Documentation:CTLT Resources/CTLT Glossary

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The CTLT Glossary was first intended to provide a common vocabulary and understanding on the many teaching and learning terms we use in our everyday conversations. This page is open to the UBC community as a reference and as an open resource. Everyone is encouraged to contribute by adding new terms and providing definitions. It is a continuously evolving document that will be updated with all of our knowledge and input.

If you have any questions, please feel free to start a discussion on the Talk Page.


Term Definition
Aboriginal Initiatives Programs Aboriginal Initiatives programming at CTLT operate as a partnership between the First Nations House of Learning and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. The primary focus of these programs is to support the development of a higher standard of professionalism when conducting discussions on Aboriginal and other contentious social issues in curricular settings.
Academic committee service faculty duties of a collegial nature, i.e. service on committees within department, campus-wide, and in extra-curricular contexts.

(see also: chairing, counselling by teachers, curriculum development, curriculum planning, evaluation - learning, faculty association and collaboration, Teaching and Academic Growth - models, research - non-academic, tenure)

Active Learning "Active Learning is, in short, anything that students do in a classroom other than merely passively listening to an instructor's lecture. This includes everything from listening practices which help the students to absorb what they hear, to short writing exercises in which students react to lecture material, to complex group exercises in which students apply course material to "real life" situations and/or to new problems". Paulson & Faust, California State University, Los Angeles
Academic Leadership Development
Admissions policy setting of criteria for admission to programmes in higher education and practices for administration

(see also: assessment - learning, curriculum planning, programme review)

Adult development and adult learners stages in adult cognitive, affective and psychomotor development and their impacts on the education of adults; social and physical environment issues typical of adults in learning settings

(see also: counselling by teachers, learning style)

Assessment – learning criteria, values, methods, techniques and instruments for evaluation of learning

(see also: concepts of teaching, course design, curriculum development, evaluation - learning, instructional objectives, learner productivity, student responsibilities, teaching practices, writing across the curriculum)

Assessment – teaching criteria, values, methodology, techniques and instruments for evaluation of teaching

(see also: classroom research, concepts of teaching, evaluation - teaching, faculty development - models, instructional development, needs assessment, self-assessment - teachers, teaching assistants - training, teaching dossier, teaching environment - administrative, teaching practices, total quality management)


Term Definition
Blended Learning Blended learning in educational research refers to a mixing of different learning environments. It combines traditional face-to-face classroom methods with more modern computer-mediated activities.
BOPPPS Mini-Lessons Basics developed by the ISW Network.


Term Definition
Career consulting discussions with colleagues and outside practitioners about planning academic careers

(see also: faculty association and collaboration, faculty development, faculty stress, institutional environment, new faculty, peer consulting, teaching dossier, teaching environment - administrative, total quality management, wellness programmes)

Case studies [note - specify field - art and art history, commerce, engineering, history, humanities, mathematics, professions, psychology, science, social science) discipline or faculty - specific case studies of faculty development

(see also: faculty development, liberal arts education, science education, teaching - disciplinary case studies)

Chairing service as head of a committee, task force, department or other leadership body

(see also: academic committee service, faculty association and collaboration, faculty incentives, institutional environment)

Class Climate "Classroom climate sometimes is referred to as the learning environment, as well as by terms such as atmosphere, ambiance, ecology, and milieu".[1]

"The Impact of classroom climate on students and staff can be beneficial for or a barrier to learning".[1]

Class journals records of classroom events kept on a regular periodic basis by a class, sometimes including the instructor, to improve student-student and student-instructor communication

(see also: classroom assignments, classroom dynamics, classroom research, collaborative learning, group projects, student journals, teaching environment)

Classroom Assessment Techniques Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) are mostly simple, non-graded, anonymous, in-class activities that give both teachers and learners feedback on the teaching-learning process.
Classroom assignments exercises or other work intended to be performed within the class period

(see also: classroom discussion, cooperative learning, experiential learning, group projects, lectures - alternatives, problem solving, teaching in the classroom, teaching techniques)

Classroom discussion teaching technique focused on enabling verbal feedback from students as a class to encourage participation and to evaluate the degree of learning that has taken place by both instructor and learners

(see also: classroom research, collaborative learning, experiential learning, gender differences in instruction, inclusivity, independent thinking, multicultural awareness, questioning techniques, teaching in the classroom, teaching techniques)

Classroom dynamics the process or agreed conventions of interaction among instructor and students during a class over time, and how it impacts on learning

(see also: classroom research, collaborative learning, concepts of teaching, experiential learning, gender differences in instruction, inclusivity, teaching environment - cultural, teaching in the classroom, teaching process)

Classroom research techniques and processes focused on formative evaluation by students of learning, teaching, and/or classroom dynamics, conducted in class

(see also: classroom dynamics, evaluation - learning, evaluation - teaching, motivating learners, preparation for teaching, student evaluation, teaching practices, teaching process)

Clickers Wireless hand held devices about the size of a small calculator;

Personal response systems; Student response devices

Collaborative grading a method of evaluation where students grade each other’s work, usually in pairs

(see also: collaborative learning, collaborative testing, grading and testing, group projects, evaluation-learning, problem solving)

Collaborative learning a generic term for learning in groups facilitated by an instructor, as opposed to learning as individuals from an instructor: includes seminars, discussion groups, etc.

