Glossary of Learnosity and Industry Terms

Across the education technology industry, we know there are a lot of terms that can be commonly used but have subtly different meanings. In this document, we're explaining the meaning of these terms as we use them in the context of Learnosity, to ensure we're all on the same page.

Learnosity Glossary of Terms

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Learnosity actions are a category of executable code units that can be triggered by events within an Item. Actions such as “play”, “record”, or “next Item” can be automatically triggered. action builder The action builder allows the client to define actions to perform in response to events triggered within the Item. For example, playing an audio Question after a video.

Activity (Learnosity specific)

A Learnosity Activity is a group of Items which are presented to the student as a single assessment.

Activity builder

Activity builder is the interface that allows authors to build an Activity using templates, and set the configuration.

Activity description

The Activity description is an optional text element that will allow authors to enter more information about the Activity, which becomes searchable in the Activity list view. This is only viewable by authors and is not displayed in Assessment view. 

Activity editor

Activity editor is the interface that allows authors to build an Activity using templates, and set the configuration.

Activity ID

An Activity ID is used to group unique user sessions together. It is only required when submitting student responses to Learnosity and is mainly used for reporting purposes, to allow comparing results of users submitting the same assessment. Once submissions with the provided Activity ID are recorded, they can be used to generate reports or pull data using the Reports API and Data API. Many of the reports and endpoints that are available will require an Activity ID to be specified.

Activity list

An Activity list is the interface where authors can see a list of Activities.

Activity reference

An Activity reference is a unique reference code assigned to each individual Activity. The Activity reference is used to identify and activate Activities, once created using Author Site, Author API.

Activity template

An Activity template is a pre-defined collection of Items to be rendered as a single assessment. It can include configuration options to control the assessment’s behavior when presented. 

Activity template ID

An Activity template ID is the reference of the Activity definition stored to use as a template, to retrieve from the Item bank using Items API. The Activity template ID defines which Items will be served in this assessment. 

Learnosity Analytics

Learnosity Analytics is our analytics product, encompassing the Reports API and Data API, allows developers to create analytics and reporting for their education products.

API consumer

An API consumer is an account identity that is subordinate to a customer account, used to segregate the storage of student responses and sessions, control access to Learnosity APIs, and can be linked to one or many Item banks. One Learnosity customer account may have one or multiple API consumers, depending on your needs and licensing plan.

ARIA labels

ARIA labels refers to the use of metadata to give things names within the Accessible Rich Internet Applications technical specifications, which define how to increase the accessibility of web pages. Its full name is the Web Accessibility Archive - Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) specification. More information can be found in the Learnosity Blog.

Assess API

Assess API presents multiple Questions in a paged assessment format with navigation, time tracking, user flow management, reviewing progress and configurable accessibility options. The primary route for using this is via the Items API, Learnosity's top level assessments API.


A Learnosity assessment presents a set of Questions to a user and captures their responses. The assessment stack delivers robust digital assessment in your education product. The assessment stack offers configurable save, resume and submit functionality, which securely persists users’ assessment data in Learnosity’s infrastructure.

Learnosity Assessments

Our Assessments product, containing the Items API, provides simple and easy mechanisms to deliver assessments and capture student responses.

Author API

Author API enables customers to create and maintain Learnosity content inside their own authoring system. Customers can browse and search existing content and build Learnosity Items, then preview their rendering layout.

Author Guide

The Author Guide is the user documentation for the Author Site, Learnosity’s online, cloud-based Question authoring system.

Author Site

The Author Site is Learnosity’s cloud authoring solution, available at It is a standalone portal supporting Question and Item content creation and maintenance, testing and preview, search and browse, user security, organization switching and revision history.

Learnosity Author

A Learnosity product, containing our Author Site, and Author API.


client developer

A client developer is a developer that is integrating the Learnosity platform into their education product.

consumer key

A consumer key is a unique identifier supplied by Learnosity to be used when an API consumer is accessing Learnosity APIs.

consumer secret

A consumer secret is a unique code that is used like a "password" when an API consumer is accessing Learnosity APIs.


Data API

Data API provides full programmatic access to Learnosity assessment data. With JSON endpoints for creating, retrieving and updating persisted data objects, it allows you to create analytics and customized reporting.



end user

End users of an education product (powered by Learnosity), interact with Learnosity online assessments as part of their learning process.


Learnosity events are the software instantiation of actions associated with Learnosity API functionality (compliant with the xAPI specification).

Events API

Learnosity’s Events API provides a simple way to publish and subscribe events (compliant with xAPI) via Learnosity products or public methods to the Learnosity event bus.


Feature (Learnosity specific)

Learnosity Features are interactive components similar to Questions, except they do not capture a student response. Learnosity predefined Feature types include interactive calculators, rulers, text passages, protractors, embeddable audio players and video players.

formula keypad

The formula keypad is the Learnosity user interface for entering math formulae.


Item (Learnosity specific)

Learnosity Items are a container for multiple Questions and/or Features. Items define a layout for the included Questions and Features, which are used in preview, assessment and reporting views.

Item action See action.

Item bank

The Item bank is Learnosity’s store of Items which can be accessed to populate online assessments. The Item bank is secure, performant and hosted in the cloud.

Item pool

An Item pool is a “frozen” copy of an Item bank, that is not supposed to change once defined. This can be a way to define the final set of Items for an assessment.

Item editor

The Item editor is the interface where authors can create an Item by adding Questions and Features. Authors can set formatting, lay out columns and add dynamic content.

Item events

Item events are Events specific to Items API.

Item list

The Item list is an interface that shows authors a list of available Items.

