Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition

in the Middle Ages the term used for the more advanced of the seven arts disciplines - arithmetic geometry music and astronomy ( see trivium)


official records of achievement that demonstrate successful completion of a course or the passing of examinations


of research design based on building a complex holistic picture using words the reported views of informants and conducted in a natural setting (see quantitative)


an ill-defined term which normally refers to high standards. It is however a matter of judgement and one person's views of high standards may not fit another. It is closely associated with business approaches such as quality control quality assurance total quality management and quality improvement and so prone to the many problems inherent in importing private sector models to the public sector.


an acronym derived from the term 'quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation'. It was the name used for a public body established and financed by government but which was still (ostensibly) independent of the government. Such organisations are now known as non-departmental government bodies which acknowledges their role in the processes of government while clarifying that they do not belong to or function under the authority of any government department.


of research design based on theory testing using variables measured with numbers and analysed with statistical procedures to determine if the predictive generalisations of the theory hold true (see qualitative).


increasingly recognised as a key element in effective teaching. Well planned questioning is not simply to test knowledge but can create knowledge and develop thinking itself. Similarly encouraging a questioning attitude in learners can help to promote critical thinking imagination and creativity (see closed question convergent divergent open question).