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Glossary (uni-speak)

Coming to university is like visiting a new country – it has its own language. And while we don't expect you to become fluent in that language – what we call 'uni-speak' – it’s not a bad idea for you to become familiar with some of the things we cover here.

A

  • If you've applied for a course and have previous study or professional experience, you may be eligible for Advanced Standing, also known as Recognition of Prior Learning. It recognises your prior learning or training and can allow you to reduce the number of units you need to study to be awarded your ECU qualification.

  • Most university assignments follow a basic format. Knowing this will help you recognise what you need to do and how to do it. Assignments generally have five components:

    • An overview
    • A task statement
    • Content guidelines
    • Style/presentation guidelines
    • Assessment criteria

    Read more about assignments in our tip sheet

B

  • Blackboard is your new friend. It's an online suite of tools to enhance and extend your learning experience, as well as providing some efficiencies for our teaching staff. Blackboard contains unit outline documents and study information for the units you're enrolled in.

    Blackboard sites will generally provide you with:

    • lecturer contact details;
    • important announcements;
    • unit outline;
    • lecture notes; and
    • assignment submission areas.

    If you're studying a unit online, it provides you with all the materials you need for your unit, including completing tasks and assignments, using the discussion board, blogs, journals, wikis and ePortfolios.

  • The ECU Buddy Program is a program to support new international students who have relocated to Australia to begin their studies here.

    If you're a new international student, you can login to BuddyHub to find an ECU Buddy to give you support and guidance in adapting to the Australian way of life. Your buddy will be an ECU student who has been at the university for one or more semesters.

    To take part in the ECU Buddy Program, you'll need to register and login to CareerHub.

C

  • CareerHub is our 'one-stop-shop' for career planning and job search resources and information. On CareerHub you can:

    • view online resources;
    • view about and to attend our workshops;
    • visit our online jobs board;
    • find information about on and off-campus events, including employer visits and career events; and
    • book an appointment with a career adviser.

    To access CareerHub, login via the Careers and Employability Services web page using your current ECU username and password.

  • This is the date when your enrolment is deemed to be finalised. After the census date you'll be charged for your course and start accumulating a HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP debt. To withdraw from a unit without incurring the cost for that unit, you must do so by the census date.

    Census dates are usually end of March for Semester 1 and end of September for Semester 2.

  • Your CHESSN is your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number. A CHESSN will be allocated to you as part of your ECU admission process if you haven't studied at university before. It is stated on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice on your SIMO account after the census date.

  • You're deemed to have a Commonwealth Supported Place when the Australian Government provides funding to your university to assist with the cost of your tertiary education. Under this arrangement, the Australian Government pays part of your fees for studying at ECU and you cover the remaining cost. This remainder amount is known as your Student Contribution Amount.

  • A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is issued by us to overseas students and must accompany an application for a student visa. It confirms the student's eligibility to enrol in the particular course of the registered provider.

    For domestic students, it's a confirmation of your current enrolment. You can get your CoE through SIMO.

  • These are compulsory units you have to successfully complete as part of your course. You can find information about core units for your course in the Handbook.

  • Your course induction session (also known as school induction) is an Orientation event that provides you with specific information and study requirements for your course – including book lists, important dates, unit advice, practicum requirements (if applicable), as well as an opportunity to meet staff and students in your school.

    As a minimum, you're expected to attend a Get Set for ECU session and your course induction during Orientation. International students are also expected to attend the International Student Fundamentals.

  • We use a points system to make it easier for you to understand your study progress. Most Bachelor's degree study units are allocated 15 credit points. If you're studying a 3-year full-time degree you'll need to successfully complete 360 credit points – that's 24 units x 15 points per unit.

  • CRICOS is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. A CRICOS code is allocated to education institutions (like ECU) who are approved to recruit, enrol and deliver education to overseas students. Courses with a CRICOS code are available to international students who meet the entry requirements.

E

  • An eLab is a general computer lab for ECU students that has both PCs and Macs. It holds over 100 computer programs that support the courses taught at ECU. Printing, scanning and photocopying facilities are also available in the eLabs on all of our campuses.

    You can access an eLab 24-hours a day 7 days a week with your ECU student card. eLabs are here:

    • Joondalup - Building 31 (Library), Room 233
    • Mount Lawley - Building 10, Room 136
    • South West - Building 3 (Library), Room 101E
  • eduroam is a wireless network that allows you to use your ECU login credentials to connect to wireless services at other institutions around the world. For more information about which institutions offer this service, visit the eduroam web page.

