Information Services


A glossary to support consistent use of terminology across a Virtual Learning Environment.

Across the University there is a lack of consistency in the terminology used in the Virtual Learning Environment. This glossary has been created to support staff and students to use key terms consistently. It is not an exhaustive list.

The Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study (DRPS) sets out the regulatory framework by which the University’s programmes are governed, the valid courses to achieve an award, and details of all the courses offered by the University. Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.


This section defines the terms used within the DRPS glossary which are relevant to the Virtual Learning Environment.
Term Definition
Assessment The set of processes which measure the outcomes of students’ learning in terms of knowledge acquired, understanding developed and skills gained. These processes of measurement are diverse and measure different aspects of learning in an appropriate manner.
Assessment Criteria

The criteria against which students work’ which has been submitted for assessment is formally assessed. These will align with relevant learning outcomes for the course and map onto the relevant Common Marking Scheme.

Common Marking Scheme

The Common Marking Schemes are standard marking schemes which are used when reporting students’ assessment results. For every piece of summative assessed work, students will be assigned a mark against the relevant Common Marking Scheme. Separate schemes exist for undergraduate and postgraduate assessment, as well as for medical and veterinary degrees. Find out more about the Common Marking Scheme


A course is a unit of teaching and learning formally offered within the University, which carries credit expressed in credit points and which may contribute to a University award (certificate, diploma or degree). A course will have: a course code (recorded on the University’s Student Record system), one or more units of assessment, a specified credit value, a specified credit level, a named Course Organiser, and an identified host department/school/teaching organisation.

Grade descriptors

Grade descriptors provide information about how students are expected to demonstrate performance appropriate to a particular grade on the relevant Common Marking Scheme in the context of their subject area or discipline.

Learning Outcomes

The stated aims and objectives for a course or programme. They outline the understanding, the skills and the knowledge that students will attain through successful completion of the course or programme. They are defined for each course in the DRPS.

This section defines key terms used within the Virtual Learning Environment. These terms are drawn from the Learn Foundations template which is part of a more consistent, institution-wide approach to using the VLE.
Term Definition

Means to communicate messages to students relating to a single course.

Assessment Information

Learning outcomes, key dates (e.g. assessment deadlines), and where to find feedback, grades and the relevant marking scheme.


Work allocated to a student as part of a course on which they will be assessed. 

Assignment Submission

A link that enables students to submit work ready for marking and feedback. 


Profiles of the staff teaching, assessing or administering the course.

Course Information Teaching arrangements for a course, for example: the contact teaching time, class hours, times, and locations.
Course Materials Resources for students that aid teaching and learning, for example: lecture slides, notes, and recordings. 
Course Outline A general description of a course as defined in the DRPS.
Coursework Written or practical work completed by a student during a course, often assessed as part of a final mark or grade.
Grades and Feedback A grade is an outcome of an assessment, defined by a range in the Common Marking Schemes. Feedback is information that is provided to students to support their learning.
Have Your Say Feedback about a course and/or wider staff and student experiences.
Lecture Recordings The Media Hopper Replay service provides students with recordings of lectures that they can watch again anytime and anywhere.
Resource List Online resource lists for students.
Tips for Staff Prompts and instructions which help define what content should be included (not visible to students).
Timetable Class times for a course and/or exam information.

A way of arranging course content.

Virtual Classroom  A teaching session enabled through an online environment, using audio-visual communication and collaboration technology. It allows both teachers and students to attend, and to communicate, interact, collaborate, and explain ideas.