Glossary of terms

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This glossary provides a comprehensive list of terms and explanations to complement the readings and materials about inclusive teaching and learning practice and support your capacity building and awareness in this field of knowledge.

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Aboriginal person
Preferred term, use instead of ‘Aborigine’. A person of Aboriginal descent who identifies as Aboriginal and is accepted as such by the community in which she/he lives. ‘Aboriginal’ is sometimes used to include Torres Strait Islanders but this is not technically correct. When referring to both groups, use ‘Indigenous Australians’.
Academic Board
The Academic Board is established pursuant to section 20 of the Deakin University Act 2009 (PDF 201KB) (Vic) as the principal academic authority within the University.  It is responsible to the Council for maintaining the highest standards in teaching and research.
Academic calendar
Important dates for the current academic year.
Academic misconduct

Deakin defines academic misconduct as:

  1. conduct by a student that is designed or calculated to, or has the effect of, providing a misleading basis for admission, assessment or academic progress; and/or
  2. conduct by a student in connection with research that is dishonest, reckless or negligent or seriously deviates from accepted standards within the scientific and scholarly community.
Academic progress
A student’s progress towards successful completion of the academic requirements of the course in which they are enrolled.
Academic staff
Staff of the University, including permanent, casual/sessional and contracted academics, employed to undertake teaching, research and/or related academic duties.
To meet its obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Deakin is required to ensure all information, services and physical spaces are provided in a non-discriminatory accessible manner. This includes providing any information—such as course requirements, study guides, web pages and other material—in a format accessible to all users.  For further information see Accessibility at Deakin and Create accessible content.
Active learning
Rather than passively absorbing information, such as by memorising alone, active learning encourages student engagement through alternative teaching tools, for example, hands-on activities, group discussion, experimentation, teamwork and role-play.
An individual measure or action taken by the University that has the effect of assisting a member of the University to participate in the University environment.
Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) employs Advocacy Support Officers who are experienced in giving support and advice to students who need it.  The advocacy service at DUSA can assist with any academic concerns, issues or questions, including responding to allegations of academic misconduct and appeals, show cause to a proposed restriction or exclusion, special consideration, review of results applications, and anything that is impacting on a student’s study.  The Advocacy service is free and confidential to all Deakin students and remains independent from the University.  Find out more at DeakinSync under Help & feedback  or go directly to the DUSA Services & Welfare.  See also Deakin University Student Association.
Affirmed gender
Self-identification of one’s post-transition gender that aligns to a person’s inner sense of gender rather than that which has been designated at birth. The term ‘affirmed’ is preferred to ‘chosen’ or ‘acquired’.
A person who identifies as or experiences not having a gender.Ally: A person who is heterosexual or cisgender and supports LGBTIQ+ communities and their causes. An ally speaks out against social injustice, whereas a bystander is someone who does not intervene when an injustice is being perpetrated.
A person who is heterosexual or cisgender and supports LGBTIQ+ communities and their causes. An ally speaks out against social injustice, whereas a bystander is someone who does not intervene when an injustice is being perpetrated.
Appearing as partly male and partly female, which effects an ambiguous or indeterminate gender presentation.
An adjective to describe those who do not experience sexual attraction, asexual people may have affective or emotional relationships.
An evaluation of a student’s academic performance in each of the assessment tasks prescribed for a unit, by whatever means a faculty board has determined, which may include examination.  The term ‘assessment’ is often used interchangeably with ‘assignment’ to indicate an assigned task or piece of work that will be evaluated, assessed and graded.
Assistive technologies
Deakin is committed to ensuring web content is accessible to all users according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (Level AA) standards. This means that all web content must be readable by visual reading aids, such as screen readers and screen magnifiers, synthesised speech software, alternative keyboards, and other assistive technologies.
This abbreviation for ‘Aboriginal-Torres Strait Islander’ is not considered appropriate for general conversation or use in writing.
As defined in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), discrimination is prohibited on the basis of the following attributes: age, breastfeeding, employment activity, gender identity, disability, industrial activity, lawful sexual activity, marital status, parental status or status as a carer, physical features, political belief or activity, pregnancy, race, religious belief or activity, sexual orientation, personal association (whether as a relative or otherwise) with a person who is identified by reference to any attributes.
Aunty, Uncle
A term of respect used for Elders in the community.
Australian Qualifications Framework
The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. It incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework. The AQF was first introduced in 1995 to underpin the national system of qualifications in Australia encompassing higher education, vocational education and training, and schools. The AQF Second Edition (PDF 998KB) provides the complete set of AQF policies and objectives and information about the governing and monitoring arrangements for the AQF.

