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SyberWorks Learning and Performance Glossary


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Daily Outline: a posted, written overview of what will be done during the day, to allow students to prepare. These outlines typically list all work that should be done before the class, work that will be done during the day, and work to be done after the class, along with a brief description of the concepts to be covered and the resources needed (including books, handouts, and other tools).

Dashboard: a visual collection of information that is usually tailored to accommodate the needs of a specific role or topic. The dashboard is typically arranged on one screen so that it can be reviewed quickly and conveniently.

Data Analysis: connecting students to real-world problems and improving their critical thinking skills, by having them gather and analyze information.

Data Gathering: collecting information in a rigorous way, for use in statistical analysis, scientific research, or to support arguments in a field of study.

DDA (Disability Discrimination Act): prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities, during job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and all other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

De-facto Standard: a specification that has not been officially recognized by an accredited agency, but which is accepted and used as a standard by a majority of practitioners.

Debate: a discussion or argument involving opposing points of view, carried out according to specific rules and used in the classroom to engage students. These discussions help students build mental connections to the curriculum's subject matter.

Debriefing: a form of reflection that immediately follows an activity.

Decision Making: helping students understand how to make better decisions and improve their problem-solving skills, which also helps them confront challenges outside the classroom.

Deduction: a process of reasoning, in which a conclusion follows from stated premises. Also known as an inference acquired by reasoning from the general to the specific.

Deductive Inquiry: a form of investigation with four basic components: presentation of a generalization, discussion of core elements of the generalization, student exploration of the elements, and student presentation of examples of the generalized concept.

Default: a setting that a computer system or software program uses automatically, until it is changed by the user.

Defining: an individual, whether a student or a teacher, states the meaning of a word or phrase.

Delivery: the method of transferring content and information to learners and instructors via CD-ROM, books, personal instruction, or other media.

Delivery System: the way of organizing, presenting and distributing instruction, typically using a variety of media, methods and materials.

Demonstration: an activity that shows students how things work or happen.

Description: describing something. When done by teachers, descriptions are often used to introduce new information. When done by students, descriptions are often used to demonstrate knowledge of a concept.

Design Evaluation Chart: a method of organizing design information to facilitate its evaluation. The chart relates skills, objectives, and associated test items, allowing easy comparisons of all components in the instructional design.

Designing: a form of planning or developing.

Desktop Videoconferencing: Videoconferencing via personal computer.

Development: 1) Learning or other types of activities that prepare a person for additional job responsibilities or enable them to gain knowledge or skills. 2) The creation of training materials or courses, as in content development or e-Learning development.

Developmental Disability: a condition that prevents a child from developing normally and that may result in mental retardation or autism.

Dialectical Approaches: a discussion or argument in which a thesis and its antithesis are broken down into related core ideas, so that participants can evaluate or challenge the assumptions.

Dialectical Journal: a two-column note-taking or journaling method that features quotes or ideas from the text in one column, and ideas from the reader in the other column.

Dial-Up: a low-speed Internet connection that is opened over telephone lines using a digital-to-analog modem.

Didactic Instruction: teacher-centered instruction, in which the teacher tells the student what to think about a topic. Used for the delivery of factual (not debated) information.

Didactic Questions: questions that tend to have a single answer and allow students to demonstrate lower-order thinking (such as, recall).

Digital: a bistate (0-1, on-off) electronic signal for storing and transferring data. The non-continuous nature of digital signals makes them relatively easy to store, manipulate, and transmit. Using advanced signal processing, digital signals can also be transmitted much faster than analog signals.

Digital Divide: a popular term for the gap between those who can and cannot afford (or access) computers and related technologies.

Digital Signal (DS): the rate and format of a broadband digital signal, such as DS-1 or DS-3. Often used synonymously with T, as in T1 or T3, although the T technically refers to the type of equipment.

Direct Instruction: teacher-centered instruction that includes lectures, presentations and student recitation.

Direct-Interactive Teaching Model: direct instruction cycles that typically include checking previous work, presenting new material, student practice with new material, feedback from the teacher, independent practice, and regular reviews.

Directed Paraphrasing: students are asked to summarize or explain a concept or theory to a specific (imaginary) audience. For example, a medical student might be asked to explain what neurotransmitters are, and phrase the explanation so it would make sense to a hospitalized patient.

Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA): throughout reading, questions are used to activate students' existing knowledge, and students are encouraged to make their own predictions.

Directions: instructions given by the teacher to the students, describing what they should be doing.

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