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Glossary of Terms

A

Audience - the person or persons the product of learning is designed to impact.

Authentic Assessment - a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.

Authentic Learning -learning that is worth students/ time and attention, is personally relevant, and is connected to their real-world experiences.

B

Basic Literacy - language proficiency and numeracy at levels necessary to function on the job and in society.

Blended Learning - the integration of face-to-face and online learning activities to improve learning.

C

Collaborative Action Research - a collaborative process in which teachers examine their own practice systematically using the techniques of research.

Community Experts and Resources - supports for learning that build authenticity and reinforce the key understanding that learning is a living activity rather than a pursuit confined within school walls.

Community Learning Hubs - places where people can come to see, learn, and participate in intellectually rich, future-oriented activities.

Communities of Practice - groups of people with a common area of interest who come together to share, create, and learn from one another.

Competencies - the skills and abilities required for successful 21st Century Learners.

Critique and Revision - the thoughtful process of weighing the quality of a work or plan and improving it through refinement.

Curriculum - the aggregate of programs of study in Alberta presenting an overall picture of what successful graduates are to achieve.

D

Design thinking - a methodology developed by architects, engineers, designers and other professions charged with generating creative solutions to real-world issues or problems.

 

E

Ecological Intelligence - the act of comprehending systems in their complexity, as well as the interplay between natural and man-made worlds.

Essential Questions - questions without yes, no, or “google-able answers.”  They invite deep explorations and help frame the learning goals of an inquiry or project.

F

Final Product - the vehicle designed to share knowledge generated through inquiry or project-based learning experiences. This could be a film, essay, presentation, work of art, performance, or more.

I

Inclusion - An inclusive education system provides all students with the learning environments and opportunities that best help them achieve their potential no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural or economic background, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

Inquiry-Based Learning - An approach to learning based on the investigation of real world questions, scenarios, or problems.

Instructional Design Framework - a map of the optimal design process for developing inquiry-based and project-based learning experiences. Rocky View Schools has developed its own Instructional Design Framework.

ISTE Net Standards - the roadmap to learning, teaching, and growing professionally in an increasingly digital world.

Intermediate Deliverables - While learning culminates with the final product, intermediate deliverables such as a collection of possibilities, theories to test, project plans, etc., help teachers and students evaluate progress during learning.

K

Key Understandings - the concepts students need to know to understand a particular topic.

L

Learners - all members of a community, including, students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators, trustees, and community members.

Learner Competencies - the attitudes, skills and knowledge that contribute to students becoming engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit. (Alberta Education)

Learner Outcome - Alberta Education Programs of Study outline both general and specific learner outcomes. These specify the knowledge and skills students are to acquire as a result of the study.

Learning Commons - a physical space that allows people to connect, collaborate, and access workstations equipped with software supporting a variety of networks and uses.

Learning Model - a graphical representation of the evidence-based theoretical and strategic principles that support improved learning for all Rocky View Schools learners.

Learning Plan - a personal action plan that takes into consideration an individual strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences and maps the steps needed to achieve a learner outcome.

M

Making Learning Visible - the documentation of learning that can be shared, revisited and expanded upon and helps teachers and students better understand the learning process.

Metacognition - the ability to reflect on our own thinking.

Multiple Learning Pathways - selecting from several teaching strategies so that material is presented to facilitate effective learning for each learner.

Multi-Modal Professional Learning - a journey involving the use of multiple modes of professional learning, i.e., online, symposiums, etc.

P

Personalized Learning Environments - the tailoring of pedagogy, curriculum, and learning methods to meet the unique needs and aspirations of individual learners, often with extensive use of technology in the process.

Professional Learning - within the context of the plan, refers to inservices and professional
development activities.

Programs of study - Alberta Education determines provincial programs of study that identify what students are expected to learn and do in each subject and grade.

Project-based learning - a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks. (PBL - online.org)

R

Rubric - an assessment tool for communicating expectations of quality.

S

Scaffolding -the people, resources and tools put in place to support a learning on their journey towards mastery.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) - a systematic, evidence-based program to develop social and emotional competencies such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

T

Trans-Disciplinary Practices - lesson plans that cross two or more disciplinary boundaries (i.e., subjects) to create a holistic approach to learning.

U

Understanding by Design TM (UbD) - is a framework used to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction to build understanding and learning transfer to real-life problem solving. It involves designing curriculum and learning experiences backward from the long-term desired learning results.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) - a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. (from CAST.org) UDL addresses the three primary brain networks involved in learning: the recognition network (what), that determines how we gather facts and categorize what we see, hear, and read. The strategic networks (how) that plan and perform tasks; and the affective networks (why) that respond when learners are engaged and motivated.

W

Wrap-Around Services - a team of individuals from different organizations who tend to the well-being of a child or youth by collaboratively developing, implementing, and evaluating an individualized plan of care.

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