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As specified in Section 508 of the 1998 Rehabilitation Act, the process of designing and developing Web sites and other technology that can be navigated and understood by all people, including those with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments. This type of design also can benefit people with older/slower software and hardware.
A set of programs from Adobe: 1) Acrobat Exchange is used for converting documents into PDF (portable document format) files that retain the original "look and feel" with special formatting, graphics, and color intact; and 2) Acrobat Reader is used for viewing and printing PDF formatted files such as the OIT user documentation; a program distributed via the OIT Software To Go web site. More information can be found at http://www.adobe.com.
A technology from Microsoft that links desktop applications to the WorldWide Web. Using ActiveX tools, interactive web content can be created. Example: In addition to viewing Word and Excel documents from within a browser, additional functionality such as animation, credit card transactions, or spreadsheet calculations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act; wide-ranging legislation intended to make society more accessible to people with disabilities. As web-based information continues to diversify, it is increasingly important that web pages be designed with consideration for different types of access. Recommendations for universally accessible design can be found at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) web site at http://www.cast.org.
Identifies the location of an Internet resource. Examples: an e-mail address (doe.999@osu.edu); a web address (http://www.osu.edu); or an internet address (128.146.999.9).
A short, easy to remember name created for use in place of a longer, more complicated name; commonly used in e-mail applications. Also referred to as a "nickname".
Either the starting point or the destination of a hyperlink (or link) within a document. Example: a highlighted word within an online help file may display additional information related to the word. This information is "anchored" to the highlighted word.
anonymous FTP:
Archive sites where Internet users can log in and download files and programs without a special username or password. Typically, you enter anonymous as a username and your e-mail address as a password.
A program capable of running on any computer regardless of the operating system. Many applets can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
A program designed for a specific purpose, such as word processing or graphic design.
ASCII file:
A file that can be opened and read by standard text editor programs (for example, Notepad or Simple Text) on almost any type of computer. Also referred to as "plain text files". Examples: documents saved in ASCII format within word processors like Microsoft Word or WordPerfect; e-mail messages created by a program like Eudora; or HTML files.
AT command set:
An industry standard set of commands beginning with the letters "AT" that are used to control a modem. Example: ATDT tells the modem to dial (D) using touch-tone dialing (T). ATDP specifies pulse dialing (P). Also referred to as the "Hayes Command Set".
In this context, a file that is sent along with an e-mail message. ASCII (plain text) files may be appended to the message text, but other types of files are encoded and sent separately (common formats that can be selected include MIME, BinHex, and Uuencode).
The process of identifying yourself and the verification that you're who you say you are. Computers where restricted information is stored may require you to enter your username and password to gain access..


A term that is often used to describe the main network connections that comprise the Internet or other major network.
A measurement of the amount of data that can be transmitted over a network at any given time. The higher the network's bandwidth, the greater the volume of data that can be transmitted.
baud rate:
The actual rate of signal changes per second between two modems. At one signal per second, 300 baud translates to 300 bits per second (bps). However, depending on the signal's code, a baud rate may have more than one bps rate.
Better Telnet:
A program for Macintosh distributed via the OIT Software To Go web site; enables you to open a telnet connection to a remote computer.
binary file:
A file that cannot be read by standard text editor programs like Notepad or Simple Text. Examples: documents created by applications such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect or DOS files with the extension ".com" or ".exe".
A common file format for Macintosh computers; it enables a binary file to be transferred over the Internet as an ASCII file. Using a program like Stuffit, a file can be encoded and renamed with an ".hqx" extension. The recipient uses a similar program to decode the file. The Eudora e-mail program automatically encodes and decodes files sent or received as BinHex attachments.
A binary digit (either 0 or 1); it is the most basic unit of data that can be recognized and processed by a computer.
blended learning:
Instruction that combines aspects of both face-to-face (F2F) and online learning experiences. An increasing number of courses at OSU now offer this type of mix.
Bitmap file; a common image format on Windows computers. Files of this type usually have the suffix ".bmp" as part of their name.
A feature available in certain programs like Internet Explorer, Netscape, and Acrobat Reader; it is a shortcut you can use to get to a particular web page (IE and Netscape) or to a specified location within a document (Acrobat).
A term applied to an e-mail message when it is returned to you as undeliverable.
Bits per second; the standard measure of data transfer speed. Example: a 9600 bps (9600 bits per second) modem. Often improperly referred to as the "baud rate".
