Last updated on 2024-03-11 | Edit this page

  • Accessibility: Equal access to learning opportunities regardless of learners’ physical abilities or other attributes.

  • Authentic Task: A task which contains important elements of things that learners would do in real life (i.e. non-classroom situations). To be authentic, a task should require learners to construct their own answers rather than choose among provided answers, and to work with the same tools and data they would use in real life.

  • Chunking: The act of grouping related concepts together so that they can be stored and processed as a single unit.

  • Cognitive Load: Cognitive load is the amount of mental effort required to solve a problem. Cognitive load theory divides this effort into intrinsic, extraneous, and germane, and holds that people learn faster and better when extraneous load is reduced.

  • Community of Practice: A self-perpetuating group of people who share and develop a craft or occupation, such as knitters, musicians, or programmers.

  • Competent Practitioner: Someone who can do normal tasks with normal effort under normal circumstances.
    See also novice and expert.

  • Concept Map: A picture of a mental model in which concepts are nodes in a graph and relationships are (labelled) arcs.

  • Deliberate Practice: The act of observing performance of a task while doing it in order to improve ability.

  • Diagnostic Power: The degree to which a wrong answer to a question or exercise tells the instructor what misconceptions a particular learner has.

  • Educational Psychology: The study of how people learn.

  • Effort-based Praise: Providing positive feedback to learners that recognizes and rewards their hard work.
    See also improvement-based praise and performance-based praise.

  • Error Framing: Presenting errors as an integral part of the learning process and using them as teaching opportunities.

  • Expert: Someone who can diagnose and handle unusual situations, knows when the usual rules do not apply, and tends to recognize solutions rather than reasoning to them.
    See also competent practitioner and novice.

  • Expert Awareness Gap: The inability of experts to empathize with novices who are encountering concepts or practices for the first time. Often referred to as expert blind spot in the literature.

  • Faded Example: A series of examples in which a steadily increasing number of key steps are blanked out.
    See also scaffolding.

  • Fixed Mindset: The belief that an ability is innate, and that failure is due to a lack of some necessary attribute.
    See also growth mindset.

  • Fluid Representation: The ability to move quickly between different models of a problem.

  • Formative Assessment: Assessment that takes place during a lesson in order to give both the learner and the instructor feedback on actual understanding.
    See also summative assessment.

  • Growth Mindset: The belief that ability comes with practice.
    See also fixed mindset.

  • Impostor Syndrome: A feeling of insecurity about one’s accomplishments that manifests as a fear of being exposed as a fraud.

  • Improvement-based Praise: Providing positive feedback to learners that recognizes and rewards improvements they have made.
    See also effort-based praise and performance-based praise.

  • Inclusivity: Working actively to include people with diverse backgrounds and needs.

  • Inquiry-Based Learning: The practice of allowing learners to ask their own questions, set their own goals, and find their own path through a subject.

  • Jugyokenkyu: See lesson study.

  • Lateral Knowledge Transfer: The “accidental” transfer of knowledge that occurs when an instructor is teaching one thing, and the learner picks up another.

  • Learner Profile: A brief description of a typical target learner for a lesson that includes their general background, what they already know, what they want to do, how the lesson will help them, and any special needs they might have.

  • Learning Objective: What a lesson is trying to achieve.

  • Lesson Study: The process in which instructors collaboratively plan lessons, observe each other’s teaching, and discuss teaching experiences in order to learn from each other.

  • Live Coding: The act of teaching programming by writing software in front of learners as the lesson progresses.

  • Long-Term Memory: The part of memory that stores information for long periods of time. Long-term memory is very large, but slow.
    See also short-term memory.

  • Mental Model: A representation of a person’s knowledge and thought processes about a topic or domain.

  • Minute Cards: A feedback technique in which learners spend a minute writing one positive thing about a lesson (e.g., one thing they have learned) and one negative thing (e.g., a question that still hasn’t been answered).

  • Novice: Someone who has not yet built a usable mental model of a domain.
    See also competent practitioner and expert.

  • One-Up, One-Down: A feedback technique in which learners take turns giving positive and negative feedback without repeating anything that has been said before.

  • Participatory Live Coding A style of teaching where the instructor live codes and the learners “code along”.

  • Performance-based Praise: Providing positive feedback to learners that focuses on whether they have attained the correct answer.
    See also effort-based praise and performance-based praise.

  • Perseverance: The trait of persisting in the face of difficulty.

  • Persistent Memory: see long-term memory.

  • Plausible Distractor: A wrong answer to a multiple-choice question that will seem to some students to be correct due to a misconception they hold.
    See also diagnostic power.

  • Reflective Practice: see deliberate practice.

  • Scaffolding: Extra material provided to early-stage learners to help them solve problems.

  • Short-Term Memory: The part of memory that briefly stores information that can be directly accessed by consciousness.

  • Stereotype Threat: A situation in which people feel that they are at risk of being held to stereotypes of their social group.

  • Summative Assessment: Assessment that takes place at the end of a lesson to tell whether the desired learning has taken place.

  • Working Memory: see short-term memory.