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Negative beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes about people who are bisexual.
Bisexual, bi
The capacity for, or experience of, physical, romantic, emotional and/or psychological attraction to more than one sex or gender. Variations of this terminology may include fluid, omnisexual, pansexual, multi-sexual, polysexual.
Blended (hybrid) learning
Blended learning refers to learning methods and activities that involve a combination of both face-to-face and online learning. This allows flexibility for teachers, and also encourages students to develop self-directed learning skills and digital literacy. For teaching tips see Online/blended learning.
Bloom’s Taxonomy
A theoretical tool used to order learning from lower to higher order thinking skills.  By applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to learning tasks, educators can help scaffold skills acquisition.
Brotherboys and Sistergirls
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are transgender. Brotherboy denotes a female-born person who lives and presents as a male. Sistergirl denotes a male-born person who lives and presents as a female.
Any repeated unreasonable behaviour that causes a risk to the health or safety of another person.

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Campus mode
The dominant mode of delivery of course or unit is through face-to-face learning experiences at a Deakin campus or other physical site. Students will also have access to online learning resources and experiences.
Describes men and women who have not experienced any discord between their birth sex designation and subsequent sense of being a girl/woman, boy/man.
The assumption that all individuals are cisgender i.e. the norm that their sex designation at birth aligns with their gender identity as man/boy or woman/girl.
A class (formerly a ‘Lecture’) is a session where teaching staff engage students, often in large numbers, through presentations and other learning activities. Unit topic material is delivered to all students enrolled in the unit (either on-campus in a lecture theatre venue or online). Typically, this is a more formal presentation by a lecturer or guest speaker.
Cloud Campus

Deakin’s Cloud Campus is where students go to study online units and courses.  Students have access to the same teachers and resources as on-campus students, and enjoy the flexibility of online study, which they can do anywhere at any time.

The cloud enables students to:

  • choose from hundreds of online undergraduate and postgraduate courses
  • use their classroom in the cloud to watch lectures, submit assessments and participate in discussions
  • use their meeting room in the cloud to work together in real time with students and staff, including sharing videos and delivering presentations
  • download and stream lectures and presentations at any time of the day.
CloudDeakin is the University’s online learning environment that incorporates a range of virtual spaces and tools to enable, flexible, interactive and engaging student learning.  For information and assistance see CloudDeakin Guides.
Community of learners
A community of learners recognises the value of the interaction between students and staff as a partnership where both groups learn from each other.
For Indigenous Australians this may mean more than just ‘land’. Mick Dodson states: ‘For Aboriginal Australians … we might mean homeland, or tribal or clan area … For us, country is a word for all the values, places, resources, stories and cultural obligations associated with that area and its features. It describes the entirety of our ancestral domains. … While they may all no longer necessarily be the title-holders to land, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are still connected to the Country of their ancestors and must consider themselves the custodians or caretakers of their land’ (cited in Reconciliation Australia (n.d.), Welcome to and Acknowledgement of Country).
Deakin offers free confidential psychological support to students and staff. Find out more about Deakin’s Counselling Service.
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)
CLOs comprise a set of capabilities and skills that students within a particular discipline require to become a proficient practitioner in that field. Course design is accordingly aligned to CLOs and articulates a shift from the traditional teacher-centred approach (content focus) to a student-centred approach (learning outcomes focus). For further explanation of learning outcomes and how these relate to inclusive teaching and learning, see Topic 5 of the Inclusive Teaching in Higher Education CloudDeakin staff capacity building module. To access this site, self-register from the CloudDeakin home page: click ‘More’ and select ‘Self Registration’.
A person who intermittently wears clothes traditionally associated with those of the ‘opposite’ gender. The term is sometimes used synonymously or interchangeably with ‘transvestite’. However, because of the association of ‘transvestite’ with sexological discourses of pathology (regarding fetishism and sexual arousal – which usually refers to men who cross-dress for sexual pleasure) – the term is avoided unless quoting someone who self-identifies in this manner.
Cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD)
A broader and more inclusive term than non-English speaking background (NESB) that describes those in the Australian population from diverse backgrounds (language, ethnicity, nationality, tradition, dress, food, societal structure, art and religion). It is generally used to refer to people for whom English is not their principal language and/or whose cultural norms and values differ from the mainstream.

As defined by Wallace (2015), curriculum refers to:

  1. the content and specifications of a course or programme of study (as in ‘the history curriculum’); or
  2. in a wider sense, the totality of the specified learning opportunities available in one educational institution (as in ‘the school curriculum’); or
  3. in its very widest sense, the programme of learning applying to all pupils in the nation (as in ‘the national curriculum’).