A device used for connecting two Local Area Networks (LANs) or two segments of the same LAN; bridges forward packets without analyzing or re-routing them.
A high-speed Internet connection; at present, cable modems and DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines) are the two technologies that are most commonly available to provide such access.
A program used to access World Wide Web pages. Examples: Netscape or Internet Explorer.
Commonly used in electronic communications, an acronym meaning "by the way". Can be written in either upper- or lower case.
Buckeye Bundle:
A collection of software available to OSU faculty, staff, and students under the terms of an agreement between OSU and Microsoft. Buckeye Bundle includes products such as Office, FrontPage, Visual Studio Professional, and operating system upgrades for Windows. For more information, go to http://www.osu.edu/units/uts/site_license/mslicense or to http://www.osu.edu/bookstores/buckeyebundle.
On a multitasking system, a certain amount of RAM that is allocated as a temporary holding area so that the CPU can manipulate data before transferring it to a particular device.
Data that is collected but not made immediately available. Compare to a language translator who listens to a whole statement before repeating what the speaker has said rather than providing a word-by-word tranlsation. Example: Streaming media data viewable using a tool like RealMedia Player is buffered.
A group of adjacent binary digits that a computer processes as a unit to form a character such as the letter "z". A byte consists of eight bits.


cable modem:
A special type of modem that connects to a local cable TV line to provide a continuous connection to the Internet. Like an analog modem, a cable modem is used to send and receive data, but the difference is that transfer speeds are much faster. A 56 Kbps modem can receive data at about 53 Kbps, while a cable modem can achieve about 1.5 Mbps (about 30 times faster). Cable modems attach to a 10Base-T Ethernet card inside your computer.
Refers to: 1) a region of computer memory where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access; or 2) a optional file on your hard drive where such data also can be stored. Examples: Inernet Explorer and Netscape have options for defining both memory and disk cache. OIT provides caching of web pages via an HTTP proxy server at wwwcache.service.ohio-state.edu. The act of storing data for fast retrieval is called "caching".
Generally applies to a data input field; a case-sensitive restriction means lower-case letters are not equivalent to the same letters in upper-case. Example: "cat" is not recognized as being the same word as "Cat" or "CAT".
Computer-Based Training; a type of training in which a student learns a particular application by using special programs on a computer. Sometimes referred to as "CAI" (Computer-Assisted Instruction) or "CBI" (Computer-Based Instruction), although these two terms may also be used to describe a computer program used to assist a teacher or trainer in classroom instruction.
CD-R drive:
A type of disk drive that can create CD-ROMs and audio CDs. CD-R drives that feature multisession recording allow you to continue adding data to a compact disk which is very important if you plan on using the drive for backup.
Compact Disk, Read Only Memory; a high-capacity secondary storage medium. Information contained on a CD is read-only. Special CD-ROM mastering equipment available in the OIT Multimedia Lab can be reserved for creating new CDs.
CD-RW, CD-R disk:
A CD-RW disk allows you to write data onto it multiple times instead of just once (a CD-R disk). With a CD-R drive you can use a CD-RW disk just like a floppy or zip disk for backing up files, as well as for creating CD-ROMs and audio CDs.
Common Gateway Interface; a mechanism used by most web servers to process data received from a client browser (e.g., a user). CGI scripts contain the instructions that tell the web server what to do with the data.
Real-time communication between two or more users via networked-connected computers. After you enter a chat (or chat room), any user can type a message that will appear on the monitors of all the other participants. While most ISPs offer chat, it is not supported by OIT. However, the WebCT software supported by TELR does provide the capability for live chat among students participating in online courses.
Class Web Site Registry:
A local TELR web site that enables you to find web sites for Ohio State courses by entering one or more keywords (course title, course number, instructor's last name, or another keyword). You also can refine your search by selecting a specific deparment in a particular quarter/year. Access this search tool at http://telr.ohio-state.edu/apps/ClassWebsites.
A program or computer that connects to and requests information from a server. Examples: Internet Explorer or Netscape. A client program also may be referred to as "client software" or "client-server software".
client-server technology:
Refers to a connection between networked computers in which the services of one computer (the server) are requested by the other (the client). Information obtained is then processed locally on the client computer.
