CEID - Instructional Terms


Glossary of Instructional Design Terminlogy


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ACTIVE LEARNING: Any approach that engages learners by matching instruction to the learner's interests, understanding, and developmental level. Often includes hands-on and authentic activities.

ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING: When learners participate in an online learning course at different times, it is known as asynchronous learning. This might also be called eLearning or web-based training (WBT). Asynchronous learning allows learners to go through a course at their own pace and on their own schedule.

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).

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

DISTANCE LEARNING and DISTANCE EDUCATION: Education that occurs when students and instructors not in the same location. There is often a geographic and time seperation.

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).

HYBRID LEARNING: See blended learning.

INFORMAL LEARNING: Informal learning occurs when people have a need to know something. They set their own learning objectives and acquire knowledge, skills and information in their own ways. This could be through asking questions, observing experts, practicing and conversing. It’s the kind of natural learning humans do outside of a structured environment.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN: Instructional design involves the identification of the knowledge, information, and skill gaps of a particular group of people and creating or selecting learning experiences that close this gap. Instructional designers base their learning decisions on cognitive psychology, instructional theory and best practices.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER: An instructional designer practices the craft and science of instructional design. This person identifies the needs of a targeted audience and determines the best approaches for meeting the audience’s needs. It could involve designing and writing online learning courses as well as writing the manuals needed for Instructor-Led Training. Some instructional designers also create graphics and use authoring systems to produce online courses.

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.

INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA: Interactive multimedia allows learners to provide input to an online course and receive feedback as a result of the input. The input might consist of a mouse click or drag, gestures, voice commands, touching an input screen, text entry and live interactions with connected participants.

MOBILE LEARNING: Learning that takes place on a hand-held device, such as a mobile phone, that can take place anytime and anywhere.

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.

MULTIMEDIA: Multimedia refers to the presentation of information and instruction through a combination of graphics, audio, text, or video. Multimedia instruction is often interactive.

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).

ONLINE LEARNING: The term online learning is often used synonymously with eLearning. It is an umbrella term that includes any type of learning accomplished on a computer and usually over the Internet.

PEDAGOGY: The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept

SELF-PACED LEARNING: Self-paced learning refers to the type of instruction that allows a person to control the flow of the courseware. It implies the learning environment is asynchronous.

SOCIAL MEDIA LEARNING: Social media learning refers to the acquisition of information and skills through social technologies that allow people to collaborate, converse, provide input, create content and share it. Examples of social media learning can occur through online social networking platforms, blogs and microblogs (like Twitter), online talk radio and wikis.

STREAMING MEDIA: Streaming media refers to video and audio that is downloaded to a computer from the Internet as a continuous stream of data and is played as it reaches the destination computer.

SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING: When learners participate in an online learning course at the same time but in different locations, it is known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning allows learners to interact with the instructor and other participants. This is done through software that creates a virtual classroom.

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM: The virtual classroom refers to a digital classroom learning environment that takes place over the Internet rather than in a physical classroom. It is implemented through software that allows an instructor and students to interact.

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