real-world LTE speeds tend to be under 100 Mbps and early LTE-A trials have peaked at around 300 Mbps in best-case conditions.


Offline technology – in distinction to online – is used for scenarios with much more local business logic. Online working is only possible during the data synchronization and the changed data then will be stored on the device local.


Online means continuously online mobile web access. This kind of access makes sense for scenarios handling time sensitive data, needing only less data input or output without using databases.

Online on Demand

Online on Demand is a cached web access: offline data cache and online access whenever needed.


Most phones these days support Java. Java is a programming language, used for many games and programs such as web browsers and email programs that you can install on your phone.


EDGE is enhanced speed for data transfer across a GSM network. It can be seen as an alternative to 3G, and can be used to offer faster transfer rates by networks in areas where they do not have 3G coverage.


Mobile Learning Management System (mLMS) – a learning management system for mobile devices.


MP3 employs a compression technique, with bits of information being discarded to allow data to be compressed into files that are relatively small in comparison with .WAV files, but which retain subjective CD quality.

Mobile Application

A software application that runs in a handheld device such as a smartphone.

Multi-Touch input method

In mobile computing, multi-touch refers to the capability of a touchscreen (or a touchpad) to recognize two or more points of contact on the surface concurrently. The constant tracking of the multiple points allows the mobile phone interface to recognize gestures, which enable advanced functionality such as pinch-to-zoom.

Operating system (OS)

The base software of a computer device; mobile OSs include Palm OS, PocketPC, Android and Symbian.


A podcast is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication. (

QR Code

Quick Response Code (QR Code) is a two- dimensional bar code, which can be read and decoded with a camera.


Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).



A smartphone is a mobile communications device that uses an identifiable open OS. An open OS is supported by third-party applications written by a notable developer community. Third-party applications can be installed and removed, and they can be created for the device’s OS and application programming interfaces (APIs). Alternatively, developers must be able to access APIs through a discrete layer such as Java. The OS must support a multitasking environment and user interface that can handle multiple applications simultaneously. For example, it can display e-mail while playing music. (Gartner IT Glossary)


A touchscreen allows input to be made onto a device simply by pressing on the screen. Often the UI on the device will offer large icons which all correspond to a particular feature. To open that application you simply touch the screen where the icon is displayed.


We get the word Widget by combining Window and Gadget. A widget is a screen based control that is used to interact with a website or other systems. Widgets can be buttons, selection lists, sliders, etc.


WiFi is short for Wireless Fidelity, and is a term used to describe wireless standards for local network wireless connectivity.


XHTML is a reworking of HTML 4.0 designed to work as an application of XML. It allows anyone to create sets of markup tags for new purposes and provides a foundation for device-independent Web access.