Read definitions of terms used in this resource.

Course space

Similar term: online course area
Description: A dedicated online area which contains the information and resources for an online course.

Course syllabus

Description: A structured outline of what you will be taught.


Description: Being critical is vital to academic study, and involves questioning and thinking more deeply about topics.

Discussion board

Similar terms: forum, message board, online discussion board
description: A discussion board or forum is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.


Description: Elaboration is a study technique that involves explaining and describing ideas with many details. This includes making connections between ideas and connecting the information to personal experiences.


Description: Interleaving is a process involving moving between a number of different topics whilst studying, rather than spending a long time on one particular topic.

Online learner

Similar terms: distance learner, distance learning student
Description: An individual who chooses to learn through activities or teaching delivered in an online space.

Online learning

Description: Any situation in which a student learns through activities or teaching delivered in an online space.


Description: To delay starting an important piece of work or task, usually by undertaking less important tasks as a distraction.


Description: RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) is a writing strategy developed by Santa (1988) to help students understand their role as a writer and to communicate clearly, appropriately and with purpose. RAFT can be a useful guide when writing online.

Retrieval Practice (The Testing Effect)

Description: Retrieval Practice is a common theory held by educational researchers which suggests that students achieve better overall grades when they have been given smaller tests, more frequently.

Spaced practice

Description: Spaced Practice is a study technique which involves reviewing information at regular intervals in order to increase memory and understanding of the material.

Traditional learner/learning environment

Similar term: face to face environment
Description: An individual who learns through activities or teaching delivering in a physical space such as a classroom or lecture.


Similar Terms: course tutor, lecturer
Description: A person responsible for directing and supporting your learning. Other names for this role include lecturer, course tutor, teacher, professor, programme lead, course lead, academic adviser.


Description: The WOOP technique is a practical, mental strategy that people can use set goals and plan for the future. WOOP stands for:


This resource will help you to develop skills and practice techniques which will in turn help you to become a more critical learner. By improving your abilities to collaborate, communicate and use your time effectively for learning, you will be able to develop your critical reading, thinking and writing skills.

Last modified: Friday, 26 Jul 2019, 10:23