training

Glossary

ADDIE

Instructional System Design framework which provides guidelines to develop and deploy effective learning program. This classic model consisting of the following 5 main phases: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation.

ANALYSIS

This phase consists of the process of collecting insights and data that answers the who, what, where, why and how type questions. In addition, this analysis should identify the business goals along with the problems to address and gap between the current state of affairs and the desired future state to achieve.

ANDRAGOGY

The collection of theories and practices relating to the education of adult learners. It was popularized by Malcolm Knowles, a leader in the field.

ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING

A learning context in which the exchanges between the instructor and learners do not happen in a simultaneous manner nor typically within the same geographic location.

AUTHORING TOOL

Software programs allowing Learning & Development professionals to create, package and disseminate eLearning courseware to end-users. Popular authoring tools include Adobe Captivate, Camtasia and Articulate Storyline.

BEHAVIORAL OBJECTIVE

Learning objectives that specify the new behaviors learners should be able to demonstrate upon completion of a training program.

BEHAVIORISM

A psychological approach to the understanding one’s behavior. It is based on the premise that learning occurs primarily through the reinforcement (positive or negative) of desired responses. B.F. Skinner is often associated to the study of behaviour.

BLENDED LEARNING

A training strategy that consists of a blend or mix of various delivery modalities. For example, a blended training strategy may include a self-directed component at an introductory phase followed by an in-class workshop, and then concluding with synchronous online review sessions.

BLOOM, BENJAMIN

An influential American academic educational psychologist who made important contributions to the classification of educational objectives.

BLOOM’S TAXONOMY

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom developed a “taxonomy of educational objectives” which classified the different learning objectives into 6 categories: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

CASE STUDY

Learning tool that provides a fictitious or real scenario from which learners are required to conduct an analysis, draw conclusions and recommend solutions.

COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE (CoP)

Group of people who share a common area of interest and who engage with each other in a collective sharing of their knowledge and experiences to learn.

COGNITIVISM

A theoretical framework that attempts to answer how and why people learn through the process to cognitive activity. This theory focuses on the human mind, specifically relating to the mental processes of thinking, knowing, memory and problem-solving.

COMPETENCY-BASED LEARNING

Training approach that focuses on learners’ competencies. This approach entails the analysis, validation and evaluation of the competencies required to align with what is considered successful performance. Learners need to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills required for a particular competence.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS)

A computer software system that supports multiple users working collaboratively.  A CMS organizes and facilitates the creation and management of digital content. Typical features include publishing, version control, indexing as well as search and retrieval.

DATA COLLECTION

Process of gathering and analysing a collection of data to be used for various types of analyses and assessments. Some examples of data-collection methods are examinations of extant date or in-house or external documentation, information, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and observations of on-the-job employees.

DEVELOPMENT

Phase of the ADDIE framework which consists of all the tasks relating to the development, validation and testing of the learning materials and instructional tools required to meet the learning objectives defined in the Design phase.

DISTANCE LEARNING

An educational situation whereby the instructor and learners may be separated by time and/or geographic location. Distance learning can be conducted in either synchronous or asynchronous mode.

EBBINGHAUS, HERMANN

Hermann Ebbinghaus was a German psychologist who pioneered the experimental study of memory. In 1885, he discovered that information is exponentially forgotten from the time learners consume it.

ELECTRONIC PERFORMANCE SUPPORT SYSTEM (EPSS)

A software program that provides employees just-in-time, on-demand guidance or step-by-step directives to support their on-the-job performance.

E-LEARNING

The delivery of a learning program via electronic technologies. Delivery can be synchronous or asynchronous, self-directed or facilitated by an instructor. Examples include web-based learning, computer-based training and virtual classrooms.

EVALUATION

Final phase of the ADDIE framework which consists of all the tasks relating to the gathering information about the effectiveness of a training program. Results are used to improve the learning experience (participant reactions), determine if learning objectives have been achieved (learning/behavior) and assess the value of the training to the organization (results / ROI).

EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE

Articulated knowledge that has been documented in some form such as in words, mathematical equations, musical notes, etc., which can then be readily shared with others.

EXTANT DATA

Refers to archival or existing records, reports, and data that may be available inside or outside an organization. Examples include job descriptions, annual reports, mission statements, surveys, performance appraisals, turnover rates, absenteeism, complaints, suggestion box feedback, accident reports and so forth.

FACILITATION

Refers to the work of an educator or trainer who guides and makes learning process easier, both in content and in application of the content.

FLEMING, NEIL

A teacher from New Zealand who enhanced and designed the VARK model questionnaire to determine one’s preferred learning styles.

FORGETTING CURVE

The forgetting curve, developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus, hypothesizes the decline of memory retention over time. This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. It shows that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material.  So one way to increase memory strength is through repetition based on active recall (spaced repetition).

FORMATIVE EVALUATION

An assessment of the effectiveness of a training program while the program materials are being developed. Examples of formative evaluations include pilots as well as technical and production reviews.

