Learning, Training, and Human Performance Glossary

Words beginning with the letter “E” are listed below. For words starting with a different letter, use the below table:

S T U V W X Y Z Acronyms


Within the corporate world, training people to do a different job (not to be confused wiht education in schools). It is often given to people who have been identified as being promotable, being considered for a new job either lateral or upwards, or to increase their potential. See, Definitions in Instructional Design.

educational technology

A complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, devices, and the organization. Used for analyzing problems and devising, implementing, evaluating and managing solutions to those problems, especially involved in all aspects of human learning.


A measure (as a percentage) of the actual output to the standard output expected. Efficiency measures how well someone is performing relative to expectations.


1) The use of innovative technologies and learning models to transform the way individuals and organizations acquire new skills and access knowledge. 2) Electronic learning covering a wide set of applications and processes, such as web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It includes the delivery of content via internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio- and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, and CD-ROM. See Defining ELearning for the history of various definitions.

eLearning 2.0

Learning through digital connections and peer collaboration. It is driven by the technologies of Web 2.0 due to it being an extension of the term "Web 2.0." Learners become empowered to search, create, and collaborate information. It differs from traditional eLearning (sometimes called "eLearning 1.0") by encouraging everyone to contribute in creating and sharing information and their experiences. NOTE: The term now seems to be out of date (seldom used).

electronic performance support system (EPSS)

Applications designed to run simultaneously with other applications or embedded within other applications that provide support for the user in accomplishing specific tasks. An EPSS may provide needed information, present job aids, and deliver just-in-time, context-sensitive training on demand. A Web-based performance support system (WBPSS) is an EPSS which uses Web technology to deliver support in an enterprise environment. See Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS).


Components of a task or the smallest meaningful activity that describes what employees in an industry are expected to be able to do. Elements combine to form a task, tasks combine to form a duty, and duties combine to from a job. Elements depend on other elements and are always components of a procedure. Also, the sub-division of a unit of competence. The element encapsulates:
  • Skills - the performance of relevant tasks.
  • Management - the skills required to manage a group of tasks to achieve the overall job function.
  • Contingency management skills - i.e. responding to breakdowns in routines and procedures.
  • Job/role environment - i.e. responding to general aspects of the work role and environment, such as natural constraints and working relationships

Emotional Intelligence

A term popularized by Daniel Goleman in his 1995 book of the same name, Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, describes the understanding individuals have of other people, their feelings and motivations. It is contrasted with Eysenck's Intelligence Quotient, or IQ, which focuses on logic and process

enabling learning objective (ELO)

A statement in behavioral terms of what is expected of the student in demonstrating mastery at the knowledge and skill level necessary for achievement of a Terminal Learning Objective (TLO) or another ELO.


A branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge. The study of how we know what we know. An example is Karl Popper's the Three Worlds of Knowledge.


see electronic performance support system


An approach to job design that focuses on the interactions between the person and the environmental elements, such as the work station, light, sound, tools, etc.


The process of gathering information in order to make good decisions. It is broader than testing, and includes both subjective (opinion) input and objective (fact) input. Evaluation can take many forms including memorization tests, portfolio assessment, and self-reflection. There are at least six major reasons for evaluating training, each requiring a different type of evaluation:
  • Improve the instruction (formative evaluation)
  • Promote individual growth and self-evaluation (evaluation by both trainer and learner)
  • Assess the degree of demonstrated achievement (summative evaluation)
  • Diagnose future learning needs (of both trainer and learner)
  • Enhance one's sense of merit or worth (learner)
  • Identify or clarify desired behaviors (trainer)

evaluation hierarchy (four levels of evaluation model)

Donald Kirkpatrick created the evaluation model that is the most widely recognized today by trainers and instructional designers. The Kirkpatrick Model addresses the four fundamental behavior changes that occur as a result of training.
  • Level one is how participants feel about training (reaction). This level is often measured with attitude questionnaires.
  • Level two determines if people memorized the material (learning). This is often accomplished with pre-testing and post-testing.
  • Level three answers the question, "Do people use the information on the job?" This level addresses transference of new skills to the jobs (behavior change). This is often accomplished by observation.

evaluation instrument

A test or other measuring device used to determine achievement (go and no-go) or the relative standing of an individual or group or a test objective (i.e., attitude, behavior, performance objective, and other attributes). Evaluation instruments include tests, rating forms, inventories, and standard interviews. See Testing Instruments in Instructional Design.

evaluation phase

The fifth phase of Instructional System Design (ADDIE). The purpose of this phase is determine the value or worth of the instructional program. This phase is actually conducted during and between all the other phases.

evolutionary approach

A method for developing training programs. It includes both deterministic and incremental systems, in contrast to the systems approach, which is entirely deterministic. This means that in an evolutionary approach, tentative or short term goals may be specified. This approach is particularly appropriate for situations where there is limited past experience from which to draw guidance. Similar to iterations.

experiential learning

A learning activity having a behavioral based hierarchy that allows the student to experience and practice job related tasks and functions during a training session. See Kolb's Learning Styles and Experiential Learning Model.


A sub-level of the comprehension level of learning in which students develop sufficient understanding to estimate trends or predict outcomes based upon the subject matter under study.
S T U V W X Y Z Acronyms