(see also: cooperative learning, colloquium, group projects, lectures - alternatives, peer coaching, reading pairs, tutorials)

Collaborative testing instruments designed for testing by students of each other, teaching techniques which contemplate collaborative grading

(see also: collaborative grading, grading and testing, cooperative learning)

Colloquium presentation of research to some group, usually at department level, and usually open to colleagues and students

(see also: collaborative learning, faculty association and collaboration, peer review, research - academic, scholarly publishing, seminars, workshops)

Community Service Learning There are numerous definitions of community service learning (CSL), but essentially, CSL or ‘service learning’ refers to a model of experiential learning that combines classroom learning with volunteer work that achieves community goals. Real-life experiences in the community are linked to academic content through processes of critical reflection such as journal writing, small group discussion, and writing analytical papers.
Computer-assisted instruction instruction which includes various levels of interaction with data processing equipment; in the limit ‘programmed instruction’ where the student works directly with the equipment without an instructor

(see also: educational technology, instructional media, problem solving, real time simulation, self directed learning)

Concepts of teaching one’s basic attitude or world view towards teaching and the respective roles of instructor, content, and student

(see also: faculty development - models, philosophical and conceptual approaches, teaching process, teaching style)

Consulting practice – adjunct to academic work issues surrounding independent consulting work done by faculty members outside of institutionally funded research

(see also: faculty development - social issues, research - non-academic)

CoP (Community of practice) "Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly" (Wenger,2006)
Cooperative learning a highly structured form of collaborative learning which focuses in particular on small group approaches to problem-solving

(see also: classroom discussion, collaborative learning, experiential learning, group projects, lectures - alternatives)

Counselling by teachers teachers advising students on matters not directly connected with the course being taught, e.g. personal problems

(see also: gender differences in instruction, inclusivity teaching practices)

Course content the material to be covered within a course outline, which collectively for courses within the framework of a programme constitutes a curriculum

(see also: course overlap, curriculum planning, programme review, preparation for teaching)

Course design sequencing modules or elements of course content in an order that facilitates learning

(see also: instructional design, lesson planning)

Course overlap material covered by more than one course in a programme of study

(see also: curriculum planning, programme review)

Critical thinking the ability to assess and evaluate particular assertions or concepts in the light of either evidence or wider contexts

(see also: independent thinking)

Curriculum development qualitative change in the course structure or courses making up a particular programme intended to bring a particular curriculum closer to the goals and objectives of the programme

(see also: programme review)

Curriculum planning the process of evaluating curriculum and implementing curriculum development


Term Definition
Debate Debating is a structured contest of argumentation in which two opposing individuals or teams defend and attack a given proposition.
Disciplinary Diversity Disciplinary diversity refers to teaching students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds: for example, teaching a course for non-majors or non-specialists (law for business students, ethics for medical students) or acknowledging and building on the different perspectives and ideas students bring with them from other courses.
Distance education formal learning settings where the students and the instructor are separated geographically and there is no classroom; in some applications, e.g. open learning there is no formal instructor, only prepackaged materials and a tutor

(see also: self-directed learning)

Digital Storytelling "Digital storytelling is the practice of combining narrative with digital content, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component." (As cited in Sheneman[2], 2010)
Digital Tattoo Digital tattoo is "your digital identity. Just like a tattoo, your digital reputation is an expression of yourself. it is formed and added to by you and others over time".


Term Definition
Educational Data Mining (EDM) An emerging discipline, concerned with developing methods for exploring the unique types of data that come from educational settings, and using those methods to better understand students, and the settings which they learn in.[3]
Educational developer People who design, organize, implement, and deliver educational development
Educational Developers Caucus (EDC) The Caucus defines itself as a community of practice with a mission to work within the aims and structure of the STLHE to facilitate the advancement and evolution of educational development as a field of practice and scholarship by communications, networking, professional development opportunities and advocacy strategies.
Educational development Educational development refers to any endeavor that is designed to assist members of the higher education community (i.e., faculty members, graduate students and others with an interest in teaching) develop in their roles as “teachers, scholars, and citizens of their campuses, professions, and broader communities” (Sorcinelli, Austin, Eddy & Beach, 2006, p.xiii).

