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Glossary

A

  • Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD): a professional organization where members learn, teach, share, publish and connect with others in human resource development (ahrd.org)

  • action planning: a method for identifying tasks that support project goals

  • ADDIE model: a waterfall learning framework with five phases: analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate

  • Adobe Captivate: an authoring tool commonly used to produce eLearning (adobe.com/products/captivate.html)

  • Adobe Suite: a collection of software programs that includes graphic design, video editing, and web development applications (adobe.com)

  • adult learning theory: a set of guiding principles and best practices for teaching adult learners

  • agile: an iterative design framework that works best for complex projects with many "unknowns" that need to be tested

  • analysis: the first phase of the ADDIE model in which learning professionals gather and analyze data to discover organizational and learner insights that drive the design of learning solutions

  • assessment: an evaluation or measurement used to determine how well learners are mastering defined learning objectives

  • assessment instruments: activities developed to evaluate or measure the learner's competence against the learning objectives (e.g. quiz, exam, project, portfolio)

  • assessment specialist: a professional who specializes in the creation and administration of assessments

  • assessment strategy: a high-level plan to evaluate learner mastery of defined learning objectives

  • Articulate 360: an authoring tool commonly used to produce eLearning (articulate.com)

  • Association for Talent Development (ATD): a professional organization that connects members around the world with one another, webinars, conferences, training, and resources (td.org)

  • Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT): a professional organization that provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of ideas for members in the fields of instructional and educational technology (aect.org)

  • authoring tool: a software program that enables users to create learning content, lessons and courses using text, media, and interactions (also known as a course authoring tool)

B

  • behaviorism: a learning theory that asserts learning is a change in observable behavior through interaction with the environment

  • blended learning: a learning approach that combines multiple delivery methods (e.g. traditional face-to-face learning and eLearning)

  • Bloom's taxonomy: a set of hierarchical domains (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains) used for classification of educational learning objectives into levels of complexity and specificity

C

  • Camtasia: a software suite for creating and recording video tutorials and screencasts (techsmith.com)

  • Canva: a free online graphic design tool (canva.com)

  • Cathy Moore: an internationally recognized training designer who helps professionals make an impact by solving performance problems and challenging learners (blog.cathy-moore.com)

  • carousel: a multimedia interaction where users click or scroll through visual media (e.g. images, video)

  • case study: an in-depth, detailed examination of a complex issue in a real-life context

  • Christopher Pappas: the founder of a leading publishing platform delivering industry-specific content to eLearning professionals and founder of a large online community of eLearning professionals (elearningindustry.com/members/christopher-pappas)

  • Christy Tucker: an industry influencing learning experience design consultant who combines storytelling and technology to create engaging learning experiences (linkedin.com/in/christytucker)

  • client: a person or group that uses the professional advice or services of another

  • client brief: the first meeting where all project team members and key stakeholders gather together to define the scope, resources, constraints, process, and plan of the project; also known as a project kickoff meeting or discovery meeting

  • cognitive domain: 

  • Connie Malamed: an industry influencing learning experience design consultant, author, and speaker in the fields of online learning, visual communication and information design (linkedin.com/in/conniemalamed/)

  • consultant: a person or group who provides specialized advice or services

  • content curation: the process of gathering information relevant to a topic or area of interest and sharing the information in a structured way

  • content outline: a detailed overview of what will be included in the training course or lesson

  • contractor: a person or company that undertakes a contract to perform a service or do a job

  • Craig Weiss: an industry leading professional who is influential in the areas of eLearning and Learning Management Systems (elearninfo247.com)

  • critical success factor: an element that is necessary for an organization or a project to achieve its goal

  • cognitive learning theory: an idea that learning is a result of changes to a learner's thoughts and interactions with others

  • connectivism: an idea that learning is a result of the learner connecting with others through various means

  • constructivism: an idea that learning is a result of processing new learning experiences using prior knowledge and experience

  • curriculum: a course of study that includes the collection of lessons, assessments, and other learning experiences

  • curriculum designer or developer: a professional who creates educational content and guidelines for training and educational programs

D

  • David Kelly: the Executive Vice President and Executive Director for The eLearning Guild (davidkelly.me)

  • data analysis: the process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with analytical and statistical tools to discover useful information, inform conclusions, and support decision-making

  • deliverables: materials to be developed for a learning solution (e.g. facilitator guide, participant guide, job aids, videos,  eLearning modules)

  • delivery format: the modality used to deliver instruction (e.g. instructor-led training, virtual instruction, eLearning)

  • detailed design: a blueprint for a learning experience that typically includes the following elements: purpose, instructional strategy, audience, duration, prerequisites, source content, media, deliverables, learning objectives, content outline, and assessment strategy

  • design: a phase in the ADDIE model wherein learning professionals design learning solutions; tasks often include creating high-level and detailed designs that are reviewed and approved by stakeholders and subject matter specialists

  • design session: an interactive session (typically between designers and clients) to brainstorm and reach consensus on critical design decisions (e.g. audience, project scope, instructional strategies and methods, assessment strategies)

  • developer: a professional who identifies technology requirements, resources, and constraints and who uses storyboards to develop digital learning assets using code and/or software

  • development: a phase in the ADDIE model wherein learning professionals produce print and/or digital assets (e.g. facilitator presentations, visual presentations, videos, eLearning courses)

  • Devlin Peck: a social media influencer in the learning industry who helps designers upskill in instructional design (devlinpeck.com)

  • Dick and Carey model: a task-based learning design framework often used in educational institutions that includes nine steps: define learning goals; conduct learning analysis; identify prerequisites and learner characteristics; write performance objectives; develop criterion-referenced assessments; develop instructional strategies; create and curate instructional materials; gather learning data; and refine the learning experience.

  • discovery meeting: the first meeting where all project team members and key stakeholders gather together to define the scope, resources, constraints, process, and plan of the project; also known as a project kickoff meeting or client brief

  • duration: the estimated time of a learning experience overall as well as its individual parts (e.g. module, activity)

E

  • educational technology: technology that is used to deliver learning

  • eLearning: learning that is delivered through digital media

  • eLearning designer: a learning professional who specializes in the design and development of eLearning, typically using software (as opposed to code)

  • eLearning developer: a learning professional who specializes in the development of eLearning using code and/or software

  • Elliott Masie: a workplace learning expert and head of MASIE learning foundation (masie.com)

  • evaluation: the final phase of the ADDIE model in which learning professionals evaluate learner satisfaction, mastery of the objectives, skills transfer, and return on expectations (ROE) and/or investment (ROI)

  • experiential learning theory: a learning theory that asserts learning requires learners to experience, think, reflect and act

F

  • facilitator: a person or group that leads instruction (e.g. trainer, teacher)

  • focus group: a small group of a target audience who attend a session in which learning professionals ask them questions to gather quantitative and qualitative data that can be used to create learner personas and learning solutions

  • formative assessments: assessments that are used to monitor and guide learning during the instructional process (e.g. quiz, practice activities)

  • freelancer: a professional who works on client projects on a contract basis

G

  • Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: a model created by Robert Gagne that outlines nine instructional events to help learners process information; steps include gaining attention, stating objectives, recalling prior learning, presenting content, providing guidance, allowing for practice, delivering feedback, assessing performance, and enhancing retention and transfer of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs)

  • generalist: a learning professional who participates in most or all phases of a learning project (as opposed to a specialist, who offers expertise on a subset of learning design and development tasks)

H

  • humanism: a learning theory that asserts learning should consider a learner's personal experiences, knowledge, learning goals, and motivations

I

  • independent study: learning that can be completed with little or no supervision

  • infographic: a visual depiction of data or information

  • International Society for Talent Improvement (ISPI): a non-profit membership organization with a focus on organizational performance (ispi.org)

  • instructional design: a systematic approach to the development of learning experiences and materials; also known as instructional systems design

  • instructional designer: a learning professional who conducts learning analysis, designs learning solutions, developers instructional materials, assists with instructional delivery, and conducts learning product and program evaluations

  • instructional methods: methods for delivering content and instruction (e.g. case studies, discussion, projects) 

  • instructionally sound: a designation given to learning products and programs that follow best practices (e.g. learning activities and assessments properly support measurable learning objectives)

  • instructional strategy: techniques used to facilitate learning (e.g. demonstration, spaced repetition, didactic questioning)

  • instructional systems design: a systematic approach to the development of learning experiences and materials; also known as instructional design

  • instructional technologist: a learning professional who specializes in using technology to deliver learning experiences

  • implementation: a phase in the ADDIE model wherein learning professionals (e.g. trainers, virtual training hosts) execute a learning product or program

  • iterative design / development: a process approach where teams draft and refine several versions of a product or deliverable before it is reviewed and approved for implementation

J

K

  • key decision maker: a stakeholder with significant influence over project approval (e.g. a business leader)

  • KSA: knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required to accomplish a goal or objective

L

  • Laura Overton: a learning industry leader, international speaker, author, and facilitator who specializes in learning innovation and organizational performance improvement

  • learning analytics: a data-driven approach to evaluating learning experiences (also referred to as measurement and analytics)

  • learning architect: a learning professional who specializes in performance analysis, learner research, and the high level design of learning products and programs

  • learning asset: an instructional product or deliverable (e.g. facilitator guide, visual presentation, job aid, eLearning course)

  • learning audience: a target group of learners who will use or complete a learning product or program

  • learning experience design (LXD): a data-driven approach to the creation of instructional products and programs

  • learning experience designer: a learning professional who uses a blend of instructional design and user experience (UX) design methods to create learning experiences

  • learning design framework: a process model that outlines phases for creating learning experiences (e.g. ADDIE, SAM, Dick and Carey)

  • learning designer: a learning professional who participates in the design of learning experiences

  • learning delivery: the format in which learning is communicated (e.g. instructor-led training, eLearning)

  • learning gap: the difference between learners' current and ideal knowledge, skill, or ability level

  • learning goal: a high-level goal that identifies specific and measurable knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that learners need to achieve through a learning product or program (also referred to as a learning outcome)

  • The Learning Guild: a professional, industry-recognized learning organization that offers learning opportunities, conferences, and events for learning professionals (learningguild.com)

  • learner motivation: the general reasons, desires, and willingness of learners engage in the learning process 

  • learning objectives: a series of statements that outline specific and measurable knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that learners need to achieve in a specific learning deliverable (e.g. course, module) to support performance and learning goals

  • learner persona: a fictional character based on real learner data that is used by project teams to communicate the majority of learners' personal goals, motivation levels, thoughts/feelings/behaviors, and learning needs/preferences/resources/challenges around a particular subject

  • learner persona spectrum: a fictional character based on real learner data that is used by project teams to communicate a range of learners' personal goals, motivation levels, thoughts/feelings/behaviors, and learning needs/preferences/resources/challenges around a particular subject; recommended for experiences where learners have diverse needs

  • learning consultant: a learning professional who offers consultation services (e.g. analysis, design, development) for a client

  • learning management system: a software application used by organizations to administer, document, track, report, automate, and deliver learning products and programs to learners

  • learning solution: a learning experience that has been architected to help an organization achieve defined performance and learning goals

  • learning strategist: a learning professional who specializes in performance analysis and learning innovation

  • learning technologist: a learning professional who specializes in leveraging technology to deliver learning experiences

  • learning theory: a research-backed idea for how people learn best (e.g. experiential, constructivism)

  • lunch and learn: a voluntary training session held during lunch, where a meal is provided to learners

  • Dr. Luke Hobson: an industry leader who specializes in helping teachers transition into instructional design (drlukehobson.com)

M

  • measurements and analytics: a data-driven approach to evaluating learning experiences (also referred to as learning analytics)

  • Megan Torrance: a learning industry influencer, the CEO of TorranceLearning, and author of "Agile for Instructional Designers"

  • Michael Allen: a learning industry influencer and the CEO of Allen Interactions, Inc.

  • Miro: an online collaborative whiteboard platform that enables teams to work effectively together; brainstorming with digital sticky notes, planning, and managing agile workflows

  • module: a self-contained unit of content and instruction (also referred to as a "lesson")

  • multimedia: media that includes any combination of text, audio, visuals, and interactions (e.g. instructional videos, animations, click-to-reveal interactions)

O

  • Online Learning Consortium (OLC): a professional, industry-recognized learning organization that offers learning opportunities, conferences, and events for learning professionals (onlinelearningconsortium.org)

  • organizational behavior: the study of human behavior within organizational settings

P

  • performance observation: a method to measure employee performance and gather data through observation to identify needs or opportunities of a department or organization 

  • performance goal: a high-level outcome desired by an organization that's typically provided by project stakeholders (e.g. business leaders)

  • portfolio: a showcase of one's talents and abilities displayed in digital and/or print format.

  • project brief: another term for project kickoff, or the first meeting where all project team members and key stakeholders gather together to define the project's scope, resources, constraints, process, and plan.

