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Glossary

The word glossary comes from the Greek word meaning to comment. The Scandinavian version of the word glossary means to put a lustre on. The following glossary is intended to comment on and put a lustre upon the terms used in the collection.

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Abbreviation

A shortening of a word or term (e.g., in. for inch, BC for British Columbia, Mr. for Mister, CLC for Canadian Labour Congress). (See Acronym)

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Acronym
A word formed from the first or first few letters of several words (e.g., RADAR for radio detecting and ranging, NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organization). The acronym is spoken as a word, rather than a series of letters each with its own pronunciation. (See Abbreviation)

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Antonym
A word or term which is opposite to another, such as flammable and non-flammable, as opposed to synonymous (i.e., two words or terms having the same or nearly the same meaning, such as joyful and glad).

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Application settings
The settings (contexts) in which numerical calculations are applied in HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology. The four application settings are: money math; scheduling or budgeting and accounting math; measurement and calculation math; and data analysis math.

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Article
A short written piece of work which is part of a newspaper or magazine or an item in a written document, such as a constitution, a set of regulations, etc. (viz. Article 1 of the regulations stipulates...) The fact that this word has two or more very different meanings in the workplace may complicate its use. (See Code, Schedule)

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Assembly drawing
A drawing which shows how parts fit together. Also called exploded drawing. (See Exploded drawing)

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Attitudes
HRDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology defines attitudes as the behavioral characteristics of job incumbents.

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Authentic workplace materials
Workplace materials actually used by workers to perform job-specific tasks, as opposed to simulated materials. Examples include memos, manuals, forms, graphs, blueprints and schematics.

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Bar chart

A visual representation using bars to show the relationship between one or two independent variables and a dependent variable. For example, a bar chart might show a comparison of rainfall by year and month.

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Blueprint
A scaled drawing depicting dimensions, spatial arrangements, and functions, so called because of the blue ink used on drafting copies; also a document which describes the dimensions, concepts and functions of an initiative, such as the blueprint for a project.

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Catalogue

A methodical arrangement of articles, usually alphabetical, often for sale or articles for a specific use,. catalogue of book titles. (See List, Inventory)

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Chart
A visual representation showing the distribution of data across a set of categories for the purpose of comparing values.

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Clear language
Clear Language, also known as plain language, is a set of principles that have been developed to ensure that the written language is clear. Clear language principles cover such areas as sentence length, sentence structure, the use of headings and fonts and white space.

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Cloze procedure
A procedure used to measure comprehension or text difficulty, in which a person is called upon to supply elements that have been systematically deleted from a text.

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Code
A system of rules or regulations on any subject setting out a standard (e.g., the electrical code) or a system of words and phrases arbitrarily used in place of other words or phrases for brevity or secrecy -(e.g., security codes). Codes can also be comprised of letters and numbers (e.g., grocery item codes, inventory numbers). The fact that this word has two very different meanings in the workplace may complicate its use. (See Schedule, Article)

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Collective agreement
A contract between an employer or employers and a union, on behalf of all employees represented by the union, outlining the agreed-upon schedule of wages, rules and working conditions. Both parties are protected by the contract and dispute resolution procedures (e.g., grievance, arbitration) are in place to resolve differences.

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Combined list
Two or more simple lists displayed beside each other in which the organizing principle (e.g., alphabetical) used to sequence the list in column 1 determines the order of items listed in the other columns. A combined list is also called a table. (See List, Table)

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Common cause
Refers to natural variation in output caused by the operation of a process. (See Special cause)

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Compare/contrast
To compare is to note the similarities and differences of, as opposed to contrast that notes only the differences.

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Complexity level
In HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology, complexity level refers to complexity ratings assigned to job-specific tasks in which workers use one or more specific essential Skills. The rating is based on complexity rating scales outlined in the methodology and is presented as levels on a scale.

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Control chart
A line graph where some aspect of quality is plotted over time within the context of statistical control. It is a comparative tool, often used to track changes in performance from previous levels.

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Diagram

A document type, representing the appearance of an object or process, which conveys targeted information about its function or operation. (See Pictures, Drawings)

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Document
Something written or inscribed that furnishes evidence or information on any subject (e.g., title deed, coin, etc.). In the Essential Skills methodology, the word document is not synonymous with "materials" as it does not include text reading in the form of sentences or paragraphs. See Document Use.

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Document type
Describes categories of documents based on the features of their structure (e.g., graphs, charts, tables, blueprints).

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Document use
One of the essential Skills according to HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology. Document use refers to tasks that involve a variety of information displays in which words, numbers, icons and other visual characteristics (e.g., line, shape, colour) are given meaning by their spatial arrangement. Graphs, lists, tables, blueprints, schematics, drawings, signs and labels are documents used in the workplace. Document use involves locating, interpreting and sometimes entering information.

