Glossary of terms


What does it all mean? There are a number of academic terms and phrases used in college. Here we explain what some of them mean for you.


Brightspace is the university's new Learning Environment (LE) and replaced Blackboard 1st August 2019.

This technology is a means of providing a range of H.E on-line materials to students. Materials can be accessed on a 24/7 basis, which means that students can study whenever and wherever they are (provided that Internet access is available).

Closed book examination

Exams that you are not allowed to take books or notes to.

Distance learning

Accessing courses from home or a Learning Centre.

E-portfolio (electronic portfolio)

Student materials / coursework held electronically on-line.


Learning resources available through the internet.


Further Education.

Flexible learning

Learning which is not tied to a place or time – often distance learning.


Higher Education.

Internet based courses

Courses supported using virtual learning environments or other computer mediated study.

Internet supported lectures

Lectures for which notes and other materials are available online.

Networked course

Course taught across the university with staff and students located in several colleges. Classes can be taught by VC seminars and supported by online materials in VLE.

On-line learning / modules

Learning that is available through the internet, usually at a flexible time.

Open learning

Study using course materials but without attending classes.

Research portfolio

Collection of research materials/ activities.

Video conference (VC)

Two way media linking together students and staff around the UHI network. TV screens display images of the participants, documents and slides. Students can ask questions as well as receive lectures.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

Computer mediated learning using online materials which can be accessed on-line at the students’ convenience – we use Blackboard.

Work-based learning

Accreditation for placements with industry.