GAGNE, ROBERT

Robert Gagné was an American educational psychologist best known for his Conditions of Learning.

GAGNE’S NINE EVENTS OF INSTRUCTION

Developed by Robert Gagne, a leader in the field of instructional design. His nine instructional events of instruction are designed to help ensure that learning occurs:

  • Gain attention (reception)
  • Inform learners of the objective (expectancy)
  • Stimulate recall of prior learning (retrieval)
  • Present the stimulus (selective perception)
  • Provide learning guidance (semantic encoding)
  • Elicit performance (responding)
  • Provide feedback (reinforcement)
  • Assess performance (retrieval)
  • Enhance retention and transfer (generalization).

GAP

The discrepancy between desired state and current state. For example, the gap between current knowledge, skills, and performance and that of desired knowledge, skills, and performance.

GAP ANALYSIS

Crucial activity that is carried out during the Analysis phase. This involves the identification of what the current state versus desired state is; what are the driving forces that can facilitate and constraining forces that can hinder the closing of this gab; as well as the possible methods that can be used to secure this change.

GARNER, HOWARD

Howard Gardner is an American developmental psychologist and professor of education at Harvard University who developed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983.

GILBERT, THOMAS

Thomas F. Gilbert was an American psychologist who is often known as the founder of the field of performance technology. He identified six factors that can hinder or facilitate workplace performance.

GILBERT’S BEHAVIOR ENGINEERING MODEL

This model was developed by Thomas Gilbert and identifies six factors that can either hinder or facilitate workplace performance. These work environment related factors include:  access to information, resources, incentives, knowledge and skills, capacity, and motivation.

ICEBREAKER

Fun activity conducted at the beginning of a training program to alleviate tension, introduce participants to one another, and in general help participants ease into the program.

IMPLEMENTATION

Phase of the ADDIE framework which consists of all the tasks relating to the deployment of the training program. Tasks may include but not be limited to scheduling & coordination, trainer readiness, printing of learning materials, travel, training delivery, etc.

INFORMAL LEARNING

Learning that occurs outside a structured learning program or institutional setting. This occurs naturally in everyday life and on the job through observing others, trial-and-error, as well as talking and collaborating with others.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER

Professional who applies a systematic methodology based on instructional theory to create learning programs.

INSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEMS DESIGN (ISD)

A systems approach to analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating any instructional/learning experience.

JOB AID

Learning tools, whether documents, videos, checklist that provide guidance relating to when and how to carry out specific tasks that may not be performed regularly or that are complex in nature. Job aids are very helpful on-the-job especially in minimizing errors and slowing down productivity.

KIRKPATRICK, DONALD

Donald Kirkpatrick was a Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin. He is best known for his highly influential ‘four level’ model for training evaluation, which was the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation in 1954. The four levels of evaluation are: reaction, learning, behavior and results.

KNOWLES, MALCOLM

An American Adult Educator and considered the father of adult learning theory. He defined six assumptions about adult learning and published The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species in 1973.  These assumptions include:  the need to know (the why), foundation (experience), self-concept (self-directed), readiness (relevance), orientation (problem-centered) and motivation (intrinsic).

LEARNING CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LCMS)

An LCMS is a central software platform for multiple users to access, develop, manage and publish educational content.

LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LMS)

A software technology for delivering courses or training events to learners while performing learning administration functions such as course management, catalogs, tracking of learners’ progress and performance, as well as reporting.

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

Clear, measurable statements of behavior that a learner must demonstrate or knowledge that a learner must acquire for instruction to be considered a success.

LEARNING STYLES

Individual’s preference to learning that involves the way one behaves, feels and processes information. There are several theories and models that focus on this. Examples include the VARK model, the multiple intelligences model and the brain-based approach to learning.

LEVEL 1 EVALUATION: REACTION

The first level of Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Evaluation Model, which measures participants’ reaction to and level of satisfaction in relation to a learning event or training program. This evaluation is sometimes referred as the Smiley Evaluation.

LEVEL 2 EVALUATION: LEARNING

The second level of Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Evaluation Model, which determines whether participants learned what was intended for them to learn as a result of a training session. It measures the participant’s acquisition of cognitive knowledge and/or behavioral skills.

LEVEL 3 EVALUATION: BEHAVIOR

The third level of Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Evaluation Model, which measures the degree to which learners are able to transfer their learning to their on-the-job behaviors.

LEVEL 4 EVALUATION: RESULTS

The fourth level of Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Evaluation Model, which measures the effect of the learning on organizational performance.

LIKERT SCALE

Named after its inventor, psychologist Rensis Likert, this linear scale is used in data collection to rate statement and attitude responses. For example, respondents receive a definition of the scale from 1 to 5.

MAGER, ROBERT

An American psychologist and author of Preparing Objectives for Programmed Instruction in 1962.  He developed a framework of developing learning objectives, which should contain of three components:

  • Performance (Behavior): what learners should be able to do after instruction
  • Condition: condition(s) under which the learning is to occur
  • Criterion (Standard): how well the learner must perform in order to be acceptable.