Educational development activities include programs to enhance teaching and student learning, research and scholarly inquiries into teaching, and academic leadership

Educational innovation applying creativity to teaching process, practices, or techniques

(see also: case studies, instructional development, lectures - alternatives)

Educational technology artificial aids to teaching and learning; formal knowledge about educational processes

(see also: computer-assisted instruction, concepts of teaching, cooperative learning, instructional design, experiential learning, instructional media, teaching materials, writing across the curriculum)

Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) a community of BC post-secondary educational practitioners focused on the ways in which learning and teaching can be enhanced through technology.
ELearning All forms of electronically supported teaching and learning.
Embedding A process that means to reuse information and media in another online space other than just providing the link to those resources
Evaluation [note subheadings - curriculum, faculty development, learning, teaching] applying assessment to particular situations, processes, settings, persons, or time periods, in order to derive conclusions about efficiency and/or effectiveness

(see also: assessment, critical thinking, grading and testing, learner productivity, peer review, programme review, student evaluation, total quality management)

Examinations formal and summative evaluation of learning, usually written, but may be oral, administered periodically and as a conclusion to most credit courses

(see also: evaluation - learning, grading and testing, test anxiety)

Experiential learning an outcome of teaching practices generally known as ‘learner-centred’, where the learner’s knowledge, particularly from experience, is considered important, and where learners ‘act out’ or simulate the content of the course in order to develop familiar as well as formal knowledge of it

(see also: collaborative learning, concepts of teaching, cooperative learning, group projects, lectures - alternatives, problem based learning, real time simulation)

Extra credit bonuses, usually applied to final course marks, based on activities not within the formal expectations of the course, e.g. attendance


Term Definition
Faculty association and collaboration group activities and processes of faculty members not within their teaching or research duties

(see also: academic committee service, chairing, curriculum development, faculty development, mentoring, peer consulting, teaching environment - cultural, wellness programmes)

Faculty development [note subheadings - case studies, consultation, models, social issues]

programmes, techniques, conceptions, and processes intended to bring about qualitative change in the competence and/or confidence of faculty members, some criteria usually applied by an educational institution as part of the promotion or tenure assessment process; often programmes are voluntary (see also: case studies concepts of teaching, faculty association and collaboration, instructional development, new faculty, peer coaching, peer consulting, teaching environment - administrative, teaching practices)

Faculty incentives positive inducements to improved faculty performance

(see also: faculty development, institutional environment, teaching awards, teaching environment)

Faculty stress negative factors or influences in faculty performance

(see also: career consulting, faculty development - case studies and social issues, institutional environment, needs assessment, peer consulting, teaching environment - administrative and cultural, total quality management, wellness programmes)

Feminist pedagogy principles of teaching [students, as opposed to andragogy] based on feminist philosophy

(see also: gender differences in instruction, inclusivity, multicultural awareness, teaching environment - administrative, cultural)

Field trip methods techniques and processes used for research, teaching and learning in settings outside the classroom

(see also: instructional design, teaching methods)

Fishbowl A fishbowl conversation is a form of dialog that can be used when discussing topics within large groups. The advantage of Fishbowl is that it allows the entire group to participate in a conversation.


Term Definition
Gamification Gamification is the use of game design techniques[4], game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts. Typically gamification applies to non-game applications and processes, in order to encourage people to adopt them, or to influence how they are used. Gamification works by making technology more engaging[5], by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviors[6], by showing a path to mastery and autonomy, by helping to solve problems and not being a distraction, and by taking advantage of humans' psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.[7] The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, filling out tax forms, or reading web sites.[5]
Gender differences in instruction ways in which males and females differ behaviourally in instructional settings, including motor skills, participation and assertiveness, personal needs, and implications of those differences for teaching and learning

(see also: counselling by teachers, inclusivity, multicultural awareness, teaching environment - cultural)

Grading and testing assigning some rank order to students via the design and marking of assignments, including examinations

(see also: assessment - learning, classroom assignments, collaborative grading, collaborative testing, evaluation - learning, examinations, homework, student self-evaluation, teaching methods, test anxiety, written assignments)

Graduate students students who already have a bachelor’s degree and are proceeding towards advanced degrees or professional designations

(see also: seminars, internship, teaching assistants, teaching in the classroom)

Group projects assignments done by two or more students, which typically take several weeks to complete, and are normally graded on a combination of individual and collective criteria

(see also: collaborative learning, cooperative learning, reading pairs, self-directed learning, teaching methods)


Term Definition
Homework an informal term for assignments to be done outside class, normally consisting of reading, problem sets, or writing short pieces, not usually numerically graded, in preparation for succeeding classes

(see also: classroom assignments, examinations, grading and testing, problem solving, reading assignments, student responsibilities, teaching practices, teaching process, written assignments)


Term Definition
Icebreaker Icebreakers are structured activities that are designed to relax learners, introduce them to each other, and energize them in what is normally an unduly formal atmosphere or situation.
Inclusivity practices to ensure that all students in the class have an equitable opportunity to participate, achieve successful completion of the course, and develop multicultural and gender awareness

(see also: classroom dynamics, gender differences in instruction, multicultural awareness, teaching environment - cultural, teaching practices)

Independent thinking the ability to appreciate, create, analyze, synthesize, assess and evaluate without outside assistance

(see also: adult development and adult learners, assessment - learning, concepts of teaching, critical thinking, interdisciplinary approach, liberal arts education, self-directed learning)

Information architecture Determining the structure and hierarchy of information on a resource such as a poster, publication or a website
Institutional environment the culture of a particular institution, including collective and unwritten attitudes, predispositions, values, etc.

