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Glossary of Terms

This brief glossary aims to explain some of the terminology that learners may come across during their research and application phases.

  • Academic Advisor: A member of the academic staff who can advise a learner on both general issues relating to university life and also on specific issues such as RPL applications.
  • Academic Calendar: A list of important semester-specific dates and deadlines for students officially registered at DkIT
  • Academic Program: A combination of credit modules that lead to an academic award
  • Access: The process by which learners may start a programme having received recognition for prior learning.
  • Appeals: If the application is unsuccessful (I.e. is not granted an exemption or accepted onto a programme of study through RPL), they may avail themselves of the appeals procedure as outlined in the Appeals Policy Document.
  • Award: An award is conferred by the awarding body when you have successfully completed a programme of study. An example of an award is an Honours Bachelor Degree.
  • Advanced Entry: Admission under certain circumstances may be granted to access a course in year 2 or above. In the case of an RPL applicant this would be on the basis of prior learning, be that formal accredited learning (RPCL) or informal ‘experiential’ learning (RPEL) that has been gained through work/life experience.
  • Baccalaureate Degree: The baccalaureate degree is awarded after completing an undergraduate program of study; typically completed after three or four years.
  • Certified Learning: This is learning that has been formally recognised or accredited that you are using as part of your RPL application.
  • Content: Content is information with relevant metadata that has a specific use or is used for a particular business purpose.
  • Continuous Assessment: Refers to the assessment of students’ ongoing work, using short tests, Quizzes or essays rather than an end of term examination or project.
  • Course (or Programme): This is the specified programme of study that a student must pursue to earn an award. The programme is made up of modules. Information on the modules that make up a programme, the purpose of each one and how they are to be examined or assessed is made available in a Programme descriptor/syllabus, found on the DkIT website
  • Course Leader: Every course (programme) has a Programme Director (PD) who is a member of the academic staff teaching on the course. The PD liaises with students, academic staff and the Institute Management on the day-to-day management of the course and is available to discuss issues with learners.
  • Credits: As learners complete modules and demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes, they are awarded credits which they accumulate to earn an award. DkIT modules are typically worth five credits each, but some programmes may have ten credit modules. On successful completion of one year of full-time study, learners typically earn sixty credits.
  • Degree Classification: The grading scheme for undergraduate degrees.
    • Ordinary bachelor's degree: Pass, Merit or Distinction
    • Honours degrees : 1st Class, Second class ‘upper’ (2:1) and ‘lower’ (2:2) , or Pass.
  • Enrolment: The process where a student becomes registered at DkIT and is issued with their credentials.
  • Exemption: Exemption/s from a module/s within a programme of study where students can formally demonstrate that they have already met the learning outcomes for the module/s concerned. Exemptions from modules may be granted at the non-award stages of a course on the basis of recognised prior learning. Where exemptions are being sought for an award level module then the assessment process should assign a mark for the module arising out of a robust assessment of the learning achieved as defined by the assessment criteria of the module. Where it is not possible to assign a mark to the exemption that he student shall receive a non-classified award.
  • Formal Learning: Formal learning occurs in an organised and structured environment (in an education or training institution or on the job) and is explicitly designed as a learning experience in terms of its structure, learning objectives, learning outcomes, time and resources.
  • Informal Learning: Informal learning is not organised or structured; informal learning is usually unintentional from the learner's perspective and results from participating in daily activities related to work, family or leisure, e.g. coaching a team, event management.
  • Learning Outcomes (Learner): Clear statements of transferable knowledge, skills and attributes which an applicant can be expected to have gained on successful completion of a programme or element of a programme of study e.g. module. The learning outcomes are listed in the module descriptor.
  • Learning Outcomes (Course): Listed on the course syllabus, the course learning outcomes are set of a statement outlining the competencies, practical, analytical and professional skills, that students will obtain by the conclusion of the course.
  • Level: In the context of academic programme, ‘level’ refers to the level of the programme on the National framework of Qualifications:
    • Level 6 : Higher Certificate
    • Level 7 : Bachelor Degree
    • Level 8 : Honours Bachelor Degree
  • Module: A module is a self-contained unit of a student's workload. (Also, known as a subject). Modules are typically delivered and assessed within a semester. A ‘module descriptor’ is available to students for all modules. The module descriptor sets out what the objectives and learning outcomes of the module are, how many credits attach to the modules, how it will be assessed etc.
  • Module Exemption: A module exemption is where you are granted an exemption from a module or number of modules on the basis of prior learning they have undertaken, be that formal accredited learning or informal ‘experiential’ learning you have gained through work/life experience.
  • Modular: Some courses are divided into modules and students are required to pass a number of these modules to successfully complete their degree programme. Modules can be compulsory or optional.
  • Non Formal Learning: Non formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view but usually does not result in accreditation or certification. Non formal learning is embedded in planned activities not explicitly defined as learning e.g. on the job training or IT skills acquired in the workplace.
  • Prior learning is learning that has taken place but has not necessarily been assessed, measured, or assigned credits. Prior learning may have been acquired through formal, nonformal, and/or informal routes.
    Programme (or Course): The terms ‘Programme’ and ‘Course’ are used interchangeably within institute documents (see Course)
  • Reflection: Reflection on past learning as part of your RPL application is a dynamic process. It is not about being passive, staying where you are and looking back – but an active engagement with knowledge and experience. So, in reflecting you are able to construct new and deeper understanding and to articulate knowledge in a more meaningful way. ( 2018)
  • Recognition is a process by which prior learning is given a value. It is a means by which prior learning is formally identified, assessed, and acknowledged. This makes it possible for an individual to build on learning achieved and to be rewarded for it (e.g. in the form of acknowledgement or accreditation).
  • Records: Information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.
  • Semester: The academic year has two equal 15-week semesters – 15 weeks from September to January, and 15 weeks February to May. Each semester is made up of 12 weeks of class contact, 1 week of independent study and 2 weeks of assessment.
  • Transfer: The process by which learners may transfer from one programme to another programme having received recognition for knowledge, skill and competence acquired.

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