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PD Glossary M to Z

Here is part two of last week’s essential PD terms with M to Z from the American Society of Training and Development glossary. This list includes selected terms only – those that in my experience come up a lot in PD writings and discussions. Again, there were a few terms not on the ASTD’s list that I think are essential; I’ve included those notes below.

Mentoring: A career development process in which less experienced workers are matched with more experienced colleagues for guidance. Mentoring can occur either through formal programs or informally as required and may be delivered in-person or by using various media.

Online learning: Learning delivered by web-based or Internet-based technologies.

Pedagogy: Opposite of andragogy. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction.

Podcast: A series of digital-media files which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers. The term podcast, like broadcast, can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The term derives from the words “iPod” and “broadcast;” the Apple iPod being the brand of portable media player for which the first podcasting scripts were developed.

Practices: A set of methods or procedures to be followed, as in best practices or standard practices. In e-learning, the methods used to communicate the content to the learner.

Professional Development Plan: A system of training and instruction developed for the purpose of improving the preparation and ongoing development of professionals that generally includes a continuum of training and follow‐up activities and is tied to a system of licensure, credentialing, or certification. (Not in ASTD glossary.)

Problem Based Learning: Learning methodology where students are presented with a problem to solve using knowledge and skills they have acquired or need to develop. Also known as inquiry based learning. (Missing from the ASTD’s glossary.)

Role play: (noun) A training technique in which learners act out characters in order to try out behaviors, practice interactions, communicate for a desired outcome, and/or solve a dynamic problem. Role plays can reinforce learning and help people apply new information, skills, and techniques. (verb) To participate in a role play.

Simulations: Highly interactive applications that allow the learner to model or role-play in a scenario. Simulations enable the learner to practice skills or behaviors in a risk-free environment.

Soft skills: Business skills such as communication and presentation, leadership and management, human resources, sales and marketing, professional development, project and time management, customer service, team building, administration, accounting and finance, purchasing, and personal development.

Synchronous learning: A real-time, instructor-led online learning event in which all participants are logged on at the same time and communicate directly with each other. In this virtual classroom setting, the instructor maintains control of the class, with the ability to “call on” participants. In most platforms, students and teachers can use a whiteboard to see work in progress and share knowledge. Interaction may also occur via audio- or videoconferencing, Internet telephony, or two-way live broadcasts.

Teaching: A process that aims to increase or improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a variety of goals. Teaching is often driven more toward the long-term personal growth of the learner and less toward business drivers such as job tasks that are often the focus of training. Some people characterize teaching as focused on theory and training as focused on practical application.

Training: A process that aims to improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a specific job task or goal. Training is often focused on business needs and driven by time-critical business skills and knowledge, and its goal is often to improve performance.

Web conference: (noun) A meeting of participants from disparate geographic locations that’s held in a virtual environment on the World Wide Web, with communication taking place via text, audio, video, or a combination of those methods. (verb) To participate in a Web conference.

Webcast: (Web + broadcast) (noun) A broadcast of video signals that’s digitized and streamed on the World Wide Web, and which may also be made available for download. (verb) To digitize and stream a broadcast on the World Wide Web.

Webinar: (Web + seminar) A small synchronous online learning event in which a presenter and audience members communicate via text chat or audio about concepts often illustrated via online slides and/or an electronic whiteboard. Webinars are often archived as well for asynchronous, on-demand access.

Wiki: A collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.

That’s all for now. I’m definitioned out. Watch for a tech for non-techies glossary in the future.

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