Talent Development Glossary Terms
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Talent Development Glossary Terms: M-S


Mobile Learning is learning that takes place via wireless devices such as cell phones, smart phones, tablets, or laptop computers.

Metrics are numerical values that are used as the basis for measuring productivity, proficiency, performance, and worth.

Mind Map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central keyword or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing. It is a record of information that uses branching lines to relate connections of topics to one another in idea association.

Model is a representation of an idea, object, process, or phenomenon.

Modules (sometimes called lessons) are the smallest unit of learning and provide content and practice to meet predefined learning objectives. Learning modules contain objectives, knowledge content to enable the learner to complete the task, task content, practice activities to help reach the objective or objectives, and an assessment mechanism to determine whether the objectives were reached.

Multisensory Learning engages the learner and increases retention. Audio and video can often convey feelings and subtle contexts of learning more effectively than other tools.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) consists of categories that identify 16 types of personalities based on extraversion or introversion, intuiting or sensing, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. It is used in career development and team building.


Objective is a target or purpose that, when combined with other objectives, leads to a goal.

Observation occurs when participants are told to witness an event and be prepared to share their reflections, reactions, data, or insights. This also is a methodology for data collection.

OJT (On-the-Job Training), one of the oldest forms of training, is a delivery system that dispenses training to employees as they need it.


RID (Rapid Instructional Design) is a collection of strategies for quickly producing instructional packages, which enable a group of learners to achieve a set of specific instructional objectives.

ROI (Return-on-Investment) is a ratio of the benefit or profit received from a given investment to the cost of the investment itself. It constitutes Level 5 evaluation, accountability for training programs.


SDL (Self-Directed Learning) is individualized, or self-paced learning that occurs through programs that use a variety of delivery media, ranging from print products to web-based systems. It also can refer to less formal types of learning such as team learning, knowledge management systems, and self-development programs.


Pedagogy is an informal philosophy of teaching that focuses on what the instructor does rather than what participants learn. Usually refers to teaching children.

Performance-Based Instruction is comprised of learning activities designed to provide the knowledge and skills required to perform specific tasks on the job. These are determined in a task analysis and expressed as learning objectives. Often includes performance-based evaluation.

Project Management is the planning, organizing, directing, and controlling of resources for a finite period of time to complete specific goals and objectives.


Simulation is a broad genre of experiences, including games for entertainment and immersive learning simulations for formal learning programs. Simulations use simulation elements to model and present situations; portraying actions and demonstrating how the actions affect relevant systems, and how those systems produce feedback and results.

Six-Sigma Methodology is a process improvement strategy and measure of quality that strives for perfection. Six-Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven methodology for eliminating defects (driving toward six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in a process. The fundamental objective of the Six-Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses
on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of projects.

SME (Subject Matter Expert) is an individual who is recognized as having proficient knowledge and skills in a particular topic or subject area. Smile Sheet is a nickname for the class training evaluation forms used in Level 1 evaluations.

Social Learning occurs naturally when two or more people interact. Organizations are now beginning to use social media tools to enhance social learning and knowledge-sharing, resulting in more informed, effective workplace collaborations.

Soft Skills Training refers to the type of training that does not have a tangible product result.

Strategic Planning is the process that allows an organization to identify its aspirations and future challenges, clarify and gain consensus around a business strategy, communicate the strategy throughout the organization, align departments and personal goals with the overarching organizational strategy, and identify and align strategic initiatives.

Synchronous Training occurs when the trainer and the trainee interact in real time. It often refers to electronic or web-based training.