(see also: faculty incentives, faculty stress, teaching environment, total quality management, wellness programmes)

Instructional design principles or procedures or guidelines upon which instruction is modelled before it is put into operation

(see also: assessment - teaching, course design, educational innovation, faculty development - models, teaching practices)

Instructional development the process of assessing, improving, and updating instructional design, including measures to improve the skills of instructors

(see also: concepts of teaching, curriculum development, educational technology, lectures - alternatives, professional education, teaching environment - administrative)

Instructional media means of communication used in teaching

(see also: case studies, educational innovation, educational technology, lectures - alternatives, computer-assisted instruction, field trip methods, preparation for teaching, real time simulation, teaching materials, written communication skills)

Instructional objectives concise statements of what the learner is expected to accomplish during a lesson, consisting of a general instructional goal, and specific learning outcomes, normally denoting something observable or assessable

(see also: assessment - learning, course design, learner productivity, lesson planning, motivating learners, preparation for teaching)

Instructional Skills Workshop Facilitator Portal This portal provides a basic overview of ISW activities at UBC including a list of facilitators and links to research on ISWs
Interdisciplinary approach an approach which focuses on structures or tasks of interest, regardless of disciplinary boundaries and which leads to a task-force or problem-based rather than programme orientation

(see also: classroom research, concepts of teaching, curriculum development, independent thinking, problem based learning, writing across the curriculum)

Internship a period of practical application after graduation in a professional setting, normally as a prerequisite to certification – in academic settings, like the pretenure period for faculty

(see also: evaluation - learning, mentoring, new faculty, professional education, teaching fellowship, tenure)

iPeer iPeer is an open source web application that allows instructors to develop and deliver rubric-based peer evaluations, to review and release student comments, to build progress report forms online, and to analyze evaluation results.
ISW (Instructional Skills Workshop) Instructional Skills Workshops (ISW) are full-day workshops designed for graduate students and faculty members who wish to develop new teaching skills, enhance existing ones and/or try out challenging new ideas.


Term Definition
Laboratories specialized classrooms, generally of two types; scientific, where experiments are carried out in support of theoretical curricula, and language, where students receive conversational practice

(see also: case studies - humanities, psychology, and science, computer-assisted instruction, educational technology, experiential learning, problem solving, real time simulation, science education, teaching in laboratories)

Large classes generally, classes with over 50 students

(see also: classroom dynamics, collaborative learning, lecturing, teaching environment - cultural, teaching first-year students)

Learner productivity the degree to which or rate at which learners advance their knowledge in terms of content and learning process, usually assessed on criteria of efficiency and effectiveness

(see also: adult development and adult learners, assessment - learning, case studies, concepts of teaching, independent thinking, motivating learners, self-directed learning, student responsibilities)

Learning Analytics Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.
Learning Design It's the design of a learning experience to address an expressed or defined problem or challenge and usually some pre-determined learning objectives or intentions. It involves consideration of the actions that learners may take in order to learn and design decisions are based on current knowledge about how people learn.
Learning Objective Learning Objectives are concise statements of what the learner is expected to accomplish during a lesson or a learning experience, consisting of a general instructional goal, and specific learning outcomes, normally denoting something observable or assessable.
Learning Principles Principles that may help explain how learning happens and how it can be supported
Learning style a coherent set of learner preferences for ways and means of teaching and learning

(see also: adult development and adult learners, inclusivity, motivating learners, teaching style)

Lectures – alternatives methods of teaching that do not involve a unilateral presentation or transmission of information by the instructor

(see also: case studies, classroom assignments, classroom discussion, collaborative learning, colloquium, computer-assisted instruction, concepts of teaching, cooperative learning, educational innovation, experiential learning, field trip methods, instructional design, laboratories, problem based learning, real time simulation, self-directed learning, seminars, teaching methods)

Lecturing a method of teaching where the instructor transmits information to the students in a basically unilateral fashion, i.e. defines the topic, the approach, and the salient substantive information to be presented, with limited time for discussion

(see also: case studies, concepts of teaching, large classes, teaching first-year students, teaching in the classroom, teaching methods)

Lesson planning making an outline of an individual lesson in preparation for teaching, including objectives, content, media and materials, activities and time budget

(see also: course design, evaluation -learning, instructional design, motivating learners, preparation for teaching, teaching techniques)

