A collection of phrases, words, terms used in current dialogue around education (alphabetical while under development)

10-20-30 Rule (found in learnmoodle MOOC glossary):  According to Guy Kawasaki that’s the rule for a good PowerPoint presentation:

10 Slides     20 Minutes maximum     30 Point Font

21st century fluencies     (found in learnmoodle MOOC glossary) These are characteristics of learning skills that characterize engagement in 21st century learning.  They are:

Solution Fluency: The ability to creatively solve problems in real time;

Information Fluency:The ability to interpret information presented on-line and to be able to determine it’s value.  Howard Rheingold calls this “Crap Detection”.

Creativity Fluency: The ability to transmit content using artistic skills such as digital storytelling, design, and art, to name a few.

Media Fluency: The ability to manipulate media technologies, interpret the transmitted message and evaluate the media tool.

Collaboration Fluency: The ability to work with other individuals or groups, both face-to-face and in virtual environments.

21st century learning: (from learnmoodle MOOC Glossary):  Designates new forms of teaching and learning designed to bring about the type of skills that are known or anticipated to be required for success in the 21st Century. Such skills include global awareness, critical thinking, problem solving, collaborative learning, communication, self-direction, adaptability and ICTcompetency.  Common methods for promoting 21st Century Skills are project based learning, collaborative learning, critical analysis of the media, debate, and digital storytelling

assessment:  process of determining the nature and degree to which students have developed desired knowledge and skills against predetermined standards or expectations (see also Evaluation)  ref. Eck, Laurien R.,

Bologna process: began in 1999 with meeting of EU higher education reps in Bologna, Italy. Process involves efforts to align curriculum and programs across European higher education institutions – partly through learning outcomes – (see

connected teacher:  (see also “networked teacher/scholar”) a teacher who uses social media to network and connect with others to learn and teach. When used in K-12 educational contexts, refers to “21st century” teaching.  Also used interchangeably with term “networked teacher/scholar”, used by Prof Alec Couros in his 2006 dissertation “Examining the Open Movement” (Couros, 2006)

connected educator:  similar to connected teacher but used within K-12 context. A “connected educator” is a “connected learner” who develops networks and co-constructs knowledge. Also, a connected learning will “…collaborate online, use social media to interact with colleagues around the globe, engage in conversations in safe, online spaces, and bring what they learn online back to their schools…”  U.S. Department of Education “Connected Educator Month

contextualized learning:  from connectivist perspective of teaching/learning – “relating instructional content to the specific contexts of learners’ lives and interests increases motivation to learn” (Dirkx & Prenger, 1997) students are able to construct meaning based on their own experiences (Wikipedia)

continuous partial attention:  (see also “hyper-attention”) 1998 term coined by researcher Linda Stone – paying continuous attention to a multitude of channels of information – on a superficial level – purpose is to stay connected to ensure you don’t miss anything, NOT to be more efficient (multi-tasking) Retrieved from

C.R.A.P.  (found in learnmoodle MOOC glossary):  As coined by Robin Williams in HER book The Non-Designer’s Design and Type Books four principles of digital and print document creation involve these four parameters:

Contrast     Repetition     Alignment     Proximity

These principles even apply to website construction.

crowd-controlled media amply demonstrated by the Twitterverse? now tweets are followed and reported by mass media – do the crowd control everything – yikes!

deeper learning: (linked to “21st Century Learning”) prepares students to master core academic content, think critically and solve complex problems, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, learn how to learn (i.e., self-directed learning) (see Hewlett Foundation site, Canadian Education Association site)

differentiated instruction: a teaching approach that uses “strategic assessment, thoughtful planning and targeted, flexible instruction. Draws from Gardner’s ideas about multiple intelligences, research on how the brain works, and formative assessment. (source: Alberta Education website, AISI Themes, “Differentiated Instruction“)

digital scholarship:  “scholars’ participation in online social networks to share, reflect upon, critique, improve, validate, and otherwise develop their scholarship.” – See more at:

digital scholarship in terms of practices, as “scholars’ participation in online social networks to share, reflect upon, critique, improve, validate, and otherwise develop their scholarship.” – See more at:

distributed learning: (from B.C. Ministry of Education Policies Glossary – A method of instruction that relies primarily on indirect communication between students and teachers, including internet or other electronic-based delivery, teleconferencing, or correspondence. Defined in section 1 of the School Act. )

educational development  an evolving field that aims to improve teaching policies and practices — on the assumption that such improvements will ultimately enhance student learning (Brew & Boud, 1996; Candy, 1996). At the individual level, it comprises a range of professional teaching development activities (e.g., workshops, consultations) for faculty members, frequently offered by staff with pedagogical expertise and organized in teaching and learning centres (see, e.g., McAlpine, 2005; McAlpine & Cowan, 2000; Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, 2007; Saroyan & Amundsen, 2004).

Source:  Retrieved 2014/06/06 from Athabasca University’s Centre for Learning Design and Development

engaged learning     “. . that all student activities involve active cognitive processes such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, and evaluation. In addition, students are intrinsically motivated to learn due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities.”

Source: G.Kearsley and B.Shneiderman (1999) “Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning”

evaluation:  process by which teachers judge the quality and value of student learning and performance (Hausman and Smith-Shank, 1994).  cited in Eck paper

fMRI: (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) a technique used to measure brain activity. Can be used to create activation maps that show which parts are the brain are involved in a particular mental process (e.g., learning)  (Devlin, H., 2013)

Source:  “What is Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)?” by Hannah Devlin, Jan 2013, retrieved March 25, 2014 – from

Informal, Formal and Non-formal learning

From OECD (cited in

‘Formal learning: Refers to learning through a programme of instruction in an educational institution, adult training centre or in the workplace, which is generally recognised in a qualification or a certificate.

Non-formal learning: Refers to learning through a programme but it is not usually evaluated and does not lead to certification.

Informal learning: Refers to learning resulting from daily work-related, family or leisure activities. In 1996, the OECD education ministers agreed to develop strategies for ‘lifelong learning for all’. The approach has been endorsed by ministers of labour, ministers of social affairs and the OECD Council at ministerial level.

hyper-attention:  2008 idea put forward by N. Katherine Hayles, that there has been a shift in cognition style in the youth of today (due to connectivity and Internet) that requires higher stimulation – they have a short attention span and boredom makes them disconnect and interferes with learning.  Retrieved from

innovative learning environments:  (refers to ILE Project – OECD) an ILE is an environment that helps students learn. The project involved examples of ILEs that demonstrate innovative ways of organising learning at the micro level (learning environment) and how this connects to the meso level (networks and communities of practice) and strategies to implement learning change at the macro, system level

iota (intensive online teaching activity): part of a presentation at Ed-Media – thought it was Richard Ladyshewsky, Curtin Graduate School of Business, Curtin University, Australia

learning:  “…occurs as a result of motivation, opportunities, an active process, interaction with others, and the ability to transfer learning to a real-world situation.”  from The Myth About No-Significant Difference, by Diana G. Oblinger, Brian L. Hawkins, EDUCAUSE (see refs below)

see also:  team-based learning, 

learning outcomes: (from Bologna process pdf – statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning. The process of learning could be, for example, a lecture, a module or an entire programme.)

meme: an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media) (Urban Dictionary)

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course –
some MOOCs are self-paced, using online activities, readings, video lectures, self-checking quizzes. More commonly in 2012-13, MOOCs refer to the free (or very low cost) courses offered through online platforms like Coursera, Udacity, edX, etc. These are often traditional, on-campuses courses with a set start and end date and a on-campus cohort that pay for the course for credits. The online (and often international) participants participate in online discussions, activities, complete quizzes or tests that are machine-marked but receive no credit as they weren’t charged a fee.

cMOOC: Connectivist MOOC – often attributed to the University of Alberta open course taught by Prof. George Siemens and Stephen Downes although it has been argued that Prof. David Wiley’s Introduction to Open Education was the first cMOOC as he taught the course in an open, networked way to a cohort of students at the University of Utah but decided to throw it open for free to online participants (due to demand). His cMOOC was much smaller than Siemens/Downes offering.