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Drawings
Pictorial representations that emphasize key features of an object. There are many variations including line drawings, three-dimensional drawings and exploding drawing.

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Entry forms

Forms that contain spaces for entering information, such as words, numbers or sentences (e.g., an application form).

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Essential Skills
In HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology, refers to the background Skills that workers use to do their jobs-their non-technical Skills. Essential Skills include reading text, document use, writing, numeracy, oral communication, thinking Skills (problem solving, decision making, job task planning and organizing, significant use of memory, finding information), working with others, computer use and continuous learning. These Skills are used, not only in the world of work, but throughout daily life.

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Exploded drawing
A drawing that shows how parts fit together. (See Assembly drawing)

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Finding information

One of the five cognitive functions associated with thinking Skills according to HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology. Finding information involves using a variety of sources including text, people, computerized databases or information systems.

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Flow chart
A graphic representation of the successive steps in a procedure or system, using symbols interconnected by lines.

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Gantt chart

A chart used for project management to establish and track timelines.

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Glossary
A list of terms and definitions in a special subject, field or area of usage.

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Graph
A visual representation of the relationship between change in one variable and change in another variable, consisting of a line connecting points plotted on an x and y axis, for the purpose of analysis.

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Histogram
A bar chart that shows the frequency of occurrence of events in different classes or intervals.

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Icon

A picture, image or other representation (e.g., ). The word has come to be known in its computer context: a picture or symbol that appears on a monitor and is used to represent a command. (e.g., ). (See Symbol)

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Imperial measurement system
A system of weights and measures conforming to the standards legally established in Great Britain. The basic units are the yard for length and the pound for mass or weight. In many Canadian workplaces, the Imperial measurement system and the Metric measurement system are used at various times. (See Metric measurement system)

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Index
An alphabetical list, usually at the end of a book, of the names, subjects, etc indicating the places where they occur. Information that conveys a relationship or proportion of one amount or dimension to another (e.g., consumer price index, index of refraction).

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Inference
A conclusion reached through reasoning. Inference is used to reach conclusions when information is implied but not stated as a certainty.

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Intersecting list
A combination of three related lists in which a search can be carried out using information in two of the lists to locate information in the third.

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Inventory
An itemized list of goods, etc, especially used in business. (See List, Catalogue)

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Jargon

The language, especially vocabulary of a particular trade, profession or group (e.g., trade jargon). Jargon is distinct from terminology in that it tends to be colourful, colloquial and visual. Its meaning is often confined to an occupational context and even to a locality. Often the meaning of the jargon is not understood outside the occupation. Examples of occupational jargon are "beans" a collier's term for small coals; "dolphins", a group of piles driven into harbors to serve as bumpers for vessels, and "ginnywink", an A-frame derrick with a fixed rear leg. The latter two examples of jargon are from the operating engineers' occupation.

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Knowledge

The state of knowing and understanding. (See Skill)

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Label

A card or strip of paper, etc., marked and attached to an object to indicate such information as its nature, content, ownership, destination, etc.

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Legend
A key to guide understanding, usually in list form, used as an accompaniment to or annotation on a blueprint or other drawing. The word has a more commonly used meaning- i.e., story, myth.

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Line graph
A visual representation that accents trends, consisting of a line connecting points plotted on an x and y axis.

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List
The setting forth of a series of items in a row (see Catalogue, Inventory, Combined list, Intersecting list, Nested list)

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MSDS

An abbreviation for Material Safety Data Sheet, a document accompanying chemical products that includes product information, hazardous ingredients, physical data, fire and explosion data, reactivity data, toxicological data, preventative measures, first aid measures and other information. Because MSDS is pronounced using its individual letters rather than spoken as one word it is an abbreviation rather than an acronym. (See Abbreviation, Acronym)

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Mathematical foundations
Specific math Skills or knowledge areas. These may be grouped under areas such as: number concepts, patterns and relations, shape and spatial sense and statistics and probability. For example, whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals and per cents would be included under number concepts.

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Metric measurement system
A decimal system of weights and measures, adopted first in France but now widespread, universally used in science, mandatory for use for all purposes in a large number of countries. The basic units are the meter for length and the gram for mass or weight. In many Canadian workplaces, the Imperial measurement system and the Metric measurement system are used at various times. (See Imperial measurement system)

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National Occupational Classification (NOC)

A system to describe occupations in the Canadian labour market. It is used in compiling, analyzing and communicating information about occupations.

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Nested list
A type of table that places modifying row and column information so that they indicate a hierarchy of labels.

