Comm Eye Health Vol. 13 No. 34 2000 pp 31. Published online 09 June 2000.

Glossary of terms used in teaching

Sue Stevens

Nurse Consultant

Related content

Aims: A general statement of what is intended in a particular lesson or course of study

Assessment: A means of comparing students’ actual achievement with a desired standard of achievement as outlined in the syllabus

Brainstorming: A collection of ideas shared in a group encouraging free expression

Buzz group: Discussion in groups of 2-4 people

Case study****: Text description to facilitate imagination and discussion of a possible situation

Course design: The systematic planning of a period of study for a particular group of students

Curriculum planning: A plan worked out in advance fixing the order or the timetable of a group of educational activities for a particular course – aims, content, methods, evaluation

Demonstration: Teacher activity – e.g., to teach a practical skill or why certain outcomes occur

Directed private study: Time set aside by the teacher for students to study a particular subject

Evaluation: The process of reviewing particular areas of study to estimate their effectiveness according to student needs and any changing factors

Exposition: An interrupted lecture where the teacher will stop to answer a question or explain further

Feedback: Information received by the teacher about the success of, or problems experienced with, a session or course as it is progressing

Learning objectives/outcomes: Specific statements of behaviour by a student after a period of learning – proving they have learned

Learning strategies/ teaching methods: Activities chosen by the teacher to help students learn Lecture Subject introduced and delivered by the teacher in a specific time which transmits information

Lesson plan: A ‘sketch map’ of a particular session for a particular group of students, based on objectives and teaching methods with intended timing of activities

Practical: Student activity – e.g., learning a skill or group work

Programmed learning: A planned exercise to enable individual learning, e.g., in a manual or a computer programme

Project: A task based on investigation with a specific time-table. The teacher will advise the student on resources and materials. The student reports back with findings, usually in written format

Resources: (a) Any source of information from which students are able to learn, e.g., library, teaching materials, human resources (other students, teachers, etc.). All these are referred to as ‘learning resources’ (b) Funding, staffing, equipment – anything required to run a course

Role play ****: Similar to case study ( see above). A situation is acted out to create insight into students own behaviour

Scheme of work: A session by session plan addressing a specific topic for a particular group of students which includes objectives, methods, content, resources, and assessment procedures. Based on a syllabus

Seminar: A group of about 8 -12 people following up something that has already been introduced on the course. Involves reading of an essay or paper by one group member followed by discussion

Simulation****: Similar to a case study and role play (see above)

Syllabus: A statement of aims and content for subject areas

Syndicate work: A task given by the teacher to a group of students to complete in a period of time. The students are required to report back to the teacher

Tutorial: One-to-one teaching (student and teacher) usually for counselling purposes based on the student’s work

Weighting: The emphasis, in terms of time and the allocation of marks in assessment, placed on an area of study in comparison with other areas of study