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Uses Internet and intranet technologies to deliver a broad array of learning solutions (information, instruction and tools) to enhance knowledge and performance. A synonym for online learning. E-Learning can be self-directed or facilitated. See also Self-Directed e-Learning and Facilitated e-Learning.

Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS)

Applications designed to run simultaneously with other applications or embedded within other applications that provide support for the user in accomplishing specific tasks. An EPSS can deliver job aids, and just-in-time context-sensitive information.

Entering Behavior

Skills and knowledge the learner already possesses that are relevant to the learning objectives.

Entry Test

Conducted at the start of a learning program to determine the level of skill and knowledge. In a fully individualized course such as self-directed e-learning, this test would allow learners to bypass instructional modules, if they pass the tests for those modules.

Equivalency Test

Used to determine if a learner already has the required skill and knowledge contained in the learning program, in which case, the learner may be exempted from the program.


A prose composition on a limited topic. Most essays in non-academic situations are 500 to 1,000 words long and focus on a clearly definable question to be answered or problem to be solved. An essay may present a viewpoint through formal analysis and argument, or it may be informal in style.


The process of assessing the effectiveness of a learning program. In 1975, Donald Kirkpatrick first presented a four-level model of evaluation which became the industry standard:
• Level 1 – Reaction
• Level 2 – Learning
• Level 3 – Behavior
• Level 4 – Results
In this model, each successive level is built on information provided by the lower level and represents a more precise measure of the effectiveness of the learning program.

Evaluation Phase

The sixth phase in FKA’s Instructional Systems Design Methodology. According to Donald Kirkpatrick there are four levels of evaluation: Reaction, Learning, Performance and Results. Evaluation instruments are planned during the Design phase, produced during the Development phase, and used starting in the Implementation phase. Performance and Results data are collected after learners have returned to the job. During the Evaluation phase all collected data are analyzed.


Someone who always performs an ability at or above standards. Also called Master Performer.

Experiential Learning

The process of actively engaging learners in an authentic experience that will have benefits and consequences. Learners make discoveries and experiment with knowledge themselves instead of hearing or reading about the experiences of others. It is a type of Discovery Learning.

Expert Role

One of three roles performance consultants can play. The ‘expert’ consultant provides expertise and is responsible for the results, and may only collaborate with the client occasionally. See also Pair-of-Hands Role and Collaborative Role.

Expert System

A class of computer program developed by researchers in artificial intelligence during the 1970s and applied commercially throughout the 1980s. It has two basic components: a knowledge base (gathered from experts in the field) and an inference engine. The system mimics an expert’s reasoning process, e.g., the system used to interpret satellite imagery to forecast weather.

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