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Glossary of terms




Clear and concise statements that describe what the teacher or trainer hopes to achieve in a learning session.

Closed questions

Questions which have only one satisfactory answer, which are usually very short.


Continuing Professional Development. The name given to the activity which allows teachers/trainers to maintain or improve their knowledge, understanding and skills.


Identifying and addressing the different needs, interests and abilities of all learners to give them the best possible chance of achieving their learning goals.


Measuring the effectiveness of a learning programme through learner and teacher feedback.

Formative assessment

Regular checking of individual learners’ progress throughout their programme, within and outside teaching and learning sessions followed by feedback.

Functional skills

Knowledge, skills and understanding needed for individuals to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and at work.


Individual Learning Plan which tracks learners’ progress on a course.


Information and learning technology. Supporting and delivering effective learning supported by technology.

Institute for Learning

The professional body for teachers, trainers, tutors and student teachers in the learning and skills sector.


The sum of the information and experience that a learner has acquired and is able to recall or use in a given situation or activity.

Learning styles inventory

A diagnostic instrument used to assess learners preferred learning styles.


The independent employer-led sector skills council responsible for the professional development of all those working in the Lifelong Learning Sector.


A short teaching session to demonstrate your learning and understanding of the course content.


Precise and measurable statements describing what you intend learners to learn in the time specified.

Open questions

Questions which cannot be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.


An introduction to teaching in the post-compulsory sector - the first Unit of a recognised teaching qualification.


The new recognised status for qualified teachers in the post compulsory sector.

Qualifications and
Curriculum Framework

A way of recognising achievement through the award of credits for units and qualifications.


The process whereby a learner takes time to consider an experience and reflect on how it was done.  It could also be used for teachers or trainers to consider their own work.


A process that indicates the likelihood that a learner may have literacy, language or numeracy skills.

Session Plan

A timed plan for a learning session  that specifies aims, learning objectives, activities, resources and support needs.

SMART objectives

Objectives that are specific, measurable achievable, realistic and time-related.

Summative assessment

Checking of learners’ skills, knowledge, progression etc at the end of the unit or course.

Teaching Cycle

The ongoing planning, delivering, assessing and evaluating of a teaching programme.

Team teaching

Working with a colleague to deliver learning  sessions that can provide you both with useful feedback on the effectiveness of your strategies.


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