A glossary is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms. Traditionally, a glossary appears at the end of a book and includes terms within that book which are either newly introduced or at least uncommon.
Most courses contain technical terms, jargon and just plain weird words that mean nothing outside that curriculum area!
You could create a simple alphabetical list of definitions on a page on the VLE. This will allow learners to refer to a detailed list of defined terms.
Having said that, why create a glossary when there are quite good ones already online?
Biz/Ed – Business and Economics Glossary
Computer and Internet Glossary
Though a glossary list is useful many VLEs have a clever trick up their sleeves, an ability to create an integrated glossary into any learning content on the VLE.
All the learner needs to do then is click the highlighted text to read the definition, making life much simpler!
But isn’t creating a glossary hard work?
Well yes… but instead of creating your own, get the learners to create the definitions as part of an ongoing learning activity. A glossary built by the learners for the learners is going to be a excellent collaborative learning activity.
Learners could create multiple definitions and then rate them, with the highest rated being accepted for the final glossary.
They could use a wiki on the VLE or a discussion forum to create the glossary, or even a built-in glossary tool.
Another way to create a glossary would be work with colleagues across the country in creating a subject glossary.
A glossary on the VLE can be both a useful learning tool and the creation of one can be a stimulating learning activity.