Technology-Related Terms Every Community College Trustee Should Know

Board Buzzwords - Technology

Technology-Related Terms Every Community College Trustee Should Know

blockchain technology

refers to  new technology applied to individual academic records and assessments.  Blockchain technology is a decentralized network technology in which the same data is recorded and maintained on multiple nodes (computers connected to the network) that are geographically isolated from one another. Often peer- to- peer (P2P) exchange platforms are set up in conjunction in such a way that tampering with the data is difficult.   At Central New Mexico community College, block chain technology provides students with a secure digital record of their accomplishments. The Lumina Foundation encourages blockchain to help students prove their credentials.

College Scorecard

is a national effort to help students navigate selection of their postsecondary education by providing a variety of information about individual colleges and universities including costs, earnings data, etc. The Scorecard’s intent was to make it easy for students to search for a college that is a good fit for them and to find out more about a college’s affordability. All debt data is now included.


Dashboards organize and present information in a way that is very easy to use and read. Individual college. Dashboards typically register indicators of student success to show how well students are doing at a college. Dashboards often provide at-a-glance views of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a particular objective or s process. "Dashboard" is another name for "progress report" or "report." Complete College America maintains a data dashboard that explores common college completion metrics for states.

degree audit

is a process to identify all of the requirements for a degree, including (but not limited to) credit hours, required coursework, core and major requirements, residency requirements and other elements. The audit to track progress toward degree completion identifies if a requirement has or has not been fulfilled or if it is in progress. An efficient and fast degree audit can be an automated system.

digital badge

an indicator of accomplishment or skill that can be verified online. Databases of information can be used to highlight credentials, training and signal learning achievements by students and others are currently being developed and tested by online websites and institutions of higher education.  Digital badges were developed to help employers identify real-world skills that learners have achieved.

digital divide Or Digital Divide

refers to the gap between those who have access to a variety of information and communications technologies and those who do not. (See homework gap)

disruptive innovation

technological advancement or change intended to improve upon or offer different approaches which disrupts long standing models of teaching and learning and education in general and particularly those innovations that create a new market that overshadows existing markets. Leaders, even Congress, are finding difficulty in keeping up with all the changes and disruption to conventional or traditional ways of teaching and learning.  Much of the disruption is emerging from outside higher ed and students are increasingly predicted to be getting a job to get a college degree rather than going to college to get a job.

distance learning

delivering instruction where students are not physically present: mail, email, online, video, etc.

dual credit

simultaneously earning credits for high school and college. See dual enrollment below.


A learning system based on formalized teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as E-learning.

educational deserts

a concept highlighting the importance of geography in shaping the educational equity and opportunity available to place-bound students typically in rural areas where access to educational opportunity is limited.

experiential learning

learning through experience, learn by doing and reflecting on doing; assumes a more active role by the learner. Internships and service learning are forms of experiential learning.

homework gap

terms which refers to the estimated percentage of U.S. students who do not have access to computers at home or home access to broadband internet. This gap is part of what is called the digital divide.

IoT – Internet of Things

refers to the connectedness of devices based on placement of sensors into appliances and other “smart” places. Issues surrounding IoT include privacy issues. More and more IoT is being touted for its communications opportunities.

Learning Management System (LMS)

software for the administration, documentation, tracking and reporting and delivery of educational programs;  helps manage administration, tracking, reporting and delivering of courses, lessons and tests. Learning management systems were designed to identify training and learning gaps, utilizing analytical data and reporting.


mobile learning ; even though the learner may be static, in one place, the term refers to learning on mobile devices and is considered by many to be a form of eLearning. mLearning opportunities can be small components, activities or events within any mode of delivery.


“micro" online certification programs


Open Educational Resources or open source: usually referred to textbooks and learning resources produced with publicly available material that is free or at low cost to make college more affordable.   Some even predict that colleges will eliminate traditional textbooks in the next decade.

on-demand learning

is a training strategy for how a learner gains access to knowledge-based content in real time, anywhere and at any time.


Physical plus digital, phigital is a marketing term blending digital experiences with physical ones. Generation Z is considered the first generation to be fully phigital or unable to distinguish between the physical world and a digital one.

real-time collaboration

is a term used for software or technologies that allow multiple users to work together on a project in real time, or simultaneously.

synchronous learning

refers to learning techniques where instructions and learning occurs at the same time, but not in the same place. For example, educational video conferences, interactive webinars, chat-based online discussions, and lectures that are broadcasted at the same time.

unit record system

refers to the system used to provide information for prospective student and families about employment outcomes, particularly about jobs and earnings of students in specific majors at specific institutions.

web conferencing

is an online service by which you can hold live meetings, conferencing, presentations and trainings via the internet.