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Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
See Graduate Learning Outcomes.
Deakin Policy Library
Deakin Policy Library provides an A to Z of Deakin University’s approved policies and procedures.
Deakin University Student Association (DUSA)
DUSA provides a range of services to assist students with any issue regarding university life including: advocacy, welfare, legal assistance, transport and accommodation. DUSA runs the university bookshop, events and clubs and societies.
Digital accessibility
The structuring of digital content in such a way that it is easily accessible to all users, in particular users with disabilities.  For information and guidelines on how to make your content and materials more accessible see Deakin’s Digital Centre of Excellence.
Digital literacy
Digital literacy means being able to search and navigate, think critically and analyse, and create and communicate information using a variety of digital media and tools. Digital literacy is a key employment skill required not only for study and research, but also in the ever-changing future workplace for both staff and students.
According to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, disability includes physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological, and learning disabilities, physical disfigurement and the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms. It also includes conditions that are permanent or temporary and people who care for people with disability or health conditions.
Disability Resource Centre
Deakin’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC) promotes inclusion and access, and provides information and services for students with a disability, health or mental health condition that affects their study or participation in university life. It offers a range of services including access to assistive technologies and academic support workers. The DRC supports academic staff members by providing alternative learning and assessment arrangements for students requiring assistance.
Diversity encompasses differences between individuals or groups of people in age, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, family responsibilities, gender, language, marital status, religious belief and sexual orientation. Diversity may also include other ways in which people are different, such as learning, life experience, work experience and socio-economic background. Deakin acknowledges the diversity of the Australian community and strives to broaden its student profile through widening participation programs and pathways. Find out more about Deakin’s diverse student community.
Diversity and inclusion
Deakin’s culture values diversity, enables access and promotes inclusion through providing disability support services, developing gender equitable practices, and implementing discrimination and harassment policies. Deakin is committed to delivering equal access to learning and employment opportunities as well as equitable learning and employment outcomes by providing an accessible and inclusive learning and work environment that embraces the fair treatment of people on the basis of respect and merit, the recognition of disadvantage and the absence of discrimination. Further information is available from Deakin’s Diversity and Inclusion unit.
Generally described as the unfair or unfavourable treatment of a person because of a personal characteristic or attribute, real or imputed, including the setting of a requirement, condition or practice that is unreasonable and that people with a particular characteristic cannot meet.
Division of Student Life
See Student Life.
Domestic student
A student who is an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, or the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa.
Drag Queen
Commonly refers to men who wear an exaggerated form of female clothing for entertainment purposes. Drag queens may identify as male when not in drag and as female when in drag. Some may choose other gender-diverse ways of identifying.

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An umbrella term to capture any teaching and learning that occurs via digital learning environments and resources, whether for distance (off-campus/Cloud) or on-campus students. At Deakin University we can think of this as learning that takes place in a range of digital spaces, principally CloudDeakin (using digital learning tools such as ePortfolio, Echosystem and Blackboard Collaborate), but also Skype, WordPress, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Yammer) and through accessing online study materials and resources (e.g. Library databases). For a more comprehensive overview of various eLearning definitions refer to Updated E-Learning Definitions.
Emotional intelligence
According to the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology (2016), emotional intelligence is the ‘ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour’. Whereas ‘traditional’ intelligence is concerned with literacy, numeracy, and critical reasoning, emotional intelligence draws on empathy, seeing the world from other people’s perspectives, and the capacity to utilise emotional insight to enhance thinking and understanding.
Equal opportunity
Equal access to, and participation in, aspects of public life, including learning and employment.
Equity and diversity
See Diversity and inclusion.
Equity groups
Identifiable groups of people within the community that, due to one or several personal characteristics, have been affected by systemic disadvantage with regard to access to educational or employment opportunities and have experienced less favourable outcomes in education or employment.
See Portfolio.
To make a judgement about information, data, materials, cases or an argument, which normally follows from description and analysis. This entails working out the value, use, or suitability of the matter that is being appraised. Deakin University is committed to evaluating all aspects of its higher educational delivery in order that it continues to meet its goals of providing a premium tertiary experience.
A set test at a designated time/date that will examine knowledge of unit content. The format and requirements will vary from unit to unit and may be undertaken online, as a take-home paper, or in an examination venue. Examinations can be either closed book (no course material is allowed to brought into the examination) or open book (course materials are allowed to be referred to during the examination). Example formats include: multiple choice, short answer, essays, and calculations.
The termination by the University of a student’s enrolment in a course for a specified period with no right to apply for re-admission for a minimum period of one academic year.
Explicit teaching
A teaching approach that recognises a diverse student cohort and makes the transition to university learning clear by explaining what is required/expected of them exponentially through scaffolded learning, and encourages active participation and self-knowledge seeking.

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Faculty-student relationship
A sense of connection with their teachers can help students to feel that they belong and are a valued member of the Deakin community of learners. Students who feel supported by their teachers are more likely to encourage students to share their concerns. For more information see Get to know and engage your students and Teaching large groups.
Boud and Malloy (2013) define feedback as ‘a process whereby learners obtain information about their work in order to appreciate the similarities and differences between the appropriate standards for any given work, and the qualities of the work itself, in order to generate improved work’.  Find out how to give inclusive feedback.  See also Inclusive Feedback Model.
First in family
Students who are the first in their immediate family to go to university. Teaching tips and student support can be found at First in Family.
Flexible learning
An approach to education which emphasises variations in the mode, place, time and pace of study; the forms of interaction between and among teachers and learners; and the resources available to support study communication and assessment.
The concept or identity category that indicates sexual orientation, sexuality and gender are dynamic and may shift or change over time.
Formative assessment
Formative assessment tasks seek to find out how students progress during a unit. These are either ungraded, or if grades or marks are given, they are not included in the final unit results. Through providing feedback on performance, formative assessment is a tool that seeks to aid and improve learning.