  • An elective is a unit you choose to study that counts towards your course requirements, but isn't compulsory. For some courses we recommend elective units. In some situations, a course coordinator may approve an elective unit as a replacement for a compulsory one.

  • EndNote is a reference management software package that allows, you to create a personalised database of references for use in managing your bibliographies and references.

    You can download EndNote software for free through our software download service, using your ECU Login ID.

F

  • FEE-HELP is a loan that the Australian Government provides to cover tuition fees for some courses. You may be eligible for this loan if you are in a full fee-paying course and you are an Australian Citizen or hold a Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

    If you receive a FEE-HELP loan, the Australian Tax Office records the amount of your debt against your Tax File Number and you repay the loan through the tax system, once your income reaches the minimum threshold amount.

  • If you're enrolled in 3 or more units in a semester this is considered full-time study. To complete most 3-year degrees studying full-time you'll need to complete 4 units per semester, i.e. 24 units over 3 years.

    Note: If you're an International student on a student visa, you must enrol in a full-time study load, usually 4 units or 60 credit points.

  • The majority of undergraduate study units at ECU are worth 15 credit points. You can find out the credit point value of your units by checking the handbook.

    Full-time study is when you're enrolled in 45 credit points or more. This is generally three or more units per semester.

    Part-time study is when you're enrolled in less than 45 credit points. This is generally one or two units per semester.

    Note: If you're an International student on a student visa, you must enrol in a full-time study load, usually 4 units or 60 credit points.

G

  • This is your official welcome to ECU as part of Orientation. This session is all about helping you transition to university life and is essential for all commencing students. It's fun, informative, empowering and designed to help you Get Set for ECU. Register at the Orientation webpage.

H

  • HECS-HELP is a loan from the Australian Government, which pays university tuition fees for students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Course and who are either Australian Citizens, an eligible New Zealand Citizen, or holders of a Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

    If you opt to defer your tuition fees on a HECS-HELP loan, the Australian Tax Office records your debt against your Tax File Number and you repay the loan through the taxation system, depending on how much you are earning.

I

  • In some ECU courses, especially those offered by the Schools of Nursing & Midwifery and Education, students must meet what's called 'inherent requirements'. These are the essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate your abilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or unit.

    For example, if you're applying for a course that leads to practice as a nurse and/or midwife, you should read the inherent requirements carefully to ensure you're able to meet them.

    Inherent requirements help to ensure the integrity of the nursing and midwifery professions, and to ensure the integrity of a course is maintained and preserves the university's learning, assessment and accreditation processes. They must be met by all students.

    Nursing & Midwifery inherent requirements

    Education inherent requirements

  • International Student Fundamentals is a compulsory event for new international students during our Orientation period. This event provides information about:

    • studying in Perth;
    • satisfying the conditions of your student visa;
    • adjusting to Australian culture;
    • finding your way around Perth; and
    • receiving advice on staying safe in your new home.

    It's also a great opportunity to get to know other new students – and even see some native Australian wildlife up-close!

  • An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13 digit number which uniquely identifies books and book-like items. It clearly identifies a particular edition of a title. Items published by ECU can be allocated an ISBN by completing the ISBN Request form and emailing the completed form to library@ecu.edu.au.

L

  • A Learning and Assessment Plan is an agreement which outlines the type and level of support we'll provide you in relation to your permanent and/or temporary disability and/or medical condition. It also includes details of the responsibilities of all parties.

    Depending upon the type of assistance you require, it may include:

    • information on adjustments required to facilitate your studies;
    • whether you require any special exam conditions; or
    • any services or facilities being provided to assist you during your studies.

    The first step is to make an appointment with Equity, Diversity and Disability Services, on 9370 6960 or email studentequity@ecu.edu.au for a confidential discussion to discuss your options and needs.

  • Lectures create an opportunity to teach a large number of students simultaneously. However, lectures don't teach you all you need to know about a subject. You're expected to supplement your learning from lectures with independent study and participating in tutorials, workshops, etc.

    Read more about lectures in our tip sheet

M

  • A major, or unit set, is your chosen area of in-depth study in an undergraduate course. It usually involves 8 units of study, or one-third of the units in a 3-year degree. Talk to your Student Information Office if you need help choosing a major subject.

  • Minors include between 4 and 6 study units in a specific discipline. Not all courses require you to complete a minor. Your minor subject doesn't appear on your printed degree (parchment), but is part of your academic transcript.

