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360-degree: The process of gathering evaluations of an individual's performance from varying perspectives (peers, supervisors, direct reports, customers) to create a composite assessment for the purpose of performance improvement. It is sometimes known as multi-rater feedback.

Absenteeism: Scheduled and unscheduled time off from the workplace because of illness, injury, disability, family responsibilities, grief, depression, etc. Surveys show that the rate of absenteeism is a good leading indicator of morale and one most linked to profit margins. Many companies do not know their absentee rate and research shows that its cost is often underestimated. (Also see: Presenteeism)

Accountability: Personal responsibility for the consequences of one's actions to others. Key tasks that keep an organization running should designate a team or individuals to be accountable for successfully discharging well-defined responsibilities. A good performance management system defines roles and expectations and tracks progress of accountable parties towards goals.

Action Plan: A program of actions (activities, training, new practices, etc.) established to improve current performance, develop key competencies for future performance, or achieve a specific performance goal or outcome.

Adaptive: The capability to modify any individual student's learning experience as a function of information obtained through their performance on situated tasks or assessments.

Aggregation: A structured collection of learning objects, defined as a parent and its children in a tree structure. Aggregations are used to group related content so that it can be delivered to the learner in a prescribed manner.

Alignment: The process of assuring that high-level business goals (e.g., organizational objectives) are understood at all levels of the organization and reflected in individual goals and action plans. Alignment can also refer to designing any process or stage of a process to support and work cooperatively with other processes or stages.

Application Programming Interface (API): A standardized method for a learning object to communicate with a learning management system (LMS) when a learner is interacting with learning materials.

Application Profile: A collection of standards, specifications and best practice guidelines for using the standards within a particular community of practice. SCORM is an application profile. (Also see: SCORM)

ASP: Acronym for "Application Service Provider," referring to access to a software application via an Internet connection. The application and data are typically remotely hosted by a software vendor. This term is increasingly being replaced by the phrases on demand or SaaS (software as a service). (Also see: SaaS)

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