  • project drivers: key needs or gaps within an organization that set the direction for a learning project.

  • project kickoff meeting: the first meeting where all project team members and key stakeholders gather together to define the project's scope, resources, constraints, process, and plan.

  • project manager: a professional who leads projects from start to finish and ensures deliverables are completed on time and within budget.

  • project plan: a written proposal typically created by a project manager and reviewed by stakeholders and subject matter experts prior to the execution of the project.

  • project scope: the specific approach, goals, tasks, deliverables, and timeline defined in a project.

  • prototype: an early sample of a project deliverable (e.g. course lesson, eLearning module) that is used to test and improve the broader design of a product or program

Q

  • quality assurance (QA) review: a review of instructional materials typically conducted by peer learning designers or QA specialists to ensure deliverables are instructionally sound, functional, written well for the target learning audience, and in line with style guidelines.

  • quality assurance specialist: a professional who reviews and ensures deliverables meet quality standards.

R

  • return on expectations (ROE): the process of asking questions, clarifying, and negotiating with key stakeholders regarding their expectations of training outcomes

  • return on investment (ROI): a financial metric calculated to understand the profitability of an investment by dividing the monetary value of an investment by its cost, expressing it as a percentage; ROI = (profit - cost)/cost x 100

S

  • SAM: an agile (flexible) process that echoes the design thinking process used by the tech industry where designers move cyclically through phases as new insights about the learner are collected

  • scope creep: a change in the amount or type of work that needs to be completed on a project that typically has an impact on project timelines, budgets, and/or resources 

  • self-assessment: scoring yourself based off certain criteria

  • self-paced learning: learning content on your own time and at your own pace

  • storyboard: documentation created by learning designers and subject matter experts that are reviewed and approved by stakeholders and then used by developers to produce instructional materials (e.g. facilitator guides, visual presentations, eLearning modules); storyboard formats vary (e.g. Word documents, Google slides, wireframes)

  • subject matter expert (SME) or subject matter specialist: a professional who has specialized in a particular focus and often collaborates with and provides content for learning experience designers.

  • specialist: a learning professional who specializes in a specific aspect of the learning design process (e.g. assessments, evaluations, eLearning development)

  • stakeholder: an individual or group who will be impacted by the project (e.g. designers, developers, project managers, subject matter experts, business partners, leadership, and/or others).

  • style guide: a reference for grammar, tone, fonts, images, and colors that have been defined and approved by the organization to create consistency and standardization.

  • social learning theory: a learning theory that emphasizes learning comes from people observing and interacting with others

  • source content: content that has been identified by stakeholders and/or subject matter experts to be included in a learning event or product

  • subcontractor: an individual employed and paid by an independent contractor who is paid by the employer and is responsible for their own employment taxes and does not have employer-sponsored benefits.

  • summative assessments: assessments that evaluate learners after the instructional process (e.g. midterm, a skill-based observation, projects, presentations)

T

  • Tim Slade: an industry leader who specializes in consulting and coaching, eLearning workshops and training, and custom eLearning development (timslade.com)

  • train-the-trainer (TTT or T3): an event where learning professionals prepare facilitators / trainers to deliver a learning experience; the agenda typically includes a walkthrough of the learning content and activities, an overview of required technology, demonstration and practice, and time for Q&A

  • transformative learning theory: a learning theory that emphasizes learning requires adults to reflect upon events or situations, which leads to a change in their perspectives.

U

  • upskilling: to learn additional skills 

  • user experience (UX) design: an area of focus that designers study to understand how to create experiences that provide meaning and relevance to learners.

  • user interface (UI) design: an area of focus that designers study to understand how to anticipate human interaction and behavior and create learning environments that are functional, user-friendly, and visually appealing.

V

  • virtual instruction or virtual instructor-led training (vILT): a delivery method wherein facilitators deliver learning experiences synchronously online (typically over video conferencing software)

  • visual design principles: elements that help create multimedia that is both aesthetically appealing and easy to understand (e.g. contrast, balance, hierarchy, repetition, alignment, proximity, white space, and minimalism).

  • Vyond: a Web-based platform that learning professionals use to created animated videos (vyond.com) 

W

  • waterfall: a process approach where project team members move linearly through phases, checking off tasks in sequence until they’ve completed their final step (e.g. ADDIE model)

  • webinar: an online seminar or presentation that allows individuals to participate from various locations

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