Terminology and Definitions

Course relationship - A group of linked courses that can share access rules, completion requirements, certificates and credit. For example, a curriculum, a conference, or a set of linked e-learning modules.  The top level of a course relationship is known as the "parent" and courses below the parent are called "children." 

Admin menu - Set of controls displayed to users with admin privileges.  Typically takes the form of a list of links in a black box on the left side of the screen. This menu can be collapsed by clicking the "x" in the upper left corner of the menu when it is displayed, and can be expanded by clicking the wrench icon that is displayed when the menu is collapsed.

Alternative text- Provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader).

Author- Creator of content.

Block - Chunks of content that sit inside a page, can contain nodes, views, menus or static content.

Browser - Desktop or mobile software that renders the HTML into a viewable page. For example, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari. 

Cache - a way of saving commonly used elements into memory so that they don't have to be reprocessed by the server and database. This delivers the page much faster, but can cause changes not to appear immediately. Caching can happen at the database and browser.

  • How to clear your cache: In Internet Explorer, select from the top drop-down: Tools > Internet Options > Delete. Check “Temporary Internet Files” and click delete. 

  • Course grade - The course grade is set by configuring a quiz grade to be included in the final course grade. The course grade is the average of all the scores from course objects set to be included in the course grade.

Course Objects - A part of a course such as a pre-test, webcast, evaluation or certificate. 

Draggable Handle - An icon on an item that indicates it can be moved relative to other items.  The icon is a plus formed with four small arrows.  Here is an example of two items with draggable handles:


Keywords - Keywords are searchable in the site's search engine when the site is indexed. The site is indexed when the background process (cron) is set to run. This happens every 15 minutes.

Learning Group -  Learning groups group together learners with related educational content such as courses, discussions and news items around a common theme.

Machine Readable Name - A name containing only lower-case letters, numbers, and hyphens.  An example would be "link-to-help-page".  Learners never see these names.

Meta tags - In the context of search engine optimization, meta description and the meta keyword tags may help improve the rankings and display of your site in search engine results.

Navigation Menus / Menu Items - A list of links usually in the top or left of the page. Referred to as a "left nav" or a "top nav"

Node - An item of content, like a page, blog entry, course description, etc.

Panels - A custom page layout made up of nodes, blocks, views and other content.

Path - The part of the URL after the base address. eg. ( http://www.cnn.com/video/ )

Publishing - Publishing content allows learner access to the content.

Role - User roles are associated with user accounts as a way to tailor the EthosCE experience to the user. Roles grant permissions to the user (such as creating or editing content) and limit user access to areas of the site.

Tabs - A smaller, secondary horizontal menu usually formatted to look like folder tabs.

Token - A placeholder for data that is replaced with actual data.



Unpublishing - Unpublished content is not accessible to learners. Learners will receive an Access Denied message when attempting to access unpublished content.

Vertical Tabs - A smaller, secondary menu that is stacked vertically.

Views - A "view" or list of content pulled from the database, filtered and formatted.

Web Database - Software that stores site settings in memory or storage, such as user data, pages, menus. Usually MySQL.

Web Server - Software that delivers the HTML web page to your browser. Usually Apache.

Weight - Weight controls the order of multiple items. Each item has a number that represents where in the set of it appears. Bigger numbers “sink” to the bottom. Lower or negative number “float” to the top.

WYSIWYG editor- is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". This is the row of icons that appears above certain fields (for example Program description field of a Course) in order to stylize content, add links, and add images.