xMOOC: eXtended MOOC – a term coined by Stephen Downes (his explanation – “The origin of the ‘x’ is the use of ‘x’ in things like ‘TEDx’ or ‘MITx’ to indicate programs that aren’t part of the core offering…MOOC as eXtension of something else”

networked participatory scholarship: scholars’ participation in online social networks to share, reflect upon, critique, improve, validate, and otherwise develop their scholarship. (Veletsianos, 2012)

networked scholar / teacher:  (see also “connected teacher”) a teacher who uses social media to network and connect with others to learn and teach. Drawn from drawing included in sed by 2006 dissertation “Examining the Open Movement” (Couros, 2006)

also refers to the way “social media is changing the way scholars disseminate their research and raises questions about the way we evaluate academic authority”, in a presentation by Alfred Hermida at 2011 Worldviews conference (Hermida, 2011).

scholars’ participation in online social networks to share, reflect upon, critique, improve, validate, and otherwise develop their scholarship – See more at:
scholars’ participation in online social networks to share, reflect upon, critique, improve, validate, and otherwise develop their scholarship – See more at:

OER (Open Educational Resources):  “…are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”   WIlliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation cited in

Other definitions of OER:  see “What is OER?–CC Wiki

open access: the belief that scholarly literature (research articles published in peer-reviewed journal articles and any unreviewed preprints) should be available to the public. First formal definition by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001 wherein the idea of free availability was defined as “..permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing,
pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”

open and distance learning (ODL):  no one definition, characteristics (adapted from toolkit published by COL: Intro to ODL)

  • separation of teacher and learner in time or place, or in both time and place;
  • accreditation for learning;
  • multimedia course materials and technology-supported learning environments;
  • connectivity to allow synchronous and asynchronous two-way communications;
  • possibility of face-to-face meetings for tutorials, teacher/learning interactions, library or laboratory use;
  • course development, mtnce and delivery is shared between various staff

open scholarship:  difficult to define – usually refers to the movement to publish scientific research in open journals (particularly when research is publicly funded) for the purpose of broadening access to knowledge; breaking free of traditional protected publication in expensive scholarly journals – loss of peer review is a concern (not always the case).

see also:  “Open Scholarship: our definition”

open university:  a university that “… admits students without regard to their previous educational background or achievements.” Athabasca University

participatory culture: low barriers to entry, abundant support for creating and sharing, informal mentoring of newcomers and a strong sense of social connection. Jenkins et al. (2006)

pluralistic ignorance:  (see also “spiral of silence”) a psychological state in which individuals believe that their own beliefs and feelings differ from others’ in a group despite the fact that they all behave similarly (Miller & McFarland, 1991). Contributes to the acceptance of what a student hears – not questioning – afraid to look foolish by asking a question when others seem to understand (but may not)

revoicing (teachers’ use of improv techniques like the “Yes, and…” rule from Sawyer – people take turns responding to complementary offerings – as used in improv theatre – they access the prior offer and then elaborate it in a way that develops and builds on the original offer)

“revoicing” found in O’Connor, M.C., & Michaels, S. (1996). Shifting participant frameworks: Orchestrating thinking practices in group discussion. In D.Hicks (Ed.) Discourse, learning, and schooling (pp.63–103). NewYork: CambridgeUniversityPress

rapid instructional design: design and development phases are done simultaneously and the formative evaluation is done throughout the process; a working model is developed to test design quickly
for suggested techniques see RID Techniques

semantic storytelling – as in Semantic Web? as in semantics? do they mean digital storytelling?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)-friendly:  means that your web site attracts notice from search engines so that your site will receive more “hits” as people visit it to explore search engine results. Often part of an internet marketing strategy.

social media:  websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking (Retrieved from

spiral of silence: (see alsopluralistic ignorance“) theory proposed in 1974 by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann (German political scientist) that refers to refer to the”.. tendency of people to remain silent when they feel that their views are in opposition to the majority view on a subject.”  People stay silent out of fear; fear of reprisals or fear of being separated from the group, fear of looking stupid.  Retrieved from

syncromodal learning environment:  face-to-face and online students are brought together in the same course at the same time. (Bell et al, 2013)

team-based learning: groups of learners work and learn together while focusing on specific projects or assignments; learners apply concepts and theories to specific problems or scenarios, sharing their skills, knowledge and abilities with each other (ISWo Wk 4 -RRU-CTET. (2008, Fall).

technology navigator: a graduate student (person?) whose responsibility it is to facilitate the interactions among instructor(s) and students in a synchromodal course. (Bell et al, 2013)

VUCA environments: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous learning environments. from a session by C. ADamson at Online Educa Berlin Nov2013 blogged by Tony Bates VUCA

virtual communities:

“for a virtual learning community to exist, it is necessary for individuals to take advantage of, and in some cases invent, a process for engaging ideas, negotiating meaning and learning collectively.”