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An adjective that predominantly refers to men—but is also used to indicate women as well—who are physically, romantically and/or sexually attracted to the same sex. Avoid using the term ‘homosexual’, which is outdated and considered offensive.
Denotes the social categories and/or internal sense of being man/woman, boy/girl, masculine/feminine (which exist on a continuum rather than being mutually exclusive) and other gender-diverse or gender non-conformist ways of being. Gender expression is perceived externally through physical presentation such as hair, clothing, mannerisms, behaviour etc. A person’s sense of their gender may or may not align with their biological sex characteristics.
Describes those who may see themselves as being both man and woman, as being neither man nor woman, or as falling completely outside the gender binary and, therefore, not captured by current nomenclature.
Gender normative
The assumption that gender is expressed in socially acceptable ways i.e. behaving/acting/appearing appropriately as man or woman. This serves to exclude and disempower those who do not conform to behaviours/acts that are considered by dominant society as ‘normal’ i.e. socio-culturally acceptable.
A descriptive indicator of a student’s achievement in an assessment task or a unit, awarded by an academic staff member as part of a marking process. Grades and corresponding marks are set out in Schedule A: Grading Schema for Assessment in Higher Education Courses and Calculation of Weighted Mark Average of the Assessment (Higher Education Courses) Procedure.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes (DGLOs) describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates have acquired and are able to apply and demonstrate at the completion of their course. They consist of outcomes specific to a particular discipline or profession as well as transferable generic outcomes that all graduates should have acquired irrespective of their discipline area. DGLOs are categorised according to a set of eight skills and capabilities that are valued by employers. For further explanation of learning outcomes and how these relate to inclusive teaching and learning, see Topic 5 of the Inclusive Teaching in Higher Education CloudDeakin staff capacity building module.  To access this site, self-register from the CloudDeakin home page: click ‘More’ and select ‘Self Registration’.
Group work
The concept of a group of people working collaboratively together as a team for a common goal or purpose. Working in a group or team encourages students to work collaboratively and offers opportunity for students to build positive relationships with their peers. For exemplars and tips from Deakin academics and further reading see Enjoy group work.

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Health and wellbeing
Deakin offers a range of health and well-being services that students and staff are able to access to help stay physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. These services include: medical centres, safer community, multifaith chaplains, disability support, physiotherapy, counselling for students, counselling for staff, and occupational health and safety.
The dominant system of societal norms, discourses, and practices that constructs heterosexuality as ‘natural’, acceptable and superior to all other forms of sexuality.
The set of beliefs that privilege heterosexuality, heterosexual relationships and cisgendered identities over non-heterosexual relationships and gender-diverse identities.
Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP)
A Commonwealth Government initiative providing funding to promote access to higher education and successful participation in undergraduate courses by low socioeconomic status students. For more information see Deakin’s HEPPP projects.
Higher Education Standards Framework 2015
TEQSA currently registers, and evaluates the performance of higher education providers for course accreditation or reaccreditation against the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (a legislative instrument). In particular, the revised standards are designed to facilitate internal quality assurance and informed decision making by students.
Discrimination and prejudice within the queer community—predominantly by cisgendered, white, gay men—towards others, such as lesbian, trans* and bisexual people. It also assumes that queer culture conforms to heterosexual institutions and socio-cultural norms such as monogamy.
Negative beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes about people who are not heterosexual.

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Inclusive assessment
Inclusive assessment is designed and implemented according to equitable teaching practice that promotes and enhances the learning experience and success of all students, particularly those from disadvantaged, marginal or equity groups.
Inclusive curriculum
Inclusive curriculum accommodates the needs of all learners by offering students multiple means in which to access and engage with information and enhance the participation of students who might be excluded. This prevents the need for expensive retrofitting or accommodations at a later date.
Inclusive Feedback Model

The Inclusive Feedback Model (PDF, 3.06MB) takes account of the design, process and outcomes entailed in providing assessment feedback to students. It considers five key areas:

  1. Standards: development of standards and evaluation of students’ work against these.
  2. Alignment: assessment evaluates students’ progress in achieving standards (learning outcomes).
  3. Application: feedback describes how students can improve subsequent work.
  4. Value and purpose: feedback demonstrates a commitment to supporting student learning.
  5. Agency and self-regulation: students set learning goals, undertake, monitor and evaluate their learning and reflect on the feedback.
Inclusive learning environment
Deakin ensures that courses are delivered within a learning environment that provides all students with equitable and consistent access to facilities, infrastructure, resources and support to assist student progress and achievement of learning outcomes.
Inclusive learning outcomes
Inclusive learning outcomes provide clear, explicit and unambiguous information to students about the intended outcomes of their teaching. Inclusive learning outcomes support students in understanding what is expected of them, gives access to the language of higher education and allows students to self-assess.
Inclusive teaching and learning practice
‘Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education refers to the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others’ (Hockings 2010). It therefore provides for the needs of a diversity of students, minimising the need for adjustments to respond to individual needs, while maintaining quality and complying with higher education standards. Inclusive teaching requires that course content and assessment is designed and delivered in ways that are accessible to all students. It also embraces the idea of individual difference and diversity as enhancements to learning.
Inclusive pedagogy
Inclusive pedagogy comprises the principles, methods, approaches, and practice of teaching that incorporates diverse teaching strategies and multiple means of learning and engagement. In doing so, it aims to promote a culture of teaching that accommodates the learning needs and capacities of all students. It emphasises the application of inclusive practice to all parts of the curriculum: intended learning outcomes, learning activities and materials, assessment tasks, course-specific skills and graduate learning outcomes, and learning environments.
Deakin is committed to building a community in which all members of the University are able to realise their full potential and participate in all aspects of University life. Deakin aims to foster an inclusive and vibrant culture for students and staff that respects and values diversity.
Infusion Model
The infusion model of inclusive pedagogy emphasises the application of inclusive practices to all parts of the curriculum: the intended learning outcomes, learning activities and materials, assessment tasks, course-specific skills and graduate learning outcomes, and inclusive physical and virtual learning environments.
International student

A person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, is not a citizen of New Zealand or a person holding an Australian permanent refugee, humanitarian or protection visa. This student category includes:

  1. International off-campus student enrolled in a course of study delivered at a location outside Australia through distance learning.
  2. International offshore student enrolled in a course of study delivered at a location outside Australia
  3. International onshore student holding an appropriate visa enrolled in a course of study delivered at an Australian location.
An internship is an opportunity for students to experience a professional workplace within a unit of study. The placement is a combination observation, completing tasks and practical application of theory learnt through the student’s course. See also Work Integrated Learning (WIL).
An umbrella term that describes those who are physically diverse in terms of what we think of as biological sex characteristics – such as hormones, chromosomes, gonads, and external anatomy. There are at least 40 known intersex variations (Carpenter 2019). Intersex people may be ‘neither wholly female nor wholly male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male’ (Sex Discrimination Amendment Act (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) 2013 Cth), or something that escapes current paradigms for describing human sexual difference. Intersex persons identify across the sex/gender and sexuality spectrum: as male, female, men, women, transgender, twin-spirited, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or in ways that do not fit current codification possibilities.  Importantly, the term is not synonymous with transgender nor does it indicate sexuality.

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Language and Learning Adviser (LLA)
LLAs can provide academic literacies development through targeted embedded support in your unit or course to assist in the development of students’ reading, writing and oral communication skills. This approach aims to scaffold the development of students’ academic literacies alongside and as part of their development of discipline knowledge. Students may book one-to-one appointments with a Language and Learning Adviser for consultations. These are teaching and learning sessions designed to help develop students’ editing skills, but LLAs do not offer a proof-reading or editing service.
Learning Access Plan (LAP)
A Learning Access Plan is a document designed to assist faculty staff to support a student with a health condition or disability and clarify arrangements that are needed to minimise educational disadvantage. A LAP outlines strategies and adjustments to assist a student to work towards achieving the unit learning outcomes.
Learning disabilities
A learning disability is an impairment of physical, intellectual or social functioning. Any disability can affect the way an individual learns and interacts with others.
Learning environments
Learning in higher education can occur in a range of located (physical) and online environments, including lecture theatres, seminar rooms, computer laboratories, science laboratories, studios, placements, field trips, study tours, as well as online teaching spaces. It also occurs in the multitude of informal spaces where students meet and collaborate.  For information on how to provide inclusive learning environments, see Topic 6 of the Inclusive Teaching in Higher Education CloudDeakin staff capacity building module.  To access this site, self-register from the CloudDeakin home page: click ‘More’ and select ‘Self Registration’.
Learning outcomes
The skills and knowledge that a student should possess on successful completion of a course of study.
See Class.
A woman who is physically, romantically and/or sexually attracted to other women. Avoid using the term ‘homosexual’, which is outdated and considered offensive.
Refers to people of diverse sexes, genders and sexualities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (transgender), intersex, and queer. We use the ‘+’ symbol to indicate that people identify in many different ways that best reflect who they are; it also embraces friends and allies who support LGBTIQ+ communities. See Deakin LGBTIQ+ Community. For more information about use of terminology see the Inclusive Language Guide.
LIVE the Future Agenda 2020
Outlines Deakin’s strategic direction, which is predicated on providing ‘a global perspective and a broader, more cohesive and inclusive curriculum’. Download LIVE the Future Agenda 2020 (PDF 2.07MB).
Low socioeconomic status (LSES)

For the purpose of Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) funding, LSES is defined as:

  • Domestic undergraduate students enrolled at a provider who have home addresses in the lowest quartile of the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) Education and Occupation Index based on the measure of LSES as determined by the Minister.
  • Domestic undergraduate students who meet relevant income support payment criteria in relation to the following payment types: (currently) Dependent Youth Allowance (full-time students) ABSTUDY (Living Allowance), Austudy; Pensioner Education Supplement; ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement; and ABSTUDY Away from base assistance.

