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An application method. Games can be competitive (players compete against one another or against the instructor/facilitator) or cooperative (players collaborate to solve a problem or meet an objective). When used in learning programs, games should be content specific. Adaptations of various board games can be used to engage learners while they practice. Sophisticated computer- or video-based games used to persuade or teach are called Serious Games.


The application of game-based mechanics, aesthetics and thinking to content to engage and hold learners’ attention and promote learning, e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rewards.


See Performance Gap.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

A way of representing the functions, features and contents of a computer program or online lesson using icons, pull-down menus and a mouse. Instructional designers may have to work within the constraints of an existing GUI or help design a new GUI for their courses, e.g., menus, navigation.

Ground Rules

A common set of agreed upon standards for group sessions that will encourage participation and ensure everyone’s rights will be respected. For example, classes will start on time; only one person can speak at a time. Online sessions may have unique ground rules, such as, muting your phone when you are not speaking; and letting the presenter know if you will be stepping away from your computing device.

Group Development

In 1965 Bruce Tuckman identified four stages in group development:
• Forming
• Storming
• Norming
• Performing
In 1977 he added Adjourning as the final stage.

Group Presentation

A presentation method where the information is delivered by a small group of learners to the rest of the group.


A mnemonic for a coaching sequence: Goal setting, Reality checking, Option generation and Will to act. This model was developed in the U.K. in the late 1980s.

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