Item preview

The Item preview allows authors to see how an Item will appear to the student or end user.

Item reference

An Item reference is a unique identifier assigned to each Item instance, used to activate the Item, once created.

Items API

Items API presents multiple Questions in a paged assessment format, providing navigation, time tracking, user flow management, reviewing progress and accessibility options. It also enables access to the Learnosity Item bank.


Question (Learnosity specific)

Learnosity Questions are interactive JavaScript components that capture a user response. The appearance and behaviour is easily defined using Learnosity visual authoring tools.

Question Editor API

Question Editor API is a tool for creating offline Questions stored in JSON format. Learnosity recommends customers implement their authoring experience via Author API.

Questions API

Questions API is a rendering system for displaying Learnosity Questions in the browser. We recommend customers use the more recent Items API, which uses Questions API in the background.


Regions (user interface)

A concept in Learnosity user interface configuration, which represents a fixed zone in the page view. Regions can be easily configured by adding or removing modular elements. For more information, see the help article Customizing the Assessment Player experience with User Interface Regions.

See also: regions (geographical).

regions (geographical)

A concept in domain hosting and content distribution networks, in Learnosity it refers to the region endpoint that you choose, to select servers that are geographically close to your customers (for improved latency and product responsiveness). For more information, see the Help article What Regions and Endpoints Should I Use?

See also: Regions (user interface).

Reports API

Reports API is for exploring results and building interactive dashboards for activities, individuals, classes, schools and large cohorts of learners.


A Learnosity response represents a student’s answer to a Question, for example, multiple choice answers selected by the student, or the text they provided for an essay Question.



A Learnosity score is the numeric grade assigned to a student’s response, or to a student’s whole session. Scores can be calculated automatically for most types of Questions.


A Learnosity session represents a unique attempt of an assessment by a student at a specific time. It records all the Questions presented to the student in that assessment, their responses to those Questions, as well as metadata about the assessment.


Tag (Learnosity specific)

Learnosity Tags allow you to categorise and manage the Items that you have created. Tags can also be used to set the parameters for Item selection for an individual assessment.

Tag name

A Tag name is a descriptive name for a Tag, chosen by the author.

Tag type

Learnosity Tag types allow you to create a hierarchy of Items. For example, a Tag type could be ‘Subject’ and the Tags below it could be ‘Math’, ‘English’, 'History' and so on.



A Learnosity Question or Feature.


Industry & Technical Glossary

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Application Programming Interface (API). An API is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software. In general terms, it is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components.



Backbone.js is a JavaScript library with a RESTful JSON interface and is based on the Model–View–Presenter (MVP) application design paradigm.



CK (Caldeira Knabben) Editor is a WYSIWYG rich text editor which enables writing content directly inside of web pages or online applications. "Caldeira Knabben" is the name of the original creator.
Learnosity context: Learnosity uses the CKEditor within Author API, Author Site and Question Editor API.


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language. It can control elements such as text formatting, placement of content, animations and transitions.



The Document Object Model (DOM) is a cross-platform and language-independent application programming interface that treats an HTML, XHTML, or XML document as a tree structure wherein each node is an object representing a part of the document. The objects can be manipulated programmatically and any visible changes occurring as a result may then be reflected in the display of the document.




Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. With Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript, it forms a triad of cornerstone technologies for the World Wide Web.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol / Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTP / HTTPS) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, and hypermedia information systems. HTTPS is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web.




JavaScript (often abbreviated as JS), is a high-level, interpreted programming language. It is a language which is also characterized as dynamic, weakly typed, prototype-based and multi-paradigm. Alongside HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the three core technologies of the World Wide Web.


jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.


JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is an open-standard file format that uses human-readable text to transmit data objects consisting of attribute–value pairs and array data types (or any other serializable value). Learnosity context: Most Learnosity content is served as JSON.



A Learning Management System(LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.


Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), a standard created by the Global Learning Consortium that links content and resources to learning platforms.




Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) is a form of an objective assessment in which respondents are asked to select only correct answers out of the choices from a list.


Model–view–controller (MVC) is an architectural pattern commonly used for developing user interfaces that divides an application into three interconnected parts.


Model–view–presenter (MVP) is a derivation of the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern, and is used mostly for building user interfaces.




Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment that executes JavaScript code server-side.




PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is a server-side scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language.



The Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification defines a standard format for the representation of assessment content and results, supporting the exchange of this material between authoring and delivery systems, repositories and other learning management systems. It allows assessment materials to be authored and delivered on multiple systems interchangeably.



React JS

React JS (sometimes React.js or ReactJS) is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces.


RequireJS is a JavaScript file and module loader. It is optimized for in-browser use, but it can be used in other JavaScript environments, such as Node.js.
Learnosity context: RequireJS is used to load custom JavaScript and CSS files for custom Questions.


Representational state transfer (REST) is an architectural style that defines a set of constraints and properties based on HTTP. Web Services that conform to the REST architectural style, or RESTful web services, provide interoperability between computer systems on the Internet.



What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG). A WYSIWYG editor is a system in which content (text and graphics) can be edited in a form closely resembling its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product, such as a printed document, web page, or slide presentation. Learnosity context: Learnosity provides a visual WYSIWYG editing environment for creating and updating Questions.


Wysihtml is a WYSIWYG rich text editor which enables writing content directly inside of web pages or online applications. Learnosity context: Learnosity uses Wysihtml as the authoring editor in certain situations.



Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) is part of the family of XML markup languages. It mirrors or extends versions of the widely used Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the language in which Web pages are formulated.


Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.

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