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Understanding the Jargon

Did you recently attend Learning Technologies 2020? Whether you did or didn’t, we’re sure you’ve heard lots of the latest Learning Tech Jargon. Here are the definitions to help you get to grips with what lots of suppliers are talking about!


This is a reference model which is essentially a reminder that people learn most from working and interacting with others in the workplace (70+20). The specific ratio (70:20:10), in any given situation, will vary, depending on the work environment and the organisational results required. The ratios in the model illustrate that:

70 percent of learning comes from experience, experiment and reflection.

20 percent derives from working with others.

10 percent comes from formal interventions and planned learning solutions.

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning is a process whereby the learning journey you take is individualised to your specific needs based on factors such as prior knowledge and the speed with which you acquire knowledge as you progress through a course. This is aided by technology.

AI Recommended

Using machine learning and its sub-discipline, deep learning, Artificial intelligence (AI), supports the creation of algorithms that replicate real-life logic used in decision-making when consulting friends or trusted experts about shared interests. The fundamental difference is that instead of asking one or two people, artificial intelligence makes it possible for us to get input from a group as large as an entire city. Recommendation engines are making it possible to take the leap from merely organizing information to offering personalized suggestions or advice according to specific tastes or needs in an automated way.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the result of using technology to superimpose information — sounds, images and text — on the world we see. There are numerous uses is learning for examples to help engineers or medical teams visualise situations they will work on.

Big Data

Big data refers to the large, diverse sets of information that grow at ever-increasing rates. It encompasses the volume of information, the velocity or speed at which it is created and collected, and the variety or scope of the data points being covered. Big data often comes from multiple sources and arrives in multiple formats. By looking at the relationship between different types of data analysts can therefore turn this mass of information into actionable information.


Bite-sized learning is the principles that learning content should be focussed on one specific idea or output. The content should be succinct and useful. Effectively content is being designed to be accessed in the way you would a google search. Bite-sized content is a key enabler of performance support and just in time learning.

Consumer Grade

When you say ‘Consumer Grade’ it simply mean that whatever we are talking about should be built or develop keeping in mind a consumer approach. In essence this means that users of learning tech or other experiences should find them easy and beneficial.

Content Curation

Content curation is when an individual (or team) consistently finds, organizes, annotates, and shares relevant and high quality digital content on a specific topic for a targeted group. This can be carried out by humans or technology and in most cases a combination of both.

Data Driven Content Strategy

A term taken from marketing to illustrate an approach to learning content based on metrics, consumption and impact. Learning systems have the ability to capture huge amounts of data. By analysing this data and aligning it to other business data it is possible to identify correlation and causation between learning and performance. This information can then help shape your future learning and content strategies to enhance impact and return on Investment.

Gamified Learning

The gamification of learning is an educational approach to motivate students to learn by using video game design and game elements in learning environments. The goal is to maximize enjoyment and engagement through capturing the interest of learners and inspiring them to continue learning. Gamification, broadly defined, is the process of defining the elements which comprise games that make those games fun and motivate players to continue playing, and using those same elements in a non-game context to influence behaviour.

Immersive Experience

An immersive experience is an illusory environment that completely surrounds you such that you feel that you are inside it and part of it. The term is associated with technology environments that command the senses such as virtual reality and mixed reality. This allows individuals to experience environments which they would ordinarily not be able to e.g. being in an emergency situation.

Intelligent Technology

Intelligent Technology is a catch all term used to cover terms such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. In essence it is where machines or technology can carry out tasks they have not been specifically asked to do and can learn and evolve based on experience.

Learning Eco-System

A learning ecosystem is the collection of people, processes and tools that deliver, integrate and support the L&D function across your organization. Every organization has a learning ecosystem, just like every business has a culture, whether it was formed intentionally or not.

Learning in the Flow of Work

Learning in the flow of work recognizes that for learning to really happen, it must fit around and align itself to working days and working lives. Rather than think of corporate learning as a destination, it’s now becoming something that comes to us. Through good design thinking and cutting-edge technology, we can build solutions and experiences that make learning almost invisible in our jobs.

Learning Pathways

A learning pathway is a carefully constructed route through your training programme. It gathers your content together into digestible chunks and acts as a roadmap, guiding learners on how they should progress.

Netflix Experience

The Netflix Experience is a term used to bring to life personalised recommendations. It becomes a shorthand to be able to illustrate that a learning platform uses a combination of tagging of content, an algorithm and usage data gathered from users to serve up individualised recommendations. The tile based approach you see to the design of many learning platforms inspired by the design of Netflix and similar consumer platforms.

Personalised Learning

Personalised learning is a term used to cover any part of a learning solution which individualises the learning experience based on the learner. This could be in content, format, pace, location etc. Therefore the learning experience and journey for each individual becomes unique and therefore should have a greater impact or relevance.

Skills Half-Life

The half-life of a skill has dropped from 30 years to an average of 6 years. This holds true even for fresh university graduates. This means that the model of “learn at school” and “do at work” is o longer sustainable and constant reskilling and lifelong learning will be a way of life at work.

Skills Matrix

A Skills Matrix is a management tool that rates and scores each employee on the knowledge that it takes to do the job. There are several reasons why you as a manager would want such a tool:

  1. A skills matrix helps managers establish a detailed assessment of individual employee’s capabilities.

  2. A summary of your team’s capabilities helps you identify where there may be gaps or weaknesses.

  3. A clear definition of how skills are rated identifies a criterion by which you can guide employee development.

  4. Your skills assessment can identify where training may be of use.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

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