O

  • OneDrive is part of Office365, where you can easily store, share and collaborate on assignments from any device. Goodbye USB!

    As an ECU student, you have access to 1 Terabyte (TB) of cloud storage through OneDrive, which you can access anywhere from any device, as long as you’re connected to the internet.

    You can access OneDrive through your student email or by downloading the OneDrive app from your App Store. For more information, visit the OneDrive help centre.

  • Orientation is a free program of activities to help you get ready to study as a new ECU student. Participating in Orientation will help you familiarise yourself with our university and discover important information about your course. You should attend as many Orientation activities as you can. Register at the Orientation webpage.

  • If you're studying at ECU on a student visa, you'll need to pay Overseas Student Health Cover when you pay the tuition fees applicable to you for the first semester.

    This is a compulsory and basic insurance product, covering emergency medical conditions, public hospitals and most of the cost of visiting a doctor.

P

  • If a course is available to study part-time you can generally expect it to take twice as long to complete as it would in full-time mode. Part-time students are enrolled in 1 or 2 units maximum per semester.

    Note: International students who hold a student visa can only choose the full-time study option for our courses. This is to ensure the course is completed within the duration of the student visa.

  • Our Peer Mentoring Program assists new undergraduate students in building social and academic networks so they settle more quickly into university life and have a more positive academic experience.

    If you're a new student, you'll automatically be allocated a Peer Mentor to help you through your first semester.

  • Plagiarism is knowingly or unknowingly presenting the ideas or writings of another person as your own work, without appropriate acknowledgment or referencing.

    This includes, but is not limited to:

    • paraphrasing or copying text without acknowledging the source;
    • copying, whether identically or in essence, the text of another student's assignment or the complete assignment as a whole; and
    • copying, whether identically or in essence, of visual representations, e.g. cartoons, line drawings, photos, paintings and computer programs.
  • If your course requires you to graduate with recognised working or practical experience, then you'll be required to complete a practicum placement.

    This is when you complete a practical, workplace experience as part of your studies.

    During your practicum placement, you're expected to meet the same work conditions as a normal member of staff. You won't be paid for your practicum work, but it's a great way to add to your CV and to build networks in your chosen field. It can also lead to employment after you graduate.

  • Some study units have conditions of enrolment attached to them. If your unit has a prerequisite, you'll need to have completed and passed this other 'prerequisite' unit prior to being able to enrol in or commence your unit.

    To find out whether you must complete any prerequisite units prior to commencing a unit, you should check the unit details in our handbook.

R

  • At ECU, all written assessments are required to follow a standard referencing format. Referencing is a formal, systematic way of acknowledging the sources that you have found in your research and used in your assessment. Failing to acknowledge other writers' words, ideas or theories, either intentionally or unintentionally is considered plagiarism.

    Follow the ECU Referencing Guide to ensure you understand and use correct referencing.

    Also see 'plagiarism' and 'Turnitin'.

S

  • SA-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their Student Services and Amenities Fee. Eligible students can choose to defer all or part of the fee.

    If you opt to defer payment of the fee on an SA-HELP loan, the debt will be repaid through the Australian Taxation Office with your Accumulated HELP debt. Your Accumulated HELP debt includes any HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt you may have incurred for your tuition fees.

    Also see 'Student Services and Amenities Fee'.

  • Your semester timetable outlines which semesters a unit will be taught in, the campus/es, and other information, like who's coordinating the unit.

    To display details for a particular unit, you’ll need to enter the Unit Code, Unit Title or select a School from the drop down list and press the Search button.

    It looks like this: Semester Timetable home page

    Also see 'Student handbook'.

  • A seminar typically incorporates a lecture, combined with significant student participation. Seminars generally involve activities and discussions to encourage interaction between the students and the lecturer. Seminars are generally two to three hours long.

    Also see ‘Lectures’.

  • SIMO is short for 'Student Information Management Online'. It sounds better too!

    SIMO is the system you’ll access through the Student Portal to:

    • enrol and re-enrol;
    • obtain your class timetable;
    • see your exam times and dates;
    • view your results; and
    • view your Statement of Account.
  • Your student email account is used extensively by us to contact you. It'll provide you with updates and information about your enrolment, fees, exams, semester results and important dates.

    Your lecturer or tutor will also use this account to contact you should the need arise.

    It's the only email address the university will use to contact you, so check your student email account regularly.

