Learning, Training, and Human Performance Glossary

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

S T U V W X Y Z Acronyms

lead-off question

A question initiated by the instructor at the beginning of a lesson or main point in order to generate a discussion that will reinforce an important concept.

learner-centered instruction

An instructional process in which the content is determined by the student’s needs, the instructional materials are geared to the student’s abilities, and the instructional design makes the students active participants. NOTE: The vast majority of so-called Learner-Centered Designs are based on other techniques as they are focused on what others think the needs and goals of the learners should be, NOT what the learners think they should be. See Designing for Agile Learning for more information.


a relatively permanent change in behavioral potentiality, that can be measured, that occurs as a result of reinforced practice; gaining knowledge, skills, or developing a behavior through study, instruction, or experience. See Definitions in Instructional Design.

learning activities

Events or exercises intended to promote learning. Examples - Leadership Development and Training Activities

learning analysis

The analysis of each task or subject area to determine what the learner must do upon completion of training, how well the learner must be able to do it, and what skills and knowledge must be taught in order to meet the end-of-training requirement.

learning curve

A curve reflecting the rate of improvement in performing a new task as a learner practices and uses hers or his newly acquired skills and knowledge. For one example, see Hershey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership Model (SLM).

Learning Content Management System (LCMS)

Note that a LCMS differs somewhat from an LMS. An infrastructure platform that focuses on learning content. The purpose behind it is to give instructional designers and subject matter experts (SME) the means to create learning content more efficiently or JIT in order to meet learner's and business units' needs. It does this by creating reusable content chunks and then making them available to designers and SMEs throughout the organization. This eliminates duplicate development.

learning decay

A decrease of learned skills over a period of time. Decay can be greatly reduced by using Just-Time-Training or sustainment or reinforcement training.

learning hierarchy

A graphic display of the relationships among learning objectives that show which learning objectives must be mastered before the others can be learned.

Learning Management System (LMS)

An infrastructure platform through which learning content is planned, delivered, and managed. A combination of software tools perform a variety of functions related to online and offline training administration and performance management. It is meant to replace fragmented learning programs with a systematic means in order to assess and increase performance levels throughout the organization. Note that it differs somewhat from an LCMS.

learning package (courseware)

The media, such as text, computer program, or CD-ROM, that contains the instructional content that users (learners or students) study and practice in order to gain proficiency in a task or subject.

learning object

A reusable chunk of information that is media independent. It includes Reusable Information Objects (RIOs), educational objects, content objects, training components, nuggets, and chunks.

learning objective

A statement of what the learners will be expected to do when they have completed a specified course of instruction. It prescribes the conditions, behavior (action), and standard of task performance for the training setting. An Enabling Learning Objective measures an element of the Terminal Learning Objective. Sometimes referred to as performance, instructional, or behavioral objective.

learning organization

An organization that continuously learns new KSA's (knowledge, skills, abilities or attitudes) and applying them to improve product or service quality.

learning portal

A web site that offers learners or organizations consolidated access to learning and training resources from multiple sources.

learning step

A sub-unit of a learning objective derived when the learning objective is analyzed into its component parts.

learning strategies

The methods that students use to learn. This ranges from techniques for improved memory to better studying or test taking strategies. Also see, Instructional Design — Media, Strategies, & Methods

learning style

A composite of the cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment. Included in this definition are perceptual modalities, information processing styles, and personality patterns.

learning style inventory

Kolb & Fry's Learning Style Inventory theorizes that people develop preferences for different learning styles in the same way that they develop any other sort of style, i.e. - management, leadership, negotiating etc. The four predominant styles are:
  • Active experimentation (simulations, case study, homework). If this if the preferred style of the learner then she is an Activist - what's new? I'm game for anything.
  • Reflective observation (logs, journals, brainstorming). If this if the preferred style of the learner then he is a Reflector - I'd like time to think about this.
  • Abstract conceptualization (lecture, papers, analogies). If this if the preferred style of the learner then she is a Theorist - How does this relate to that?
  • Concrete experience (laboratories, field work, observations). If this if the preferred style of the learner then he is a Pragmatist - How can I apply this in practice?

learning taxonomy (Bloom's Hierarchy):

A taxonomic classification of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor behaviors for the purposes of test design invented by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues.


A segment of instruction that contains a learning objective, information to be imparted to the student, and activities that support the learner in gaining experience in order to master the task..

lesson plan

A written guide for instructors that show how to achieve the intended learning outcomes. It provides specific definition and direction on learning objectives, equipment, instructional media material requirements, and the conduct of the training.

Lickert Scale

In 1932, Renis Likert invented a measurement method used in questionnaires, such as attitude surveys. It allows answers that range from choices, such as strongly disagree to strongly agree. It is the most widely used scale in survey research

lifelong learning

The concept of 'continuous personal development' that is self-directed by the individual throughout his or her life span.


A programming method characterized by short steps of instruction, constructed response, and a maximum amount of overt activity. While often thought of as the least desirable programming technique (see branching), it can be quite useful when helping learners master the basics of complex skills.
S T U V W X Y Z Acronyms