Liberal arts education curricula oriented towards the humanities and softer social sciences, with an emphasis on basic knowledge of the arts and theories of social interactions and communication.
Library research methods ways and means of accessing and assembling bibliographic data bases and conducting literature reviews, including familiarity with cataloging and in-library citation indices and other data bases

(see also: case studies, educational technology, homework, reading assignments, research - academic, written assignments)


Term Definition
Mentoring a relationship where a more experienced person provides advice, guidance, and resources to a less experienced one

see also: career consulting, counselling by teachers, faculty association and collaboration, faculty stress, institutional environment, internship, peer consulting

Mobile Learning 'Mobile Learning' describes a range of activities and discussions in response to the rapid development and increasing popularity of portable electronic devices.
Mobile Learning Devices Mobile learning devices include any device which is smaller than a laptop or netbook, contains a display of some sort, is networkable, and offers a method of input.
Motivating Learners providing incentives for or enabling learners to seek their particular learning aims, goals, or values

see also: adult development and adult learners, case studies, classroom research, concepts of teaching, instructional objectives, multicultural awareness, learner productivity, self-directed learning, teaching practices)

Multicultural Awareness sensitivity to the needs of those who come from different cultures than one’s own, or that typical of the institution

see also: classroom dynamics, gender differences in instruction, inclusivity, institutional environment, motivating learners, teaching environment - cultural, teaching in the classroom

Multiple Intelligences The Theory of Multiple Intelligences was developed by Howard Gardner in 1983. According to Gardner we all have eight intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist intelligence.


Term Definition
Needs Assessment criteria, values, methods, techniques and instruments for evaluation of conceptual and substantive requirements for learning, teaching, course content and activities, and curricula

see also: assessment - learning, assessment - teaching, classroom research, concepts of teaching, course content, course design, curriculum development, faculty development - models, instructional design, programme review, self-assessment - teachers, student self- evaluation, teaching process, wellness programmes

New Faculty see also: faculty development, faculty incentives, faculty stress, institutional environment, peer consulting, peer review, research - academic, scholarly publishing, teaching environment - administrative, tenure
Novelty Space Novelty space is a pedagogical term used to refer to the new dimensions experienced by students, in particular when engaging in experiential learning activities. The reduction of novelty space has been found to be an important factor in reducing negative outcomes of experiential learning and improving cognitive learning scores.


Term Definition
Open Education 'Open Education' means different things to different people. But essentially it can be understood as a collection of practices that utilize online technology to freely share knowledge. It can mean sharing scholarly research (open access), sharing teaching and learning materials (open educational resources), sharing tools or computer code (open source) or sharing research data in a machine readable format (open data).


Term Definition
Passport Program The Passport of Participation documents the passport owner's UBC Community based professional development activities offered through the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) and its partners. It is one of the ways that we recognize professional development activities for the improvement of teaching and learning at UBC.
Peer Coaching a type of peer consulting where pairs of teachers visit each other’s classrooms, and assess performance based on pre-agreed criteria

see also: evaluation - teaching, faculty association and collaboration, self-assessment - teachers

Peer Consulting collaboration with co-workers or co-practitioners, in this context generally students and teachers, for the purposes of dealing with common problems or issues, arriving at consensus, or assessment of performance

see also: career consulting, collaborative learning, faculty association and collaboration, institutional environment, mentoring, peer coaching, peer review, teaching practices

Peer Review assessment and critical review of performance by colleagues, usually applied to academic research and professorial activities in general

see also: scholarly publishing, tenure, total quality management

Performance Based Assessment Evaluation of achievement, learning, etc., that requires direct demonstration of knowledge and skills via the construction of responses, and for which scoring can be based on the processes of the response construction as well as the final product -- typically, performance-based assessments are designed to elicit and strengthen examinees' critical-thinking skills, problem-solving strategies, self-evaluation skills, and other higher-order thinking skills.[8]
Philosophical and Conceptual Approaches world views, theories and schemata of teaching and learning in adult, higher and continuing education

see also: concepts of teaching, distance education, faculty development, interdisciplinary approach, liberal arts education, problem-based learning, science education

Podcasting Podcasts are audio or video files released periodically that anybody can listen to online or download onto their portable media player.
Preparation for Teaching work done prior to classroom time assembling materials, activities and techniques, in general advance planning for classes

see also: case studies, course design, instructional design, instructional objectives, lesson planning, teaching methods, teaching techniques

Presentation Skills Workshop (PSW) Presentation Skills Workshops (PSW) are two-day interactive workshops designed for graduate students and faculty members who wish increase their confidence and try new approaches in any presentation setting.
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) an approach to learning inclined towards clinical practice, emphasizing tacit or familiar as opposed to propositional knowledge

see also: case studies, experiential learning, interdisciplinary approach, internship, professional education