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A numerical indicator of a student’s achievement in an assessment task or a unit, awarded by the academic staff member as part of a marking process. Grades and corresponding marks are set out in the Grading Schema, Schedule A of the Assessment (Higher Education Courses) Procedure.
Mature age student
An individual aged 21 years and over, who did not access higher education directly after school or college.
Mental health
A state of psychological, social and physical well-being. Individuals experiencing good mental health will have healthy relationships, good mental functioning and feel able to cope with their emotions and normal life stressors. Our experience of mental health can be impacted by biological, environmental, social and psychological factors, and may lead to the experience of mental ill health or mental illness. Deakin provides a range of mental health support services for both staff and students.
An instance where a person is referred or spoken to in terms that do not correspond to their gender identity. For example, using incorrect pronouns (he, she, they etc.), kinship terminology (father, mother, brother, aunt). If unsure, always ask what language is preferred by the person at an appropriate moment.
Respectively denotes ‘men-who-have-sex-with-men’ and ‘women-who-have-sex with-women’. This terminology is commonly used in health literature.
Respectively denotes ‘male-to-female’ and ‘female-to-male’ persons who now live full-time in their affirmed sex/genders. Ways of self-identifying vary and may include: trans man, trans woman, bi-gendered, while others may identify only as their affirmed gender i.e. man or woman.

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Refers to gender identities or expressions—such as genderqueer, agender, gender-diverse, gender fluid, androgynous—that are not simply ‘man’ or ‘woman’ but may comprise both, neither, something in-between, or fluid expressions that vacillate over time.
Non-exclusive partnerships, the meaning and parameters of which are specific to individual circumstances and contexts.

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Online learning
Online learning refers to student activity in a unit that is required or expected to occur in Deakin’s online learning environment, CloudDeakin. All Deakin students undertake some form of online learning, whether it be part of face-to-face learning or studying part or all of their course at Deakin’s Cloud Campus. Students have access to innovative digital tools that support their learning and offer flexibility in today’s world  For information on how to provide inclusive online learning environments, see Online/blended learning.

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The capacity for, or experience of, physical, romantic, emotional and/or psychological attraction to persons irrespective of their gender. Variations of this terminology may include bisexual, fluid, omnisexual, multi-sexual or polysexual.
As defined by Wallace (2015), pedagogy refers to ‘teaching, as a professional practice and as a field of academic study. It encompasses not only the practical application of teaching, or pedagogic, skills, but also curriculum issues and the body of theory relating to how and why learning takes place’.
Peer assessment
Students evaluate, assess and make judgements about other students’ work and award marks. It is often employed in group tasks such as presentations. Peer assessment is a reflective tool that aids in deepening understanding of the assessment and learning process. Please refer to Peer and Self Assessment (PDF 344KB) prepared by Deakin Learning Futures for further information and teaching tips. See also Make assessment inclusive.
The use of other people’s words, ideas, research findings or information without acknowledgment—that is, without indicating the source. The Deakin Guide to Referencing website provides information on how to acknowledge other people’s works. Deakin utilises an originality software program, Turnitin Feedback Studio, to detect plagiarism.  See also Turnitin Feedback Studio.
Indicates relationships in which individuals have multiple romantic, sexual, and/or affective partners. Polyamory emphasises long-term emotionally intimate relationships that are premised on an ethics of full disclosure and honesty. Guidelines and parameters for the organisation and logistics of each polyamorous situation are negotiated between partners and vary according to context. Also referred to a poly or poly lifestyle.
Located on CloudDeakin, Portfolio is a personal portfolio tool for storing, organising, reflecting on and sharing items that represent student learning. In this space, students may create and include documents, graphics, audio files, videos, presentations, unit work, etc. that demonstrate academic skills development or mastery in a certain area.

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Reclaimed from its pejorative history as a form of abuse (deriding homosexuality), queer is used variously, though not universally, to indicate LGBTIQ+ communities or people who contest the binaries of sex, gender and sexuality. The emergence of queer identities (or anti-identities) and queer politics has been integral in developing queer theoretical perspectives in academic scholarship across cultural studies, social sciences and humanities.

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Reasonable adjustment
Deakin ensures that it provides for the range of needs of staff and students in accordance with inclusive practice and the University’s Equity and Diversity Policy.
Reflective practice

Defined by Wallace (2015) as the practice in which ‘teachers learn from their own teaching experience in order to develop their pedagogic skills by reviewing specific incidents in their professional practice and reflecting upon them in order to draw conclusions about how they might improve their own performance as teachers… [It is] a continuing, often daily, process of self-appraisal and action planning’.

The reflective process may be prompted by questions such as:

  • What incident or issue in my teaching am I most concerned about?
  • What might I wish to change about it, and why?
  • How might this be achieved? What theories might I draw on to inform my decision?
  • Did it work? If so, why? If not, why not? How does this accord with current theories?
  • If it worked, is there a general principle here that I could use again?
  • If it did not work, what might I try next, and why?
The final grade/mark in a unit awarded to a student based on the assessment for that unit.
See Student Retention.
A rubric is a formal description of the expected levels of performance associated with an assessment task. It enables the evaluation of an activity or item based on a predefined set of criteria and helps ensure that activities and items are evaluated fairly and consistently by one person or by a team of markers. For more information go to TeachAssist Rubrics.

