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Skills development glossary & common definitions


Bridge the gap between potential and expertise with our Skills Development Glossary. As the landscape of professional competencies continuously evolves, fueling progress in areas like Workforce Development and Upskilling is a nonstop job. Learn how LMS resources like Talent Development, Personalized Learning, Skills Gap Assessments, and Learning Pathways give learners the ability to gain the hard skills that shape their career paths.

360° feedback assessment

Evaluation method gathering feedback from multiple sources, including supervisors, peers, subordinates, and self-assessment, to provide a comprehensive performance view.

Career path

The sequence of job roles and positions an individual progresses through in their career.

Career pathways

Structured routes or trajectories outlining stages of career progression, often involving roles with increasing responsibilities.

Career pathing

A predefined route that individuals can follow within an organization to advance their careers, often involving different roles, responsibilities, and skill development.


A specific combination of skills, knowledge, and behaviors that enables an individual to excel in a particular role or profession.

Competency-based learning

An educational approach emphasizing the mastery of specific competencies or skills rather than completing a set timeframe.

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Competency gap

The difference between existing skills and competencies and those required for optimal performance and career advancement.

Competency model

A framework defining the skills, behaviors, and knowledge required for success in a particular role or profession.

Corporate learning

Organizational initiatives and programs supporting continuous learning and skill development among employees.

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Developing skills outside one's primary expertise or role to enhance versatility and adaptability.

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The acquisition of knowledge, skill, or attitude that prepares people for new directions or responsibilities. It may also refer to the third phase in ADDIE, in which training materials and content are selected and developed based on learning objectives.

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Diversity training

Educational programs increasing awareness and understanding of diversity-related issues, fostering an inclusive work environment.

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Employee development

The continuous process of acquiring, honing, and applying new or existing skills to enhance job performance and adapt to evolving work demands.

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Executive coaching

Personalized coaching for executives to enhance leadership skills, decision-making, and overall professional effectiveness.

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Feedback loop

LMS platforms often include feedback mechanisms, facilitating regular communication between learners and supervisors or peers.

Formative assessment

Ongoing assessments during the learning process to provide immediate feedback and guide further instruction.

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Hard skills

Concrete, teachable abilities or knowledge specific to a job or industry, often quantifiable and measurable.


The process of orienting and integrating new employees into the organization, emphasizing skill development, cultural assimilation, and job-specific training.

Learning objective

A clear statement defining the knowledge or skills learners are expected to gain from a learning activity.

Learning outcome

The specific knowledge or skills learners are expected to acquire.

Learning path

A curated and structured sequence of courses & modules designed to guide learners through a personalized learning journey with emphasis on the learners' control of choice.

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Learning pathway

A structured and personalized sequence of learning activities guiding individuals in acquiring specific skills and competencies.


A developmental partnership where an experienced individual (mentor) guides and supports a less experienced individual (mentee) in their career and skill development.

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Needs assessment

Process of identifying areas for improvement in skills, knowledge, and performance within an organization.

On-the-job training (OJT)

Practical training that occurs in the actual work environment, providing hands-on experience and specific skills relevant to job responsibilities.

Personalized learning

Tailoring educational approaches to meet the diverse needs, interests, and abilities of individual learners.

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Power skills

Essential skills, including communication, adaptability, and critical thinking, contributing to workplace effectiveness.

Professional development

Initiatives and activities designed to enhance an individual's professional skills, knowledge, and overall effectiveness within their role.

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Real-time learning

Where instructors and students interact in a specific virtual place, through a specific online medium, at a specific time.


Learning new skills or obtaining different qualifications to transition into a new role or industry.

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Updating or refreshing an individual's skills to align with changing job requirements or industry advancements.

Skill development

The continuous process of acquiring, honing, and applying new or existing skills to enhance job performance and adapt to evolving work demands.

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Skill proficiency

The level of mastery or expertise an individual has in a specific skill, often assessed by real-world performance.

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Skills gap

Discrepancy between current employee skills and those required for organizational goals.

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Soft skills

Interpersonal attributes, including communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, essential for effective collaboration and success in the workplace.

Standards-based education

An educational approach that establishes clear learning standards and expectations to ensure consistency and alignment with defined benchmarks.

Summative assessment

Evaluation at the end of an instructional period to measure student competency levels.

Succession planning

LMS can aid in identifying and developing future leaders by offering targeted training programs and tracking the progress of high-potential employees.

Synchronous learning

If you’re new to the world of learning management systems, the common language and acronyms used daily can easily become overwhelming.

Talent development

A strategic approach to attracting, retaining, and developing employees by providing opportunities for skill enhancement and career growth.

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Talent management system

An integrated software solution supporting various aspects of talent management, including recruitment, training, performance management, and succession planning.


Learning new skills or acquiring additional qualifications to stay relevant in a current role or progress within the same field.

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Workforce development

Strategic initiatives focused on enhancing the skills, productivity, and employability of the workforce.

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