Training, Course, Lesson, ... or what?

  • I'm confused. The site is called "Trainer's Joy" because it is designed to make professional trainers happy. But what if there are not only trainers who use it? Let's say: teachers, professors, instructional designers, e-learning developers, etc. will also start to use it. I am afraid that we will get more than one language here. Example:

    • A trainer gives a "training" to the learners.
    • OK but what does a teacher do? A teacher gives a "lesson", right?
    • Would a lesson be the analogy to a training? No, a trainer would say: "My training consists of multiple modules, each with several units in it. I teach 4 modules per day, at 3 units per module, each."
    • How would a school teacher talk about multiple encounters with her/his pupils?
    • How would a professor at a university call the regular teaching events that happen in a semester?

    I want to make sure that all kinds educators feel at home in Trainer's Joy and that they use it successfully. Understandable language if key. Help me by joining the discussion: What would you call the different kinds of "chunks" that you use for teaching or training?

  • A good clear example of the distinction can be found on Stack Exchange (source: :

    • Course is the broadest term for the study of a subject. It could be used to refer to an entire degree program, but it is most appropriately applied to a specific subject such as First Year English Literature.

    • Class list items more specific and is most properly applied to a section of a course taught by one instructor to one group of students at a certain scheduled time.

    • Lesson is the most specific and implies a particular unit of instruction, such as would be delivered by a particular instructor to a particular class on a given day.

    There is also a difference between an instructional designer and a teacher/trainer/professor. The latter may create customized lessons, but may not design the overall course, which is what the former might do.

    There are multiple styles of instructional design as well. I use a simplified version of the ADDIE model (😞

    ADDIE Model Image

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