E-learning NET

e-Learning Glossary

Posted on: Май 31, 2011

This page contains an e-learning glossary of terms, words, phrases, and terminology commonly used in e-learning and instructional design.

Action Learning: Learning process learners apply new knowledge or skills to a real or case study situation following guidelines and directions established during the training episode.

ADDIE: A conceptual and iterative application model for instructional systems design; the components include: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

Affective Domain: A division of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives which references objectives and test items demonstrating interest, appreciation, attitudes, values, and/or psychological adjustment.

Analysis: First phase of ADDIE. Aims at identifying probable causes for the absence of performance and recommend a solution.

Attitudes: Personal choice and human modeling are manifestations of attitudes.

Behavior: Action that is an overt, observable, measurable performance.

Blended Learning: Also referred to as hybrid learning. Learning and instructional techniques that integrate e-learning such as podcasts and online discussion with traditional (in-class) techniques such as lectures and tutorials.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: A classification of behavior and learning developed by Benjamin Bloom and others. Organized into three domains of learning: cognitive (or intellectual), affective (or emotional/attitudinal), and psychomotor (or physical, motor).


Criterion-referenced Test: Test that compares the performance of a leaner with the degree to which the objectives were achieved. It included pre-test and post-test.

Criterion-referenced Test Items: Test items whose responses are compared with some objective standard rather than with other responses as in norm-referenced items.

Cognitive Domain: Division of Bloom’s taxonomy of objectives that references objectives and test items requiring recall or recognition of knowledge and the development of intellectual abilities and skills.

Cognitive Strategies: Learning that is domain-specific or executive, as in Meta cognitive, describes cognitive strategies.

Condition: Component of learning objective that describes the specific situation in which the performance occurs.

Content Analysis: Procedure that when applied to an instructional goal, results in the identification of the relevant knowledge, skills and procedures required for a learner to achieve goal.

Cost-benefit Analysis (CBA): Technique designed to assist decision-makers in identifying a preferred choice among possible alternatives.


Deliverables: Measurable, tangible, verifiable output that must be produced to complete the project or a training course.

Delivery System: Describe the means by which instruction is provided to learners, for example instructor-led, distance learning, computer-based, web-based, or self-instructional materials.

Design: The second phase of the ADDIE instructional systems design process; its purpose is to verify the learning tasks, performance objectives, and testing strategies.

Design Brief: The document completed at the conclusion of the Design phase showing a detailed overview of the training. Components included are: a sequenced list of learning tasks; a sequenced list of performance (learning) objectives; a list of testing strategies, a summary of benefits derived from the training.

Development: The third phase of the ADDIE instructional systems design process; its purpose is to generate and validate the training materials.

E-Learning (Electronic Learning): Learning facilitated and supported through the use of information and communications technology (ICT). Covers a spectrum of activities from supported learning, to blended/hybrid learning to entirely online delivery.

Embedded Tests: Testing strategies that provide opportunities for learners to demonstrate their skills in meeting objectives may be built into the training itself.

Entry Behaviors: Specific competencies or skills a learner must have mastered before entering a given instructional activity.

Evaluation: The fifth phase of the ADDIE instructional systems design process; its purpose is to assess the quality of the training materials prior to and after implementation and the ISD procedures used to generate the instructional products.

Evaluation Report: The deliverable for the Evaluation phase of ADDIE; consists of two parts, the plan for collecting evaluation data and the summary of the evaluation data results.


Facilitator Guide: The print resource that is used by the facilitator to lead the instruction. Incorporates all aspects of analysis and design into its development, making it the primary vehicle to house all facets of the instruction: instructional strategies, testing strategies, learning objectives, content, pacing, timing, introductions, closure, transitions, and reviews.

Facilitator Plan: The portion of the Implementation Plan that describes how the facilitators will be selected and prepared to lead the training event; includes the following components: identification, schedule, preparation (train-the-trainer).

Feedback: Information received that is either confirming or corrective of some action.

Field Trial: The third stage in formative evaluation, referring to the evaluation of the program or product in the setting in which it is intended to be used. Also, the second phase of summative evaluation.

Five Levels of Evaluation: Jack J. Phillips’ descriptive model for evaluating the effectiveness of training. Includes: Level 1: Reaction and Planned Action, Level 2: Learning, Level 3: Job Application, Level 4: Business Results, Level 5: Return on Investment.

Flowcharting: Procedure for identifying and graphically representing the sequential and alternative relationships among processes and decision points relevant to completing a project.

Formative Evaluation: The process of collecting data that can be used to revise the instruction before implementation, thus making the instruction more effective. A pilot test is an example of Formative Evaluation.

Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction: A method for organizing instructional strategies within the lesson designed by Professor of Instructional Design, R.M. Gagne. The Nine Events of Instruction include: Gain Attention, Inform Learners of the Objectives, Stimulate Recall of Prior Learning, Present the Stimulus (Content), Provide Learner Guidance, Elicit Performance, Provide Feedback, Assess Performance, Enhance Retention and Transfer (Closure).

Group-based Instruction: The use of learning activities and materials designed to be used in a collective fashion with a group of learners in interactive, group-paced instruction.


Hierarchical Analysis: A technique used with goals in the intellectual skills domain to identify the critical subordinate skills needed to achieve the goal, and their interrelationships. For each subordinate skill in the analysis, this involves asking, What must the student know how to do in order to learn the specific subskills being considered?

Human Resources: Human resources include facilitators, coaches/manager support, manager contact, and subject matter experts. Human resources impact both the development and implementation of the training.

ID Model: A graphic representation of a systematic approach. Designed to facilitate efficient and effective development of instruction.

Implementation: The fourth phase of the ADDIE instructional systems design process; its purpose is to conduct the training.

Implementation Plan: The deliverable for the Implementation Phase consisting of the Learner Plan which is used to identify, and prepare the learners to participate in the instruction and the Facilitator Plan which is used to identify and prepare the facilitators to facilitate the instruction.

Individualized Instruction: The use, by students, of systematically designed learning activities and materials specifically chosen to suit their individual interests, abilities, and experience. Such instruction is usually self-paced.

Instruction: Instruction is the delivery of information and activities that facilitate learner’s attainment of intended learning goals.

Instructional Analysis: (Content Analysis) Process of dividing a instructional goal or a learning task into steps/elements and skill objectives to achieve the goal. Provides data for developing lesson and unit objectives.

Instructional Goals: Brief statements describing the terminal tasks learners will perform as a result of the training.

Instructional Design: Instructional design refers to the systematic process of translating principles of teaching and learning into plans for instructional materials and activities.

Instructional Designer: Professional who performs consulting and development chores necessary to create instructional materials. Responsibilities: Gathers and analyzes information about content and skills. Determines performance objectives based on the results of information gathered. Writes the blueprint and draft materials. Works with media specialists to design visual instructional materials. Organizes assessments and prepares materials for the reviews required at each stage of the instructional development process. Make revisions specified by the project manager.

Instructional Strategies: Means by which the content and skills are transferred from the training delivery system to the learner. Examples include: demonstrations, role plays, hands-on activities, practice, simulations, discussion, lecture, illustrated diagrams, step-by-step review; self-study exercises, reviews, on-the-job training, practice with coaching, video demonstrations, examples, etc. Often organized by these categories: pre-instructional activities, content presentations, learner practice, feedback, and closure.

Instructional Systems Design: (Instructional Design) The name given to the process of creating instruction in order to close a performance gap that is due to a lack of knowledge and skills.

Instructor’s Manual: Collection of written materials given to instructors to facilitate use of instructional materials. Includes an overview of materials, tests with answers, and relevant supplementary information.

Iterative Process: Non-linear process that offers the opportunity to return to parts of the process and make changes and revisions to the instructional process.

Intellectual Skills: A skill that requires some unique cognitive activity; involves manipulating cognitive symbols, as opposed to simply retrieving previously learned information.


Job Aids: Teaching devices intended to be self-explanatory and self-instructional; a formalized set of textual and/or graphical step-by-step directions for accomplishing a task through one or more techniques.

Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation: Concepts developed by Donald Kirkpatrick describing four levels for measuring the effectiveness of training (Reaction, learning, behavior, results).

Knowledge: Knowledge describes thought, fact or concept; such as a cognitive task.

Learner Analysis: Data collected about learner group that is used to impact decisions throughout the instructional process. Components include learner group identification, general characteristics, numbers, and location, experience level, attitude, and skills that impact the training delivery system.

Learner Guide: Resource used in the instructional process to enhance the learning during the training and, in some situations, to use as a reference tool following training.

Learning Context: Actual physical or virtual location where learning occurs.

Learning Management System (LMS): Software (web) application used to plan, implement, and assess learning processes. An LMS provides instructors with a way to create and deliver content, monitor learner participation, and assess performance. An LMS provide interactive features such as threaded discussions, video conferencing, and discussion forums, etc. Examples include Moodle, WebCT (Blackboard), and Sakai.

Lesson Plan: Formal design for a particular instructional segment. Can range from single-page outlines to comprehensive instructor manuals. Guides the teacher in producing and delivering the instruction.


Media: Physical means selected or developed to communicate instructional messages. Examples include drawings, slides, audiotape, computer, model, etc.

Media Selection: Function carried out during development of instruction whereby various media are selected to enhance the quality of the learning.

Model: Example or pattern that prescribes relationships in a normative sense.

Module: Instructional package with a single integrated theme that provides the information needed to develop mastery of specified knowledge and skills, and serves as one component of a total course or curriculum.