Course Management System; a software application that provides the functionality for designing and making available eLearning content. A course management system may include features such as discussions, e-mail, assignments, and quizzes in addition to making digitized resources easily accessible (e.g., multimedia files).
Compact Pro:
A file compression utility for Macintosh computers; files compressed using Compact Pro end with a ".cpt" extension.
COM port:
On an IBM PC or compatible computer, a serial port often used to connect a mouse or a modem.
The process of making a file smaller so that it will save disk space and transfer faster over a network. The most common compression utilities are PKZIP for IBM PC or compatible computers (.zip files) and Compact Pro (.cpt files) or Stuffit (.sit files) for Macintosh computers.
A term that commonly refers to accessing a remote computer; also a message that appears at the point when two modems recognize each other.
A small piece of information you may be asked to accept when connecting to certain servers via a web browser. It is used throughout your session as a means of identifying you. A cookie is specific to, and sent only to the server that generated it.
Course Sorcerer:
A web-based tool developed by University Technology Services at Ohio State. Course Sorcerer provides an easy way for faculty to create and deliver online assessment exercises and surveys to students. Features include reusable content; built-in grading and extensive feedback mechanisms; and student access to individual gradebooks for completing assignments and tracking progress. Course sections with an official OSU call number can be populatedand automatically updated with data from the Registrar's Office.
Software designed specifically for use in a classroom or other educational setting.
Central processing unit; the part of a computer that oversees all operations and calculations.
A special symbol that indicates where the next character you type on your screen will appear. You use your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the cursor around on your screen.
cut and paste:
A type of editing in which data is copied or moved from one location to another. Example: rearranging paragraphs within a document.
A term describing the world of computers and the society that uses them; coined by William Gibson in the fantasy novel "Necromancer".


A special small program that performs a specific task; it may run all the time watching a system, or it can take action only when a task needs to be performed. Example: If an e-mail message is returned to you as undeliverable, you may receive a message from the mailer daemon.
A collection of information organized so that a computer application can quickly access selected information; it can be thought of as an electronic filing system. Traditional databases are organized by fields, records (a complete set of fields), and files (a collection of records). Alternatively, in a Hypertext database, any object (e.g., text, a picture, or a film) can be linked to any other object.
Opposite of compressing a file; the process of restoring the file to its original size and format. The most common programs for decompressing files are PKUNZIP for IBM PC and compatible computers (.zip files) and Compact Pro (.cpt files) or Stuffit Expander (.sit files) for Macintosh computers. Certain DOS files with the extension ".exe" are self-extracting and do not require a program for decompressing. All Macintosh files with the extension ".sea" are self-extracting.
On computers like IBM PC or compatibles and Macintoshes, the backdrop where windows and icons for disks and applications reside.
dialog box:
Sometimes referred to as a window; on a graphical user interface system, an enclosed area displayed by a program or process to prompt a user for entry of information in one or more boxes (fields).
Dial-Up Adapter:
A network component within Windows that enables you to connect to a dial up server via a modem. Users running dial-up connections on Windows computers must have Dial-Up Adapter installed and properly configured.
dial up connection:
A connection from your computer that goes through a regular telephone line. You use special communications software to instruct your modem to dial a number to access another computer system or a network. May also be referred to as "dial up networking".
digital asset:
Intellectual content which has been digitized and can be referenced or retrieved online; for example, PowerPoint slides, audio or video files, or files created in a word processing application, etc.
Sometimes referred to as digital imaging; the act of translating an image, a sound, or a video clip into digital format for use on a computer. Also used to describe the process of converting coordinates on a map to x,y coordinates for input to a computer. All data a computer processes must be digitally encoded as a series of zeroes and ones.
Dual In-line Memory Module; a small circuit board that can hold a group of memory chips. A DIMM is capable of transferring 64 bits instead of the 32 bits each SIMM can handle. Pentium processors require a 64-bit path to memory so SIMMs must be installed two at a time as opposed to one DIMM at a time.
direct connection:
A connection from your computer directly to a network; much faster than a dial up connection. Examples: Most office computers in OSU buildings and many computers in dorms wired for ResNet have direct connections.
An area on a disk that contains files or additional divisions called "subdirectories" or "folders". Using directories helps to keep files organized into separate categories, such as by application, type, or usage.
discussion group:
Another term for an online newsgroup or forum. Also, the WebCT software supported by TELR provides the capability for online discussion groups relating to course sections.