Problem Solving a teaching practice based on applications of concepts to hypothetical situations as practical exercises

see also: classroom assignments, cooperative learning, homework, real time simulation, teaching in laboratories, teaching methods, tutorials

Professional Education postgraduate programmes leading to professional designations, e.g. law, medicine, etc. as opposed to those oriented to academic research; also continuing upgrading of qualified practitioners

see also: case studies - professions, experiential learning, internship, peer consulting, problem-based learning, real time simulation, workshops

Programme Development – Financial Aspects developing, planning, budgeting, and administering funding at the programme or course of study level

see also: curriculum planning, evaluation - curriculum

Programme Review critical analysis or proposals for improvement of programmes from the viewpoints of theoretical, substantive, and instructional matters

see also: admissions policy, curriculum development, educational innovation, evaluation - curriculum, needs assessment, total quality management

Public Investment capital funding for educational facilities and equipment, and operational funding for programmes of study in adult, higher, and continuing education


Term Definition
Questioning Techniques teaching techniques designed to evoke independent thought, to motivate learners, to inquire into present learner familiarity with content, or to test learner mastery of material by conversation with learners

see also: classroom discussion, evaluating - learning, independent thinking, lectures - alternatives, motivating learners, needs assessment, teaching in the classroom, teaching methods, teaching techniques)


Term Definition
Reading Assignments written material to be read by the student in preparation for a subsequent lesson

see also: homework, reading pairs, student responsibilities, teaching process

Reading Pairs an informal collaborative learning technique where two students assist each other with reading assignments by checking each other’s comprehension of the material assigned

see also: collaborative learning, cooperative learning, evaluation - learning, reading assignments, student self-evaluation

Real Time Simulation a teaching method in which some hypothetical situation is acted out or modelled in some way, by students or sometimes by computers, and where there are dynamic time-constraints on solutions

see also: case studies, computer-assisted instruction, experiential learning, instructional media

Reflective Practice Effective instructors have a responsibility to reflect on their practice regularly in order to improve, renew, and grow - both personally and professionally.
Research – Academic empirical and/or theoretical study, usually within some disciplinary framework in a post-secondary educational setting or consulting practice, whose audience is other practitioners or colleagues in the field or a policymaking agency

see also: colloquium, independent thinking, peer review, scholarly publishing

Research Design an outline preliminary to research in which the topic is justified within some, usually disciplinary framework, where some general assertions are made, and a comprehensive plan prepared to justify those assertions based on empirical or textual evidence.
Research – Non-Academic empirical and/or theoretical study generally of a less disciplinary, formal or theoretically rigorous character, including informal research carried out in teaching and learning settings

see also: academic committee service, classroom research

Respondus Quiz Respondus Quiz 4.0 is a tool for creating and managing exams and quizzes that can be printed to paper or published directly to your WebCT Vista online course.
Rubrics In teaching and learning, a rubric can be thought of as an assessment tool for communicating expectations of quality.


Term Definition
Scholarly Publishing dissemination of scholarly research either by presentation in person or in written forms, e.g. journal articles, theses and dissertations, reports

see also: colloquium, peer review, research - academic, seminars, tenure

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) SOTL is scholarly inquiry into student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public.
Science Education curricula oriented towards the harder or more quantitatively based biophysical and social sciences, with an emphasis on basic knowledge of the theories and engineering of physico-chemical, biochemical, biological systems, and technological artifacts and infrastructures.
Self-Assessment – Teachers criteria, values, methods, techniques and instruments for evaluation by teachers of their own teaching performance

see also: assessment - teaching, classroom research, evaluation - teaching, faculty development - models, teaching practices

Self-Directed Learning some course of study where the primary aims, goals and objectives are established by the learner

see also: adult development and adult learners, independent thinking, student self-evaluation

Seminars a type of course design, typical of postgraduate study, where the instructor sets broad topics or guidelines for the course, but most of the actual instruction is done by the participants

see also: case studies, classroom discussion, collaborative learning, colloquium, course design, lectures - alternatives, teaching practices, workshops

Social Web Tools Social Web tools or technologies are those that make it possible, even easy, to collaborate, share, participate, communicate, and form and re-form relationships along the path of learning.
Strategic Planning "Strategic planning is defined as the process of determining a company's or an institution's long-term objectives, then identifying the best approach to achieve those objectives. It is a continual improvement process that effectively monitors performance against goals, analyzes achievements and shortfalls, and adjusts activity to accomplish the desired results".[9]
Student Directed Seminars a student-driven program that puts students in charge of their education. An expansion of the directed studies option offered by most departments, this program allows senior undergraduate students to initiate and coordinate small, collaborative, group learning experiences.
Student Evaluation rating of teaching performance, usually summative, by students in the course

see also: classroom research, evaluation - teaching, needs assessment

Student Interviews one-on-one conversations with students, usually in the sense of tutoring with regard to substantive or theoretical issues in a course, but also at times a sort of informal counselling regarding time management, organization, and issues of personal morale

see also: case studies, counselling by teachers, mentoring, motivating learners, needs assessment, teaching environment - cultural

