Leadership Institute


Education, Training and Development

Glossary of Educational Terms

Basic definitions provided in order of presentation and grouped for comparison

Education – engagement in activities or experiences with a formative effect on mind, character, physical ability

Training – a specific type of education: instruction directed at proficiency in performing certain job-specific tasks

Development – activities to increase/enhance capacity to assume work of increased complexity and/or assume greater responsibility; includes education, but also includes other types of activities

Adult Education Principles – a series of principles that address the unique needs of adult learners and which course/program planners and faculty need to consider, honor and address in order to maximize an educational experience; principles include needs for – respect, appreciation of differences, active engagement in learning, education that addresses immediate application to resolve daily issues, and knowing what to expect in a course/program.

Learning Organization – organizations in which individuals continually expand their capacity, where people learn to learn together, where knowledge is ménages and shared, where innovative and expanded patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is valued, where everyone participates in the organization’s continued evolution

Curriculum Development – an overarching plan of education for a target audience; generally developed by a group and intended to endure over time; may include a series of topics with accompanying learning objectives, content, participant activities, etc., or may be a collection of detailed courses/programs

Course/Program Development – generally a single educational event, although may be repeated; may be part of a curriculum or may be stand-alone; planned by a group or an individual; includes instructional design as well as logistical matters

Instructional Design – a series of sequential steps used to develop education and involving decisions about a variety of approaches, including but not limited to:

Needs Assessment – determining the difference between a desired/preferred situation/state and an existing situation/state and whether education can bridge the gap

Course Goal(s) – determining the overall purpose of a course/program

Learning Objectives – statements of what participants can say or do during a course to indicate course goal is being achieved; involve use of action verbs

Learning Styles – descriptions of differences in preferences for learning

Teaching Methods – ways in which educational content is addressed or provided to participants; includes lecture, demonstration, discussion, panel, debate, participant activities, and more

Delivery Mechanisms – ways in which educational content is delivered to participants; includes face-to-face delivery [where participants and faculty are together] as well as distance delivery [where faculty and participants are separated by geography and/or time]; face-to-face delivery includes coaching, seminars/workshops, plenary sessions, etc.; distance delivery includes computer-based education, videotape/DVD presentations, podcasts, etc.

Participant Evaluation – an after-course/program evaluation by participants to assess their opinions of an educational event; may include rating/ranking and commentary addressing questions related to content, faculty, logistics and site

Evaluation of Learning – a during-course/program evaluation by faculty to assess participants’ ability to achieve learning objectives

Evaluation of Transfer of Learning – a post-course evaluation by supervisors and/or managers to determine whether participants’ on-the-job performance has been affected by an educational event