Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition

government or management by technical experts or scientists. In education it often refers to management of the system or an institution which prioritises economic technical or bureaucratic efficiency over educational ideals.


learner-directed study within a technology-enhanced environment, most typically in relation to adult engagement with online courses (see heutagogy).


theory that phenomena can be best explained in terms of purpose intention or design.

tertiary education

the stage of education after (compulsory) secondary schooling. The term covers varied provision including colleges and universities.


any activity used as a means of evaluating abilities aptitudes skills knowledge or performance. It can be formal - as in an examination - or more informal.


the process of assessing performance, attainment, achievement, capacity, aptitude, potential, or many other qualities or factors (see assessment)


in education this is most commonly used in the sense of a unifying idea in a programme of study such as a cross-curricular topic.


a coherent group of propositions used as principles for the explanation of some phenomenon. It is stronger than a hypothesis which is a conjecture still to be tested whereas a theory has more weight in terms of its credibility.


an extended  academic essay written to fulfil the requirements of a higher degree. More generally it is a term used for a position taken by an author on a topic which is promoted or explored in the text.

think tank

an organisation or body providing (expert) advice and ideas to government.

three Rs

reading writing and arithmetic - seen traditionally as central concerns of the curriculum (see basics). Reckoning - counting - may well be the original third 'r' as opposed to arithmetic.

threshold concept

      a core concept whose understanding transforms perception in a given subject discipline and      without which significant further progress cannot be made. These concepts may well be      'troublesome' in the sense of being counter-intuitive.

tiered assignments

a form of differentiation aimed at achieving the same outcomes but by different means, suited to learners’ needs.

time management

any of a number of approaches which individuals groups or organisations employ or practise designed to make best use of time through such things as prioritising streamlining activities or developing effective short-cuts. It aims to avoid duplication and wasted effort and to reduce effects of workload and stress.


a catalogue or schedule which indicates the programme of classes or activities for learners and staff. It may be set for a full academic year or alter termly or even more regularly.

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