Student Journals day-to-day records of events in the classroom or the field kept by students

see also: class journals, experiential learning, field trip methods, teaching techniques, written assignments

Student Responsibilities those parts of a course in which students are expected to direct their own activity, e.g. attendance in class, topical readings, apply- ing writing skills to assignments

see also: adult development and adult learners, assessment - learning, learner productivity, self-directed learning, written communication skills

Student Self-Evaluation students applying assessment criteria to their own work to determine efficiency, effectiveness etc.; also students grading their own assignments

see also: assessment - learning, grading and testing, learner productivity, self-directed learning

Students with Disabilities those who have difficulties with mobility, or for whom some primary sensory system or secondary perceptual system is partly or fully inoperative

see also: admissions policy, inclusivity, teaching environment

Sustainability Education Education that emphasizes both effective learning environments and pedagogy, as well as real-world, applicable, meaningful content. The aim of sustainability education is to equip students with the tools and knowledge they need to collectively address global/local/glocal sustainability challenges. This can encompass all problems related to human sustenance and well-being (social systems, political systems, etc); however, popular definitions focus on resource management, environmental stewardship and social justice ("meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs", United Nations, 1987, World Commission on Environment and Development). For a more defined list of characteristics, visit WalkingtheTalk's webpage on BC's 10 Principles of Sustainability Education.
Syllabus Design


Term Definition
Teaching and Learning Resources Portal UBC wiki page of resources created by CTLT staff to support the UBC community in their teaching and learning endeavors.
Teaching Assistants [note subheading - training] graduate or more rarely undergraduate students hired to teach in university, usually in a non-lecture situation, e.g. laboratories, tutorials and discussion groups

see also: classroom discussion, experiential learning, faculty development - models, graduate students, instructional design, teaching assistants - training, teaching in laboratories, tutorials

Teaching Awards usually annual awards for quality of teaching, with nominations by students and/or peers, and usually voting by the latter

see also: evaluation - teaching, faculty development - models, faculty incentives, instructional development, self-assessment - teachers, teaching environment, total quality management

Teaching – Disciplinary Case Studies: see case: studies
Teaching Dossier a short document summarizing one’s teaching accomplishments, strengths, and areas of improvement; used either as part of a curriculum vitae, or as a basis for reflecting on teaching and making a development plan for acquiring or enhancing teaching skills

see also: teaching environment

Teaching Environment [note subheadings - administrative, cultural] the general biophysical and/or social conditions under which teaching is carried out, including general conventions of behaviour, student-faculty and collegial relations, reporting and recording requirements, etc.

see also: faculty development - social issues, faculty stress, institutional environment

Teaching fellowship an arrangement similar to a sabbatical or research fellowship, although more common with postdoctoral fellows or junior faculty, where the focus is on developing teaching skills

see also: faculty development - case studies, instructional development, new faculty

Teaching First-Year Students see also: computer-assisted instruction, instructional design, large classes, student responsibilities
Teaching in Laboratories see also: case studies - engineering, case studies - humanities, case studies - science, computer assisted instruction, educational technology, experiential learning, field trip methods, laboratories, science education
Teaching in the Classroom that part of instruction spent in active one-on-many contact with students, excluding field trips and laboratories

see also: case studies, classroom dynamics, concepts of teaching, instructional design, large classes, lectures - alternatives, lecturing, preparation for teaching, questioning techniques, teaching environment, teaching practices, teaching process

Teaching Materials see also: course design, educational technology, instructional media, lesson planning, reading assignments
Teaching Methods as opposed to teaching practices, more global views on appropriate ways and means of accomplishing instructional duties, i.e. not restricted to classroom practice, including philosophical and ethical issues

see also: assessment - teaching, concepts of teaching, instructional development, philosophical and conceptual approaches

Teaching Philosophy
Teaching Portfolio see also: teaching dossier
Teaching Practices generalized ways and means of accomplishing general instructional objectives, e.g. creating discussion groups

see also: case studies, course design, instructional design, preparation for teaching, teaching first-year students, teaching in laboratories, teaching in the classroom

Teaching Process the time progression of particular teaching techniques through various phases of a course, or lesson or section of a course

see also: case studies, classroom dynamics, preparation for teaching)

Teaching Style a coherent set of instructor preferences for ways and means of teaching and learning

see also: adult development and adult learners, inclusivity, instructional development, learning style, motivating learners

Teaching Techniques as distinct from teaching practices, specific ways and means of accomplishing specific instructional objectives, typically of the more short-term or informal variety

see also: case studies, educational innovation, lectures - alternatives, lesson planning, motivating learners

Teaching Tips as distinct from teaching techniques, situational and/or anecdotal ways and means of accomplishing specific instructional objectives, or responding to issues and concerns while teaching in the classroom

see also: case studies, classroom dynamics, classroom research, motivating learners