  • Your student email address is configured like this: username@our.ecu.edu.au

    You access your emails by logging into the Student Portal. Select 'My ECU Email' from the left-hand menu.

    Also see 'Student email account'.

  • The Student Guild is run by students for students just like you. You automatically become a member of the Guild when you enrol – and it's free.

    Your Student Guild ensures that the University Administration is aware of student concerns and issues, such as protecting student rights, and offers assistance, services and support throughout your university life.

    The Guild also runs social and cultural events on campus for all members.

    More: ECU Student Guild

  • The handbook is the place to go for all the information you'll need on your study units. It includes descriptions of unit content, learning outcomes, the hours and times for lectures, how you'll be assessed and more.

    The handbook should be used in conjunction with the Semester Timetable when you're enrolling in your units.

    Also see 'Semester timetable'.

  • To get an ECU student ID card, you need to visit one of our eLab counters at each campus. Your photo will be taken and your card produced while you wait. eLabs are here:

    • Joondalup eLab: Building 31.233 (in the library)
    • Mount Lawley eLab: Building 10.136
    • Bunbury eLab: Building 3.101E

    Your student ID card also acts as your:

    • photo identification as an ECU student
    • print credit card for printing and photocopying
    • Transperth SmartRider travel concession card (optional, for full-time students)
  • Your Student Portal is your personal homepage on the ECU website, allowing you to access Blackboard, SIMO, web mail, the library, a list of your enrolled units and other university information and services.

    Select Student/Staff Portal from the ECU Homepage, then login using your ECU login ID and password.

    Your login ID is the start of your email address before @our.ecu.edu.au. Your student number is not your login ID.

  • The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is a compulsory annual fee approved by the Australian Government to provide student services and amenities, beyond those required for ECU's academic work. This includes services like health, counselling, sport and recreation, social clubs and societies, student welfare, careers advice, student advocacy and more. In 2019, the fee is $303.00 per year for full-time on-campus students.

  • If this is your first or second semester at ECU, we encourage you to access our free online tutoring service called Studiosity. This service allows you to live-chat with tutors to get advice on topics such as:

    • assignment writing;
    • researching a problem;
    • seeking feedback on your writing; and
    • starting an assignment.

    Studiosity also offers content advice for economics, accounting and mathematics. Tutoring sessions usually last about 20 minutes.

    You can access Studiosity through Blackboard, under the 'My Communities' section.

T

  • A teaching period is the period during the year that a unit is offered for study, usually half of the academic year, i.e. semester one and semester two.

    There are other teaching periods throughout the year, such as:

    • Summer Session
    • Winter School
    • Practicums 1 to 8
    • Terms 1 to 4
    • Trimesters 1 to 3
    • Full Year
    • Split Full Year

    You should nominate the teaching period when enrolling in your units.

  • Turnitin is text matching system that compares text in a student assignment against a database of sources.

    The database contains copies of text in published works, on commercial databases, and in assignments previously submitted to Turnitin by students in universities all over the world. This includes assignments from websites that sell student papers.

    Your lecturer may ask you to use Turnitin when you submit your assignments through Blackboard.

    Also see ‘plagiarism’ and ‘referencing’.

  • In most units you will be required to attend tutorials (also referred to as tutes). Usually there are about 20 students per tutorial group. The nature of tutorials will vary from tutor to tutor and subject to subject.

    Read more about tutorials in our tip sheet

U

  • All students doing nationally recognised Vocational Education Training (VET) need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). This includes students doing VET when they are still at school (VET for secondary students).

    If you're studying a nationally recognised training (VET) course at a university or other registered training provider, you will need a USI to access your statement of attainment.

V

  • VolunteerHub is our 'one-stop-shop' for finding volunteering opportunities and resources for students. Use VolunteerHub to find out more about volunteering and how it benefits not only the community but also helps you develop professional skills that employers regard favourably.

    To access VolunteerHub, login to CareerHub via the Careers and Employability Services web page using your current ECU username and password.

W

  • If you withdraw from units or discontinue from your course after the financial census date you’ll be liable for the cost of those units. However, if you can demonstrate special, compelling or compassionate circumstances that have impacted on your ability to complete the requirements of the unit – that occurred after the financial census date – you may be eligible for remission of fees.

    Also see 'Census Date'.

  • Assessments enable your lecturer or tutor to see how well you are achieving the unit outcomes. Through your assessments your lecturer/tutor can provide you with feedback that can help you to improve your performance. Your work can also be given a score/grade.

    Read more about written assessments in our tip sheet