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Numeracy
One of the essential Skills according to HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology. Numeracy refers to the use of numbers by workers and their requirement to think in quantitative terms in order to complete tasks.

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Pareto chart

A type of bar chart where the bars have subcategories whose size show the frequency of particular components. Each bar on the graph is broken down into the same set of components. Broadly speaking, Pareto charts are used to determine whether a few categories of information account for the majority of events.

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Picture
Pictorial representations that illustrate the appearance of objects.

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Picture graph
A bar chart variation used to display approximate comparisons. Icons, symbols, pictures or objects are used instead of bars

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Pie chart
A visual representation of information showing parts as a proportion, percentage or fraction of the whole. Pie charts are circles divided into sections resembling pies cut into pieces of different sizes. A pie chart is an alternative format of displaying information that could be presented in a simple table.

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Reading text

One of the essential Skills according to HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology. Reading text refers to reading material in the form of sentences or paragraphs.

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Regulations
Rules governing the conduct of certain matters, as regulated by statute or by the direction of an organization's management, such as Industrial Health & Safety Regulations (Workers' Compensation Board).

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Run chart
A line graph that shows how a variable changes over time. It is a time chart, showing whether an event occurs mostly in the morning, afternoon or evening and on what day of the week.

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Scan

To read to find specific information in the material. This may involve glancing over the text and using standard features such as the table of contents, index and glossary.

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Scatter diagram
A plot of points where the value of two variables is shown using an X and Y axis (horizontal and vertical). They are used to analyze symptoms and causes and to design solutions. The suspected cause is placed on the horizontal axis when showing a cause and effect relationship.

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Schedule
An explanatory or supplementary paper appended to a document (e.g., a clothing schedule attached to a collective agreement or a timetable (e.g., bus schedule, work schedule). The fact that this word has two very different meanings in the workplace may complicate its use. (See Code, Article)

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Schematic
A specialized document type which provides an abstracted view of the functioning or operation of a thing or process which is otherwise not visible. It may use a mixture of lines, boxes, numbers, arrows, circles and symbols to illustrate relationships of functions, movement of parts or directions.

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Significant use of memory
One of the five cognitive functions associated with thinking Skills according to HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology. Significant use of memory includes any significant or unusual use of memory for workers in the occupational group. It does not include normal memory use that is a requirement for every occupation.

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Simple list
A series of related words, pictures, numbers or symbols which may be accompanied by an explicit title. It is easy to infer the title if it is not included.

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Skill
The ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well. (See Knowledge)

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Skim
To read rapidly to get the gist of the material. This may involve glancing through the text for its main features, including headings, subheadings, highlighted words, diagrams, tables, etc.

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Special cause
Refers to variation caused by some special, rare or outlying event, such as a machine breakdown or short circuit in electrical equipment. (See Common cause)

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Specifications
A detailed description of the particulars of some projected work in building, engineering or the like, giving the dimensions, materials, quantities of the work, together with the directions to be followed by the builder or contractor. (See Work order)

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Statistical process control (SPC)
An analysis of a process through the use of statistical techniques that indicate whether the process is operating within appropriate control limits. SPC is used to monitor the quality of processes and products.

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Symbol
A stylized visual of a real object regarded as representing something. Symbols representing hazards (e.g., WHMIS symbols) and processes (e.g., flow chart symbols) are commonly used in workplaces. Other types of symbols are typically used at work, school or home, such as iconic (e.g., , ), typographical (e.g., $, &, ?) and math/scientific (e.g., +, =, >). (See Icon)

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Table

A compact arrangement of words, numbers or signs-or combinations of them-in rows and columns to display a set of facts or relations. The grid lines may or may not be shown on a table. (e.g., combined list, intersecting lists, nested lists)

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Task
Any piece of work that has to be done. A task can be broken down into smaller units or steps (sub-tasks).

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Type of material
This standardized heading used in the collection describes categories of workplace materials with reference to the three primary essential Skills featured in the collection (i.e., reading text, document use and writing). The categories are based on the structural features of the material. Examples of types of material include application forms, newsletters, graphs, tables, maps, schematics and minutes.

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WHMIS

An acronym for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. WHMIS is rooted in legislation requiring Canadian employers to give employees information and education about the hazardous materials with which they work. There are three major components of WHMIS: WHMIS Label; Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS); and worker education.

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Work order
A general description of the work to be carried out to complete a job, generally outlining the name and address of the customer, the location of the work, and the cost.

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Working with others
One of the essential Skills according to HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology that examines the extent to which employees work with others to carry out their tasks.

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Writing
One of the essential Skills according to HRSDC's essential Skills job-profiling methodology. Writing includes text writing and writing in documents (e.g., filling in forms). It also includes non-paper based writing (e.g., on a computer).