A portable magnetic disk most often used for secondary file storage. Diskettes come in 3 1/2 inch and 5 1/4 inch sizes and in both high-density (DSHD) and double-density (DSDD) formats. Also referred to as a "floppy disk".
distance education:
May also be referred to as "online learning" or "eLearning." A means of instruction that implies a course instructor and students are separated in space and perhaps, in time. Interaction may be synchronous (facilitated) or asynchronous (self-paced). Students can work with various course materials, or they may use tools like chat or discussion groups to collaborate on projects.
distance learning:
The goal of distance education; distance learning and idstance education are often used interchangeably.
Acronym for the OSU Distributed Consultants Users Group.
Departmental network administrator; the person within an OSU department, college, or building responsible for networking services. Also referred to as a "SONNET administrator".
Domain Name System; a service for accessing a networked computer by name rather than by numerical address. Example: The name of the computer where many web files are located is www.osu.edu, while its numerical address is OIT maintains two primary DNS servers that facilitate this kind of lookup; the IP addresses are and
Part of an Internet address. The network hierarchy consists of domains and subdomains. At the top are a number of major categories (e.g., com, edu, gov); next are domains within these categories (e.g., ohio-state); and then there are subdomains. The computer name is at the lowest level of the hierarchy.
The process of transferring one or more files from a remote computer to your local computer. The opposite action is upload.
Dots per inch; a measure of a printer's resolution. The higher the number, the better the print quality. A minimum of 300 dpi usually is required for professional-looking results.
drag and drop:
The act of clicking on one icon and moving it on top of another icon to initiate a specific action. Example: opening a specific Eudora mailbox by moving its icon onto the Eudora icon.
Software from Macromedia used to build and manage websites and Internet applications.
Digital video disk; a type of compact disc that holds far more information than the CD-ROMs that are used for storing music files. A DVD can hold a minimum of 4.7 GB, enough for a full-length movie. MPEG-2 is used to compress video data for storage on a DVD. DVD drives are backward-compatible and can play CD-ROMs.


Extended Graphics Adapter; a card (or board) usually found in older PCs that enables the monitor to display 640 pixels horizontally and 350 vertically.
Electroning learning; applies to a wide scope of processes including Web-based learning, computer-based instruction, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. Content may be delivered in a variety of ways including via the Internet, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, and DVD- or CD-ROMs.
Electronic mail; the exchange of messages between users who have access to either the same system or who are connected via a network (often the Internet). If a user is not logged on when a new message arrives, it is stored for later retrieval. OIT offers e-mail as a service with an OSU Internet username and an e-mail program.
A combination of keyboard characters meant to represent a facial expression. Frequently used in electronic communications to convey a particular meaning, much like tone of voice is used in spoken communications. Examples: the characters :-) for a smiley face or ;-) for a wink.
Encapsulated PostScript; a graphics format that describes an image in the PostScript language.
error correction:
A feature available with MNP-standard modems; this helps to assure integrity of data transmissions over phone lines when connected to another error-correcting modem. The V.32 and V.42 standards also offer error recovery capabilities.
A popular network technology that enables data to travel at 10 megabits per second. Campus microcomputers connected to SONNET have Ethernet cards installed that are attached to Ethernet cabling. An Ethernet connection is often referred to as a "direct connection" and is capable of providing data transmission speeds over 500 Kbps.
Ethernet card:
An adapter card that fits into a computer and connects to Ethernet cabling; different types of adaptor cards fit specific computers. Microcomputers connected to SONNET have some type of Ethernet card installed. Example: computers in campus offices or in dorms rooms wired for ResNet. Also referred to as "Ethernet adapter".
Eudora Pro:
A client program for Macintosh and Windows distributed via the OIT Software To Go web site; enables you to compose, send, receive and store e-mail messages on your own computer.
Eudora Light:
The freeware version of the Eudora Pro client; the professional version distributed by OIT contains many extra features not available in the light version.
Microsoft's integrated fax and e-mail program designed for Windows.
expansion card:
Also referred to as an expansion board; a circuit board you can insert into a slot inside your computer to give it added functionality. A card can replace an existing one or may be added in an empty slot. Some examples include sound, graphics, USB, Firewire, and internal modem cards.
A suffix preceded by a period at the end of a filename; used to describe the file type. Example: On a Windows computer, the extension ".exe" represents an executable file.