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In computer networks, bandwidth is used as a synonym for data transfer rate, the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second). Network bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps); modern networks typically have speeds measured in the millions of bits per second (megabits per second, or Mbps) or billions of bits per second (gigabits per second, or Gbps).

Different applications require different bandwidths. An instant messaging conversation might take less than 1,000 bits per second (bps); a voice over IP (VoIP) conversation requires 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) to sound smooth and clear. Standard definition video (480p) works at 1 megabit per second (Mbps), but HD video (720p) wants around 4 Mbps, and HDX (1080p), more than 7 Mbps.


(1) There are three types of behavior exhibited by the individuals in a group: Task-oriented behaviors contribute to the accomplishment of the task component; Maintenance behaviors contribute to the human component, i.e., the growth of interpersonal relationships; Self-oriented behaviors do not advance either the task or human component—they are negative behaviors. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
(2) Individual behavior has two modes of communication: verbal and non-verbal. See Verbal Communication and Non-Verbal Communication.


In cost-benefit-analysis, the benefit is the total dollar value to the organization of any performance improvement as a result of the learning program.


In a statistical context, a systematic error in a test score. In discussing test fairness, bias may refer to construct problems that differentially affect the performance of different groups of people. Such problems might include the choice of words, sentence structure, or sequence of questions.

Binary Choice Item

A non-performance test question that has only two possible choices for answers, e.g., True/False; Agree/Disagree; Yes/No.

Blended Learning

The combination of multiple instructional strategies and/or information sources to present information and applications, and to provide feedback. Examples include combining e-learning materials and traditional print materials; leader-led and self-directed instruction; online tutorial and coaching.


Stands for “Web log”. Short messages are posted onto a Web page by individuals, thus providing an inexpensive form of knowledge sharing among experts or any individuals.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

In 1956 Benjamin Bloom, an educational psychologist, developed a taxonomy of educational objectives which first divides them into three domains: Affective, Psychomotor, and Cognitive. Then each domain is further broken down into different levels of learning, with higher levels considered more complex and closer to complete mastery of the subject matter. See also Action Verbs.


Planned activities after a learning program ends that are designed to stimulate retrieval of the content presented during the program. It is a form of spaced practice.
Art Kohn reports that the optimum booster intervals are said to be 2 + 2 + 2 (2 days, 2 weeks and 2 months).
Henry Roediger reports that there is no statistical difference in improved memory whether boosters last 5 seconds, 30 seconds or 5 minutes.


A discussion method with two stages. During the initial stage, creative thinking takes precedence and learners are encouraged to generate as many ideas as possible. The second stage consists of discussing and evaluating these ideas.

Branching Program

A form of self-directed learning and self-directed e-learning which presents different content to different learners based on their responses.

Breakout Room

(1) A physical room separate from the classroom used for small groups to meet and work together on an activity without disturbing others.
(2) A feature of a virtual meeting or classroom application that lets small groups of participants separate from the large group and work together in different virtual rooms. Communication can be via chat or separate phone line.

Bridging Activity

Any planned learning activity following a formal learning program that moves learners closer to the performance objective/goal. Bridging activities occur in the workplace. A bridging activity moves the learner from the end-of-learning performance level to the required job performance level while a transfer activity only reinforces on the job what was learned in the program.

Bridging Strategy

A set of activities to be completed at the end of a formal learning program back on the job along with an assessment plan to determine when the performance objective/goal has been met. A bridging strategy helps learners move from the end-of-learning performance level to the required job performance level while the transfer strategy only helps learners transfer what was learned in the program to the job.


Also called, high-speed Internet. Broadband allows users to access the Internet at significantly higher speeds than those available through dial-up Internet access services. Broadband is capable of supporting full-motion interactive video applications.

Business Needs

The essential goals and objectives for a unit, department or organization. They are usually expressed in operational terms and are measured by hard data such as total sales, gross margins, wastes as a percentage of output and customer satisfaction. The business needs of an organization drive the performance needs.
Robinson, D.G., and Robinson, J.C. Performance Consulting Moving Beyond Training

Buzz Session

A discussion method in which learners are divided into small groups for a short period of time. Each group has limited and specific objectives, a leader and a recorder, and a requirement that everyone contribute. The leader or recorder later reports back to the re-assembled large group.

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