Tips on how to teach terminology and definitions


Just wondering if anyone has got tips on how to teach terminology in an engaging way? I have a course I'm making and there's lots of very technical terms and definitions the learner need to get to grips with.

I don't want to give them a boring list to read, but want something a bit more fun. Has anyone done something similar? I will be grateful for any tips and advice :-) 


29 Replies
Kelly Meeker

Hi there! There are several examples and downloads that developers have shared on E-Learning Heroes that you might find useful. 

One fun approach would be to create a crossword puzzle. You can give that a try with Nicole's download.  Or using a tabs interaction like this one could help you break these into several steps. You could also try something simpler like this glossary interaction

I'm sure other community members will chime in with some fun suggestions, too! 

eLearning Development


I did a medical terminology class for EMS dispatchers and it was not very exciting for sure.  We broke up the words and used games, etc to learn the roots words and then combined them into more complex words.  Scenarios and pronunciation guides we used as well.  I made a couple of games in Storyline and most in Bravo that were incorporated into the lessons as web objects.

Good luck.


Jackie Van Nice

Hi Maria!

Phil just beat me to the context punch. :) Enveloping those terms in the most meaningful (preferably motivatingly consequence-laden) context you can for the specific actions you want them to perform on the job is the best way to go. Make it memorable, give them a chance to practice the terms in context, and you should be golden. A job aid/reference point/takeaway is also essential.

Hope that helps. Best of luck, Maria!

Sherrie French

We just developed an accounting course that introduced a lot of terminology.  We included audio that technically explained the term, then added a scenario with visuals that carried through the entire terminology section to connect it to something they already understand (in our case a car loan).

Mary Cropp

I agree with context above - what would they need to DO with that word or terminology? Must they memorize it, or be able to recognize it in a stack of documents and then act a certain way? I think using it in context, then providing resources (What's that? prompts that reveal over mouse hover) in slide and again as a resource attached to the module would be the way I would go.


Luke Dart

Personally I would add a trigger that would have the terminology pop up once the word was hovered/clicked on. I have used this technique in the past and allows the user the freedom to read freely but when required find the information they require quickly and not stop the flow of the course too much.  

Richard Gregory

Printable cheat sheet is the way to go. Expecting someone to learn them through a module is unrealisticand won't be an enjoyable learning experience. Give them somethingto reference whilst doing the module and most importantly reference back 'on the job' when we know people learn the best. 

Sam Sternman

For new terminology, particularly related to healthcare, I like to reinforce the content with a interactive quiz question- typically five screens or so after the term definition(s) appears.  If there are a lot of terms, I create a glossary resource object.  For bigger projects, like a software launch, I do like the idea of a stick-to-the side-of-the-monitor-type desk reference (there are a few companies who create them, but you can make your own with a comb/wire binding machine, a printer, and a 3M picture hanger/sticky thing).

Deepak G

Hi there,

This calls for micro-learning. 

Create story around the term. One single term. And share it with your team. They will learn the term and also understand its relevance to real-life situations.

If there's a set of terms which need to be communicated together, than create a story with multiple scenes. Make sure each scene has a quiz or game to assess the knowledge.

I will tell you what did for one of the clients.

They wanted to communicate the different digital marketing terms to their digital sales team.

We deployed a microLMS using QuoDeck. We use to create a series of short stories and then shared the same with the sales team on whatsapp/ text messages. They found it really useful because they could learn the terms in an interesting way and the byte size information was easy to grasp.

Hope this helps!

P.S.: In case you are interested in finding more about micro-learning, you can download the INCITE microlearning framework for here for free: