SWOT Analysis Tool

Summary: SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A SWOT analysis is a tool or technique that can be used in business, design or personal settings to evaluate a project or company and to create constructive goals and strategies. Originators: George Albert Smith Jr., Kenneth Andrews, Albert S. Humphrey (1927-2005) […]

Transformative Learning Theory (Mezirow)

Summary: Transformative learning is a theory of adult learning that utilizes disorienting dilemmas to challenge students’ thinking. Students are then encouraged to use critical thinking and questioning to consider if their underlying assumptions and beliefs about the world are accurate.  Originator: Jack Mezirow (1923-2014) Keywords: adult education, higher education, academic development, disorienting dilemmas, assumptions, beliefs, […]

Social Proof

Summary: Social proof describes a psychological phenomenon in which people mirror the actions and opinions of others. In other words, people’s decisions are often impacted by the preferences and modeling of individuals or groups around them. Keywords: informational social influence, marketing, group norms, standards of behavior, testimonials, crowds, social modeling, sales, business, conformity, group conformity, […]

Backward Design

Summary: Backward Design is a model for designing instructional materials where the instructor or designer begins the design process with a focus on the desired results (i.e., the outcome) of instruction. Originator / Contributors: Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Keywords:  Outcomes, Evidence, Experiences, Instruction, Backward Design, Wiggins, McTighe Backward Design can be summarized as a process or model […]

Model of Hierarchical Complexity

The Model of Hierarchical Complexity, sometimes referred to as the MHC in educational psychology, is a framework used to explore and organize the patterns of human development. It is a theory used when working with behavioral development in particular. The MHC functions to give rank or order to the developmental complexity of a certain behavior. […]

Law of Large Numbers

Summary: The Law of Large Numbers is a statistical theory related to the probability of an event. This theory states that the greater number of times an event is carried out in real life, the closer the real-life results will compare to the statistical or mathematically proven results. In research studies, this means that large sample […]


Summary: Scarcity is an economic term that describes the mindset people develop when they have many needs and not enough resources to meet those needs. When people operate out of a scarcity mindset, it can greatly impair their decision-making abilities. Originators: Lionel Robbins (1898-1984), Sendhil Mullainathan (1972 to Present), Eldar Shafir (1959 to Present) Keywords: […]

Pareto Principle

Summary: The Pareto Principle describes how in a variety of situations, 80% of a product or phenomenon’s output often comes from only 20% of the available input. For example, a business may receive 80% of its income from the sale of only 20% of the products available in their inventory. Originators: Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), Dr. […]


  Summary: Inversion is an assessment strategy that looks at problems backwards. Difficult problems often need to be considered from another angle. Instead of trying to figure out the correct or optimal answer to a question, inversion considers how to avoid incorrect or poor answers. Originators: Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi (1804-1851), Charlie Munger (1924-Present) Keywords: […]