Welcome to the ever-evolving world of learning and development. The fusion of technology, psychology, and education has transformed how we share workplace knowledge and deliver professional and personal development. Whether you're a seasoned professional, a L&D newbie or a curious learner, understanding the lingo is crucial in navigating this dynamic landscape. Ready? Here we go:

The A to Z of Learning and Development Terms

70:20:10 Model: A learning and development model suggesting a proportion for how learning occurs: 70% from on-the-job experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational events.

Action Learning: A process involving working on real challenges, using knowledge and skills to solve real-life problems.

ADDIE Model: A framework for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation for creating educational and training programs.

Andragogy: The method and practice of teaching adult learners.

Asynchronous Learning: Learning that doesn't happen in real-time; participants access materials at their own pace.

Blended Learning: A mix of traditional face-to-face and online learning.

Bloom's Taxonomy: A framework for categorising educational goals into cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.

ChatGPT: A generative artificial intelligence model (AI) often used to assist in the creation of learning design materials.

Competency-Based Learning: A learning approach where progress is based on demonstrating competency rather than spending a set amount of time on a topic.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD): Ongoing learning and development activities to enhance an individual's skills and knowledge — typically, this is accredited by organisations like CPD UK.

E-Learning: Learning that’s conducted via electronic media, typically online.

Flipped Classroom: A blended learning model where traditional lecture and homework elements are reversed.

Formative Assessment: Assessments aimed at forming or shaping learning are often used to provide ongoing feedback rather than to grade learners.

Formative vs. Summative Evaluation: Formative evaluation improves the program during development, while summative evaluation assesses effectiveness after implementation.

Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction: Instructional steps providing a framework for designing and delivering effective teaching and learning.

Gamification: Using game design elements in non-game contexts like learning.

Hard Skills: Teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify, like proficiency in a foreign language or computer programming.

Instructional Design: The practice of creating educational courses or materials.

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation: A framework evaluating training at different levels: Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results. Read more about the theory.

Learning Analytics: The measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts.

Learning Management System (LMS): Software for delivering, tracking, and managing training/education — examples of this include HowNow, Cornerstone and OpenSesame.

Learning Style Models: While generally disproven, previous theories suggested people had a preferred method of receiving and processing information that offered advantages.

Microlearning: Short, focused learning units or activities — much like a PepTalk!

Mobile-first: A design strategy that prioritises the mobile version of a website or an application — including learning platforms or courses. 

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): An online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. For example, Coursera or FutureLearn.

Pedagogy: The art or science of teaching and educational methods.

Personalised Learning: Tailoring learning for each student's strengths, needs, and interests.

Return on Investment (ROI): A performance measure to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of an investment.

Self-Directed Learning: A process where individuals take initiative in diagnosing their learning needs and formulating learning goals.

Soft Skills: Non-technical skills that relate to how you work, such as communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.

Summative Assessment: Assessment of learning typically at the end of an educational program to measure the extent of learning.

Synchronous Learning: Real-time learning, often in a virtual environment.