Common acronyms

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Common acronyms.

An alphabetical list of common acronyms that you may encounter when reading about or discussing Moodle, with links to more information where appropriate. Some of these are purely technical, with software development, open source origins; some are creations of the e-learning community, and others are part of online culture.

A to E

  • CMS - Course Management System (or more generally Content Management System), is the term for the category of software that Moodle belongs to. Some people prefer the terms Learning Management System or Community Management Systems to shift the focus from things to people, their interactions and aims.
  • CSS - Cascading Style Sheets, used to control the way web pages look.
  • CSV - Comma Separated Values, a simple text format for tabular data. Can be created and edited with Excel or, if done with care, any text editor.
  • CVS - Concurrent Versioning System, a software tool that allows many people to collaborate on and access program code over the internet.

F to H

  • FE - Further Education in the UK is post-16 non-compulsory education where institutions offer anything from low level basic training through to foundation degrees
  • FLOSS - Free, Libre and Open Source Software, an inclusive term that encompasses both Free Software and Open Source Software while emphasising that Free is intended to represent Freedom (Libre in Spanish) and not without cost (Gratis in Spanish).
  • GNU - Gnu's Not Unix - a unix-like operating system. Most "Linux" distributions are actually GNU/Linux. Moodle's "GPL" licence (see below) is based on the GNU GPL licence.
  • GPL - General Public Licence, the software licence under which Moodle is made available. Its intention is to ensure that people who sell or distribute Moodle (or other GPL software) share any modifications.
  • HE - Higher Education in the UK is post 18 non-compulsory education where students tend to study academic degrees at universities although other options are available
  • HTH - Hope that helps. Usually appears at the end of a post offering advice
  • HTML - HyperText Markup Language, which is used to write web pages.

I to M

  • IE - Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser
  • IMHO - In My Humble Opinion, a polite yet brief way to indicate in text communication that the preceding or following statement is not a statement of fact but merely expressing an opinion.
  • K-12 - Kindergarten through 12th grade, a North American term inclusive of both primary and secondary education, roughly encompassing students from age 4 to 18.
  • LAMP - Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. This is a very common set up for Moodle and indeed most webservers
  • MOODLE - Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, though over time it has become common to treat Moodle as a simple name and verb e.g. "let's Moodle" or "I've been Moodling" or "He's a Moodler". In fact in big dictionaries you can find it as a word meaning roughly a cross between musing and doodling.

N to Z

  • RSS - Really Simple Syndication is a family of XML web feeds and can be used to receive forum posts and podcasts
  • SQL - Structured Query Language, used to describe the information you wish to retrieve from a database.
  • TCO - Total Cost of Ownership, a measure of cost that aims to be more comprehensive and useful than purchase price by including many other costs over time. Unfortunately while purchase price is usually factual and objective, a TCO necessarily relies on assumption, projections and estimates. This leads to them being highly subjective and you should evaluate the methodology applied in any such calculation before concluding if it applies to your own situation.
  • PHP - PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, a programming language used extensively in the creation of Moodle. That the P in PHP also stands for PHP is an obscure programmer in-joke.
  • VLE - Virtual Learning Environment, a term popular in the UK which is roughly interchangeable with Course Management System, Learning Management System, Learning Platform or Online Learning Environment.
  • XML - Extensible Markup Language