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Safer Community
Safer Community is Deakin’s central point of enquiry for information, advice and support in managing problem behaviours affecting staff or students that have, or could, cause offence, fear or trauma (physical and or psychological).
Scaffolding refers to a range of learning and instructional strategies used to build student learning and skill sets gradually in order to develop independence in the learning process. It is a learning strategy that acknowledges the different academic levels in a cohort of students. See Design step-by-step learning.
Scaffolded assessment
Scaffolding assessment tasks takes into account the incremental nature of skills acquisition. Students gradually build academic skills in a step-by-step approach with the support they may need at each stage.
Students evaluate, assess and make judgements about their own work, giving it a grade or mark. This is a reflective process that develops a deeper understanding of assessment. Please refer to Peer and Self Assessment (PDF 344KB) prepared by Deakin Learning Futures for further information and teaching tips. See also Make assessment inclusive.
A seminar (formerly a ‘Tutorial’) is an on-campus or online teaching and learning session facilitated by a tutor. Typically, the lecture and reading material for the weekly topic forms the basis of an interactive session that comprises smaller student group numbers (up to thirty students per on-campus seminar). A seminar is discussion and activity based.
A casually employed academic staff member usually employed on a trimester contract.
Refers to biological sex characteristics—hormones, chromosomes, gonads, external anatomy etc.—which are used to determine gender (boy or girl) at birth. Typically, sex difference is classified in binary terms as either male or female according to genitalia. However, this fails to capture numerous intersex conditions in which individuals are born with biological traits that are: neither male nor female, both male and female at once, somewhere between male and female, or something that escapes current ways of describing human sexual difference.
Sexual behaviour
Refers to specific sexual activities or ways of being.
Sexual harassment

As defined in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, a person sexually harasses another person (the person harassed) if:

  1. the person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to the person harassed; or
  2. engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the person harassed;

in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Sexual identity
Refers to how a person conceives of their sexuality and what terms they use to denote.
Sexual orientation
Comprises emotional, romantic and/or physical attractions to those of another sex/gender, the same sex/gender or all sexes/gender.
Situated learning
Situated learning is a social process that is located and embedded within, and applied to a specific context other than ‘traditional’ teaching and learning environments. Internships or practicums are examples of situated learning.
Special Consideration
Deakin supports the availability of special consideration to students whose performance is temporarily and adversely affected by circumstances outside their control and which prevents them from undertaking or completing an assessment. Special Consideration allows eligible students to apply to undertake a special examination/assessment task or to have their marks adjusted taking into account their special circumstances.
Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS)
The SEAS program allows selection officers to grant consideration for course entry to applicants, but does not exempt applicants from meeting the course entry requirements. The scheme takes into account short and long-term educational disadvantage, including personal information and location, non-English speaking background, difficult circumstances, disadvantaged financial background, and disability or medical condition.
Summative assessment
Awarding of marks that contribute to the overall results for a particular unit or course
Student engagement
Coates (2008) defines student engagement as ‘students’ involvement with activities and conditions likely to generate high-quality learning … The concept of student engagement is based on the premise that learning is influenced by how an individual participates in educationally purposeful activities. While students are seen to be responsible for constructing their knowledge, learning is also seen to depend on institutions and staff generating conditions that stimulate and encourage involvement’.
Student Life
Student Life is a division of Deakin that provides university-wide student resources, facilities and services encompassing: accommodation, careers and employment, health and wellbeing (including counsellors, disability support, medical staff, multi-faith chaplains), orientation and induction, social programs, student academic and peer support, English language skills resources, and sport and recreation.
Student retention
The proportion of students who complete their course satisfactorily and achieve their qualification.
Student success
In Australian higher education, success is measured according to graduation rates, advancement to postgraduate study, and employment outcomes.
Study period
A defined teaching and learning period specified by a faculty for the completion of units for a particular course.
Study support
Deakin has an Academic and Peer Support service where you can direct those students who require extra and timely study skills assistance. This is provided by a team of staff and students including: Language and Learning Advisers, Maths and Writing Mentors, and Students Helping Students. Study support is offered through consultations (both online and on-campus) and a range of online resources to help students with academic skills, such as essay writing, referencing, and English language and communication skills.
Supplementary assessment
Additional assessment tasks undertaken by a student required in order to determine a final Result, and where there is genuine doubt about their academic performance in a specific Unit.