For example:  Given a stethoscope and a normal clinical environment, the medical student will be able to diagnose a heart arrhythmia in 90% of effected patients.

MASLOW, ABRAHAM

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who developed the theory of the human’s hierarchy of prioritized needs from fulfilling innate human needs culminating in self-actualization.

MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

A theory introduced by Abraham Maslow in 1954 in his book Motivation and Personality. This hierarchy comprises of the following 5 levels of human needs: physiological, safety/security, social/belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. Lower level needs need to be met before progressing to higher level growth needs.

McGREGOR, DOUGLAS

Douglas McGregor was a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who contributed much to the development of the management and motivational theory. He is best known for his Theory X and Theory Y as presented in his book ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’ in 1960.

MOBILE LEARNING

Learning that takes place via such wireless technologies as smartphones, tablets, iPads, and laptop computers.

MODULE

The smallest unit of instruction/learning which provides targeted content and practice relating to predefined learning objectives. A module (also known as lesson) consists of learning objectives, knowledge & task content, practice activities and an evaluation mechanism to determine whether the objectives were met.

MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE THEORY

Purported by Howard Gardner in Frames of Mind in 1985, this theory describes how intelligences reflect how people prefer to process information. Gardner proposed eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential including:

  • Visual-Spatial intelligence
  • Linguistic intelligence
  • Logical-Mathematical intelligence
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence
  • Musical intelligence
  • Interpersonal intelligence
  • Intrapersonal intelligence
  • Naturalist intelligence

NEEDS ANALYSIS

Phase of the ADDIE framework which consists of all the tasks relating to the front end analysis. It is the process of collecting and synthesizing data to identify how training can help an organization reach its business goals. Analysis typically involves but is not limited to stakeholder analysis, gap analysis, task analysis, extrant data analysis, risk analysis, and so forth

PEDAGOGY

The theories and practices relating to teaching children.

PROXEMICS

The study of special distances as these relate to the cultural, behavioral, and sociological aspects. For example, perceptions of appropriate spatial distances vary by country and culture.

ROLE PLAY

A group learning activity in which learners act out roles, attitudes or behaviors to practice skills or apply something they learned. Typically, an observer provides feedback to those in character.

SCOPE CREEP

Work or deliverables that are added to a given project that were not part of the original project requirements or that were not added through a formal change request process.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING

Learning in which the student determines their own pace, timing and/or location of their education on a given topic.

SMILE SHEET

A nickname for the form used in Level 1 evaluation of instructors’ performance and overall training experience.

STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW)

A formal document that defines the work activities, deliverables, resources and timeline a supplier must implement for a given client. The SOW typically includes detailed requirements and costs, with terms and conditions as well as assumptions.

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT (SME)

An individual who has extensive knowledge, experience and/or skills in a particular subject area.

SUMMATIVE EVALUATION

Evaluation that assesses the proficiency of learners at a specific point following training. Summative evaluations are useful to diagnose weaknesses, learning gaps and areas to revisit.

SURVEY

A series of questions sent to a targeted group of people to gain insights about their thoughts and opinions on a topic.

SYNCHRONOUS TRAINING

Occurs when the instructor and the learners participate in a training event at the same time. This term is typically employed when describing to real-time web-based training.

TACIT KNOWLEDGE

Type of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. It relates to personal knowledge gained through experience. For example the ability to speak a language or to play a musical instrument.

TASK ANALYSIS

Examines a single task within a job and breaks it down into the actual steps of performance.

TERMINAL OBJECTIVE

These are the main high-level objectives learners need to master from a learning program.  Typically there are between 5 and 9 for a given learning program. These in turn, are then broken down into several subordinate objectives or enabling objectives.

THEORY X

A theory developed by Douglas McGregor relating to human motivation about work. This theory states that employees are inherently lazy, dislike work, and will avoid it if they can. Adherence to this Theory X implies close supervision and tight control of employees by their managers.

THEORY Y

Theory also developed by Douglas McGregor, and as opposed to Theory X, postulates that most people are self-motivated and enjoy working and will work to achieve goals to which they are committed, especially if rewards result from the achievement of those goals.

VARK MODEL

Designed by Neil Fleming, this model is a categorization of 4 learning styles: visual (learners need pictures, diagrams, and other visuals), aural (learners need to hear information), read/write (learners need to read or write), and kinesthetic (learners need hands-on learning). Some people learn primarily through one learning style, others through a combination of some or all.

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM

An online learning space where learners and instructors interact synchronously.

WEB-BASED TRAINING (WBT)

Educational content delivered via a web browser over the Internet, a private intranet, or an extranet.

WIIFM

Acronym for “What’s in it for me?” It is often used to determine the individual benefits or “wins” derived from the learners’ perspective in participating in a training program.

WIKIS

A website that enables collaborative modification by users of its content and structure directly from a web browser.