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When I first joined Training magazine as editor-in-chief in 2007, I knew nothing about the learning and development (L&D) industry, aside from the fact that click-and-repeat online compliance training modules were an instant cure for insomnia. Confronted by an alphabet soup of acronyms—​LMS, ADDIE, AR/VR, LEM, LX, GBL, etc.—​I quickly realized I had a lot to learn.

This was hammered home by some advice from my predecessor: Always spell out every acronym and define every term in every article. Never assume the reader has a deep background in training. Otherwise, you will swiftly receive a Letter to the Editor as a reminder.

And I did, despite my best efforts. Boy, do I wish I had a resource tool like The Language of Learning to guide me through my initial immersion in all things learning and training! Full disclosure: authors Phylise Banner and Dawn Mahoney have written columns for Training magazine over the years, so I know well their high level of expertise and their deep love of learning.

Tapping into their wide-ranging circles of L&D contacts, Dawn and Phylise have collected definitions of learning terms and perspectives from a variety of well-known industry experts that will prove valuable to training newbies, seasoned veterans, business professionals dipping their toes into the industry, and everyone in between.

Even better, they share bios and contact information for those experts, so readers can access additional resources and deeper dives into the five categories and 52 terms covered in the book.

But to my mind, the $64,000 question the book successfully addresses for each term—​and what sets this book apart from other similar resources—​is: Why? Why is it important and why do business and L&D professionals need to know it?

That why piece is critical for learner engagement, but sometimes I think we forget how equally crucial it is for those facilitating the learning as they weigh the pros and cons of all the available delivery, content, and evaluation options out there today.

The learning industry has changed dramatically. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced the necessity for nearly all people to learn remotely. That has spurred organizations to move quickly and agilely to learning methods and technologies they might never have considered before.

Perusing the following pages can help ensure learning and business professionals are all speaking the same language when it comes to delivering effective, engaging, and long-lasting learning. That’s one outcome that should never get lost in translation!

Lorri Freifeld 
Training magazine

About Lorri Freifeld

Lorri Freifeld has been with Lakewood Media Group’s Training magazine since 2007 and currently serves as the editor/publisher. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and the Emerging Training Leaders Awards. A writer/editor for the last 29 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a master’s degree in journalism from New York University.