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TeachAssist provides online resources to assist staff in rethinking curriculum design, using educational technologies, and improving teaching practice.
Teacher-student relationship
A sense of connection with their teachers can help students to feel that they belong and are a valued member of the Deakin community of learners. Students who feel supported by their teachers are more likely to can encourage students to share their concerns. For more information see Get to know and engage your students and Teaching large groups.
The concept of a group of people working collaboratively together as a team for a common goal or purpose. Working in a group or team encourages students to work collaboratively and offers opportunity for students to build positive relationships with their peers. For exemplars and tips from Deakin academics and further reading see Enjoy group work. See also Group work.  
Deakin uses a variety of digital platforms, devices and tools to make student learning effective, engaging, efficient and accessible. Both the physical and online learning spaces are equipped with appropriate technology to enable student learning.  For a discussion of issues that technology raises for inclusive teaching and learning, see Online/blended learning.
Technology requirements
For effective study, Deakin requires students to have access to computer devices and connectivity to the internet in order to utilise Deakin’s online learning environment. For further information regarding, computer requirements, equipment, connectivity, capability, and help see Computing requirements.
Often shortened to trans or trans*, this is an umbrella term embracing all those whose gender identity is not congruent with their designated sex at birth. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically. It includes but is not limited to transsexuals, cross-dressers, and genderqueer.
Negative beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes that exist about trans* and gender diverse people.
Originating from medical and psychological discourse, transsexual is sometimes employed to indicate physical alteration of the body via hormonal and/or surgical intervention. It is not an umbrella term and many prefer to use ‘transgender’ to self-identify.
Turnitin Feedback Studio
Turnitin is originality checking software used by Deakin to assist in plagiarism detection. Turnitin generates an ‘originality report’ that sets out the quantity and source of any text that is matched with other sources in the Turnitin database. Text submitted to Turnitin is checked against: over 60 billion webpages—both current and archived versions; academic journals; many ‘online classic’ texts; some textbooks; and papers submitted by other students anywhere in the world where Turnitin submission has been used, including submissions from previous trimesters. Turnitin can only detect the unoriginal text that appears in a submitted assignment or document. Plagiarism is detected and judged according to an academic’s personal interpretation of the unoriginal material.

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Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
A set of guiding principles for designing inclusive curricula, learning outcomes, activities, materials and assessment. UDL principles accommodate diverse language and learning skills through advocating the importance of: multiple means of representation, action, expression and engagement. See Universal Design for Learning.
University Appeals Committee
The University Appeals Committee is a standing committee of the Academic Board established to hear and determine appeals by students against faculty and other University decisions as specified in Regulation 05.3(1), Assessment in Higher Education Award Courses.
Unsatisfactory university progress

Students are considered to be at risk of unsatisfactory academic progress when:

  1. they have failed one or more units in a trimester, or
  2. they are unlikely to complete their course within the maximum period of study.

Students are considered to have made unsatisfactory academic progress, when:

  1. they have failed at least 50 per cent of credit points in each of the preceding two (2) trimesters, or
  2. they have failed a unit twice, or
  3. they have failed a compulsory practicum or placement, or
  4. they will not complete their course within the maximum period of study.

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Any form of detriment directed at a person for alleging, making or participating in, supporting or resolving a complaint of discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation; or a person associated with a person who alleges, makes or participates in, supports or resolves a complaint of discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation.

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Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
WCAG 2.0 is the international benchmark for website accessibility. It provides comprehensive guidelines that explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Deakin University is committed to providing website content that is accessible to everyone, regardless of technology or ability, and thus seeks to comply with WCAG 2.0 (Level AA) standards.
Work Integrated Learning (WIL)
A WIL program is an arrangement between student, faculty and an employer that enables experiential learning such as an internship, practicum or placement. WIL programs may require previous study in the relevant discipline and have specific goals attached to the course as well as skill development objectives. These programs are generally unpaid and may require completion of a specified number of work hours. The negotiated program usually involves specific tasks or a project monitored by a supervisor in the workplace.

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Adapted from the following sources

Australian Institute of Family Studies 2016, Child Family Community Australia, retrieved 19 December 2016.

Boud, D & Molloy, E 2013, Feedback in higher and professional education: understanding it and doing it well, Routledge, London.

Coates, H 2008, Attracting, engaging and retaining: new conversations about learning: Australasian student engagement report, Australian Council for Educational Research, Camberwell, VIC, retrieved 14 March 2016.

Colman, AM 2016, A dictionary of psychology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, retrieved 14 December 2016.

Deakin University 2016, Legislation and Policy Library, Deakin University, retrieved 12 December 2016.

European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education 2018., Glossary, IEA, retrieved 30 October 2018.

Great Schools Partnership 2016, The glossary of education reform, Great Schools Partnership, retrieved 10 October 2016.

Higher Education Academy 2015, HEAtoZ, Higher Education Academy, York, UK, retrieved 10 October 2016.

Hockings, C 2009, ‘Reaching the students that student-centred learning cannot reach’, British Educational Research Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 83–98.

Krause, K-L & Armitage, L 2014, Australian student engagement, belonging, retention and success: a synthesis of the literature (PDF 775KB), retrieved 11 March 2016.

Mayer, JD, Roberts, RD & Barsade, SG 2008, ‘Human abilities: emotional intelligence’, Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 59, pp. 507 -536.

Wallace, S 2015 A dictionary of education, Oxford University Press, Oxford.


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