Language and Symbol Options

Many learners can find new, subject specific language and symbols challenging. To support all learners’ equitable participation and inclusion in a course, a glossary or legend or common terms, acronyms and/or symbols is very helpful. In addition, offering a glossary or legend of commonly used terms, acronyms, and/or symbols provides an accurate, time saving resource for learners and makes delivering content more efficient. In addition, this type of reference document can serve as a study aid and/or support more effective note taking.


There are a few ways to create a glossary or legend for language, symbols, acronyms, etc. for your course:

  1. Use an open document or page in the online course and list the common language/symbol/acronyms for the course, post it, and advise students that it exists and where.
  2. Develop a collaborative document within the online course site using discussions, pages, or collaboration functions and then invite learners to contribute to the glossary or legend as they come across language/symbol/acronyms that would benefit from clarification throughout the course.
  3. Recommend students create and update their own dictionary of language/symbol/acronyms to refer to as they work through course content throughout the semester. To guide this process, educators can create a template for learners to use to structure their glossary/legend for the course.