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SyberWorks Learning and Performance Glossary


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Games: games can take many forms, but in the classroom, any activity that involves a contest, competition, social interaction, and some form of prize or award would be considered a game. Classroom game activities are typically not graded, but could be, depending upon the situation. Student participation is usually based on the desire to contribute to a team or to individually achieve some prize or recognition. Most games have "winners," but even the "losers" should feel that their learning experience was both enjoyable and valuable.

Gaps: students are given sentences or sequences with gaps (missing words, numbers, or symbols) and are asked to fill in the parts that are absent.

GATHER Model: an inquiry-based model used in the teaching of history. The steps include: Get an overview, Ask questions, Triangulate the data, Hypothesize, Explore and interpret data, and Record and support conclusions.

General Inquiry: an instructional strategy in which students learn to identify and explore problems, then use discovered facts to form a generalized response to the problem.

General Learner Characteristics: relatively stable overall traits (not influenced by instruction) that describe the learners in a given target population.

Generalizing: to restate information to illustrate its basic principles.

General-to-Specific Sequencing: an instructional approach in which objectives are presented to learners, beginning with general principles and proceeding to specific concepts. Compare to: Chronological, Known-to-Unknown, Part-to-Part-to-Part, Part-to-Whole, Part-to-Whole-to Part, Spiral, Step-by-Step, Topical, Unknown-to-Known, and Whole-to-Part.

Generative Learning Model: a four phase process (preliminary, focus, challenge, and application) that encourages students to "do something" with information. This constructivist approach allows students to construct (or create) meaning through their active use of information.

Generative Vocabulary Strategies: examples include Possible Sentences, Keyword Strategy, and Vocabulary Self-collection Strategy (VSS).

Genetic Epistemology: Jean Piaget proposed that children pass through different stages of cognitive development. For example, during very early stages, children are not aware of the permanence of objects, so hiding an object causes the child to lose interest. Once the child has gained the ability to think of objects as still existing even when out of sight, the child will begin to look for missing objects.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): a file format developed by CompuServe to store images. GIFs support 256 colors, transparency, and interlacing. This format is often used for Web images because they compress well.

Gigabyte (GB): 1000 megabytes, just over one billion bytes, 1,073,741,824 characters of computer memory, and roughly equivalent to a thousand novels.

Globalization: 1) the tailoring of content to include clear, simple, consistent, grammatically correct text that eliminates slang, gender references, and cultural or generational idioms. 2) The process of deploying a single system worldwide that meets a variety of needs. 3) Integrating several working systems into one.

Goal: a broad, general statement of instructional intent that may be expressed in terms of what learners will do or achieve.

Goal Analysis: a technique used to analyze a goal, to identify the sequence of operations and decisions required to achieve it.

Grant Writing: often takes place in college, secondary education, or professional non-profit settings. A grant is a financial award, from government or industry, that is intended to fund a project with wide applications. Grant writing, as a process, involves finding and investigating problems, writing persuasive text, researching related work, and demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed work.

Granularity: 1) the degree of detail into which something can be divided. 2) The number of discrete components making up any type of content or system.

Graphic Organizer: any visual framework that helps the learner make connections between concepts. Some forms of graphic organizers are used before training, to remind the learner about what they already know about a subject. Other graphic organizers are used during training, to provide cues about what to look for in the structure of the resources or information. Graphic organizers also can be used during review activities, to remind students of the number and variety of components they should be remembering.

Graphing: charting or developing a visual diagram that represents numerical data.

Group Investigation: the class is divided into teams, which then select topics to investigate, gather information, prepare reports, and present their findings to the entire class.

Group Work: work performed involving two or more students.

Group Writing: students work in teams of two or three to brainstorm, write and edit a document.

Group-Based Instruction: 1) the use of learning activities and materials that are designed for training groups of learners. 2) Interactive, group-paced instruction.

GUI (Graphical User Interface): a computer interface that presents information in a user-friendly way, using pictures and icons.

Guided Discovery: teaching model where students learn through explorations, but with directions from teacher.

Guided Discussion: similar to recitations, but the purpose is to help students make interpretations.

Guided Practice: guided practice is a kind of educational scaffolding. It allows learners to attempt things they would not be capable of without assistance. In the classroom, guided practice usually looks like a combination of individual work, close observation by the teacher, and short segments of individual or whole-class instruction. In computer- or Internet-based learning, guided practice has come to mean instructions presented on-screen, on which learners can act. Their action may be to perform an activity using a program that is running at the same time, or interacting with a simulation that is embedded in the program or web page.

Guided Questioning: a form of scaffolding for reading, in which the instructor's questions provide many clues about what is happening in the reading. As the student's comprehension improves, the questions become less supportive.

Guided Reading: structured reading where short passages are read, then student interpretations are immediately recorded, discussed and revised.

Guided Writing: may consist of a teacher making suggestions to an individual student; or it may be whole-class brainstorming, followed by a question-and-answer session to clarify what will be written. In all forms of guided writing, the teacher's role is to encourage student responses.

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