Motor Skills: Executive subroutines and past skills: learned through practice describe motor skills.

Needs Assessment: Tool used to identify «the gap» between what is already known and what needs to learned. Needs assessment uses questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observation, etc to collect data. Phases: 1. List goals, 2. Determine whether or how well the identified goals are being achieved, 3. Determine gaps between the desired and actual performance, Set priorities. Types: 1. Normative, 2. Felt, 3. Expressed or demand 4. Comparative. 5. Anticipated or future. 6. Critical-incident.

Norm-referenced Test: Type of test that compares the performance of a student with the performance of other students.


Objectives (Learning): The desired outcomes for the training event (what the training should accomplish in terms of performance the learners should exhibit in the learning environment in order to be considered competent); consist of three components (the performance, criterion and standard); are congruent with the tasks and testing strategies. (Objectives can also be established for on-the-job performance, business or impact performance, or ROI).

One-to-one Evaluation: The first stage in formative evaluation, referring to direct interaction between the designer and individual tryout student.

Performance: Performance is the component of a learning objective that describes what the learner should be able to do at the completing of the instruction.

Performance Analysis: Actions taken to discover the cause of the performance discrepancy.

Performance Discrepancy: (Performance gap). Gap that exists between the Actual Performance (the current performance of learner) and the Desired Performance (required or requested performance).

Performance Objective: Describes what the learner should be able to do on-the-job (as opposed to what the learner should be able to do within the learning environment as a result of the training). Detailed description of what students will be able to do when they complete a unit of instruction. Also known as behavioral objective or instructional objective. Criteria for assessing the performance- Audience Behavior, Condition, Degree (ABCD).

Pilot Test: The last step in the Field Trial (the third phase of formative evaluation). Data collected is provided to the client who uses it to make the final decision about whether to proceed with implementation.

Posttest: A criterion-referenced test designed to measure performance of objectives to be taught during a unit of instruction; given after the instruction.

Pretest: A criterion-referenced test designed to measure performance of objectives to be taught during a unit of instruction and/or performance on entry behaviors; given before instruction begins.

Project: A specific, finite task with a well-defined set of predetermined outcomes.

Prototype: A functional version of a new process and/or product, usually in an unfinished state, whose effectiveness and efficiency to be tested.

Prototyping: Process of assembling produced and/or revised instructional elements, and of testing, revising, summatively evaluating, and preparing the system for marketing.

Psychomotor Domain: The division of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives that references those objectives and test items demonstrating manipulative and/or motor skills.


Rapid Prototyping: An ISD application model first used in the software industry that features instruction offered in early draft form with the stated purpose of obtaining increased input from multiple stakeholders during the revision process in order to produce a superior product.

Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs): Object or set of resources that can be used for facilitating intended learning outcomes, and can be extracted and reused in other learning environments. Associated with e-learning resources that can be used in multiple learning environments.

Reliability (test): The degree to which a test instrument consistently measures the same group’s knowledge level of the same instruction when taking the test over again.
Return on Investment (ROI): A calculation comparing the benefits of an action to the costs invested in taking the action.

SCORM: Stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model. Collection of specifications that enable interoperability, accessibility, and reusability of e-learning content.

Skill: Physical; usually involving motor tasks.

Small-group Evaluation: The second stage of formative evaluation, referring to the use of a small number of tryout students who study an instructional program without intervention from the designer and are tested to assess the effectiveness of the instruction.

Sponsor/client: Person paying for the project and who has requested that the project be undertaken.

Storyboarding: A design technique for showing as individual scenes the proposed sequence of visual and audio elements in a production using some form of optically projected media, e.g., television, slid/tape, interactive video.

Summative Evaluation: The process of collecting data following implementation (of at least one training class/event) in order to determine how well it satisfies the instructional goals.

System: System describes interdependence, dynamic, synergistic and responsive to the environment.

Systematic: Following procedures or rules describe systematic.

Subject Matter Expert (SME): Person responsible for the accuracy of facts, concepts, and other instructional content.


Task Analysis: Process of identifying, sequencing, and relating the tasks and subtasks that should be performed in order to meet learning objectives. Driving force in performance technology and instructional systems development.

Task Inventory: Inventories the critical outputs of the performance that are required to meet the training goals; is used in the training design to help determine what the learner needs to learn.

Test Criteria: Test criteria are the component of a learning objective that describes the quality or standard of performance that will be considered acceptable.

Trainer (Instructor or facilitator): This is the person who will be presenting the portions of the training that require lecture, facilitation, or other types of live coordination.

Tryout: The testing of a prototype or some subset of its elements, under actual or simulated conditions that are representative of those in the targeted system.

Validity: The degree to which a test measures what it was designed to measure.

Web-based Training: Instructional or training technique, which utilizes the Web environment.

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