Schwier, Richard A. (2002). Shaping the Metaphor of Community in Online Learning Environments(pdf). University of Saskatchewan, Paper presented to the International Symposium on Educational Conferencing. The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, June 1, 2002. 8 pages. 

The history of everything told by everyone (crowd-sourced news) (makes it about as valid as what we used to know as history – a political fable usually)


Informal education refers to the lifelong process, whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from the educational influences and resources in his or her own environment and from daily experience (family, neighbours, marketplace, library, mass media, work, play, etc.).

Formal education refers to the structured education system that runs from primary school to university, and includes specialised programmes for technical and professional training.

Non-formal education refers to any planned programme of personal and social education for young people designed to improve a range of skills and competencies, outside the formal educational curriculum.

Non-formal education as practised by many youth organisations and groups is :

* voluntary;
* accessible to everyone (ideally);
* an organised process with educational objectives;
* participatory and learner-centred;
* about learning life skills and preparing for active citizenship;
* based on involving both individual and group learning with a collective approach;
* holistic and process-oriented;

References & Notes

Commonwealth of Learning, (2000, October) An Introduction to Open and Distance Learning, Training toolkit Retrieved 15/04/2014 from

Couros, A. (2006) Examining the Open Movement: Possibilities and Implications for Education, Scribd, Retrieved from

Bell, J., W. Cain, S. Sawaya, (2013, June) Introducing the Role of Technology Navigator in a Synchromodal Learning Environment, Paper presented at annual Ed-Media Conference of Association for Advancement of Computing in Education

Dirkx, J. M., & Prenger, S. M. (1997). A guide for planning and implementing instruction
for adults: A theme-based approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Hermida, Alfred. (2011). The Networked Scholar, Worldviews Conference, Toronto, June 16, 2011   Retrieved from

Miller, D.T. & Mcfarland, C. (1991). When social comparison goes awry: The case of pluralistic ignorance. In J. Suls  & T.A. Wills (Eds), Social comparison: Contemporary theory and research. (pp.287-313) Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Oblinger, D.G., & B.L. Hawkins (2006, Nov/Dec) The Myth About No Significant Difference: “Using Technology Produces No Significant Difference”, EDUCAUSE

RRU – CTET. (2008, Fall). Team Based Learning. Tools for Teaching (T4T) Tipsheet, 1(3), 1-2.

Veletsianos, G. & Kimmons, R. (2012). Networked Participatory Scholarship: Emergent Techno-Cultural Pressures Toward Open and Digital Scholarship in Online Networks. Computers & Education, 58(2), 766-774 – See more at:

Incomplete reference in paper – retrieved Nov 6, 2013 –

Eck, L.R., John Muir Middle School, LA, CA, “Evaluation and Assessment in Middle-Level Art Education\

definitions of assessment and evaluation (Hausman and Smith-Shank, 1994)

Veletsianos, G. & Kimmons, R. (2012). Networked Participatory Scholarship: Emergent Techno-Cultural Pressures Toward Open and Digital Scholarship in Online Networks. Computers & Education, 58(2), 766-774.: – See more at:

E-Portfolios – from Course Notes:
a collection of artifacts, a method to capture development of ideas and learning, or a forum to interact within a community

“a digitized collection of artifacts, including demonstrations, resources and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, community, organization, or institution. This collection can be comprised of text-based, graphic or multimedia lements archived on a Web site or on other electioric media”
Lorenzo et al

Helen Barrett’s paper:
e-portfolios ought to include, reflection, engagement and assessment for learning….tools for scaffolding reflection: blogs, wikis, and digital stories
I view portfolios as a process rather than a product–a concrete representation of critical thinking, reflection used to set goals for ongoing professional development.


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