Team-Based Learning (TBL)
Tenure duration of appointment; usually refers to a permanent faculty appointment [see also career consulting, faculty development - models, faculty incentives, institutional environment, new faculty, peer review, scholarly publishing] test anxiety: apprehension commonly experienced by students prior to, sometimes during, a formal examination, which inhibits the ability to think and/or express oneself clearly

see also: adult development and adult learners, evaluation - learning, examinations, grading and testing, student responsibilities

Total Quality Management in general, quality control applied at each stage of the production process; in faculty development contexts, ongoing evaluation by instructors of classroom productivity, in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness criteria, with coordination by a separate staff department, as opposed to by administrators after the fact

see also: academic committee service, evaluation - learning, evaluation - teaching, learner productivity, needs assessment, self- assessment - teachers, teaching environment - administrative

Transclusion The process of embedding a wiki page into another having its content presented in more than space at once
Turnitin UBC subscribes to the Turnitin Suite that includes a set of tools to improve the student writing cycle by preventing plagiarism and providing rich feedback to students. The tools are: Originality checking;Online grading; and Peer review.
Tutorials specialized classes, typically led by a teaching assistant, where the focus is on solving assigned problem sets or practical applications of lecture content

see also: case studies, classroom assignments, classroom discussion, collaborative learning, experiential learning, field trip methods, homework, problem solving


Term Definition
UBC Mix UBC Mix is a new initiative on campus to help partner instructors, students and courses together to create an interdisciplinary atmosphere for better learning and understanding.
UBC Mix Community Portal In this portal you can find contacts, resources and other materials to support your interdisciplinary project.
User Experience Design An area of resource design that intends to plan out the potential pathways on how a user might interact with particular information, while keeping an over-arching flow in mind


Term Definition
Value Line A line of masking tape is placed on the floor, with each end of the line representing a position on a contentious issue, e.g. strongly disagree and strongly agree.
Visual Note-Taking A practice where instead of taking written notes during conferences, meetings or classes, the visual note-taker interprets the discussion into imagery. It creates symbolic cues and a visual representation of what was discussed


Term Definition
WebCT vista WebCT Vista is an enterprise level online Learning Management System (LMS) that allows you to login from anywhere to access your class materials and interact with one another.
Wellness Programmes development initiatives focussed on maintaining ‘health’ or building on the positive in some sense, as opposed to remediating ‘pathology’

see also: case studies, classroom research, faculty incentives, institutional environment, instructional development, motivating learners, needs assessment, philosophical and conceptual approaches

Wiki A collaborative tool that breaks down confined user roles so that anyone can be an editor, an author or a publisher.
Wimba Classroom Wimba Classroom is online classroom software that combines state-of-the-art interactive technologies such as voice, application sharing, polling and whiteboard drawing. It supports communication between participants and with the facilitator via enabling of selected features such as talk, chat and presenter mode.
Wimba Voice Tools Wimba Voice is a collection of web-based tools that are integrated directly into WebCT Vista and that facilitate and promote vocal instruction, collaboration, coaching and assessment. Instructors can engage students with media enhanced learning activities that allow for both synchronous and asynchronous conversations and discussion.
WordPress blogs Weblogs in "a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform."
Workshops an intensive and short-term form of course design, typically delivered to small groups, and relying on active participation by learners

see also: collaborative learning, colloquium, experiential learning, real time simulation

Writing Across the Curriculum the quality or general standard of composition outside the scope of formal courses and regardless of discipline, on an institution-wide basis; typically concerned with technical and report writing

see also: case studies - humanities, multicultural awareness, written communication skills

Written Assignments work intended to be performed outside class and submitted for evaluation in writing, typically part of the term mark for a course

see also: evaluation - learning, grading and testing, teaching practices

Written Communication Skills the ability on the part of a person to transmit information to or exchange views with another by written means

see also: case studies, class journals, examinations, student journals


This glossary was first developed by Lyle Courtney and then developed further by CTLT staff.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Adelman, H. S. & Taylor, L. (in press). Classroom climate. In S. W. Lee, P. A. Lowe, & E Robinson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of School Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  2. Sheneman, L. (2010). Digital storytelling: How to get the best results. School Library Monthly, 27(1), 40-42.
  3. "". 2010. 
  4. Popkin, Helen (June 1, 2010). "FarmVille invades the real world". MSNBC. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Takahashi, Dean (September 30, 2010). "Gamification gets its own conference". Venture Beat. 
  6. Stuart, Keith (19 September 2010). "3D games enter a new generation". London: The Observer. 
  7. Radoff, Jon (2011). Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games. Wiley. pp. xxxii. ISBN 9780470936269. 
  9. Jayne W Edge. (2004). The need for strategic planning in academia. T.H.E.Journal, 32(3), 40.

See Also

CTLT Acronyms