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Untangling terms: Swinburne Online Glossary

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Terms you need to know when starting online university

Starting a university course is an exciting adventure full of new experiences and information. But it can also be challenging to navigate all of the new terms that are tossed at you. Do you need an Student Advisor or an eLA? Was that document in your Learning Group or the Student Hub?

To make it easier for you to get your head around the Swinburne Online lingo we have put together a quick glossary of terms.

eLA – eLearning Advisors

Passionate professionals with years of industry experience who have been specially trained for teaching in online environments. Many still work in the field they teach in, providing you with a great source of knowledge and experience. They are on-hand throughout the course to answer your questions, mark assessments and to provide you with feedback and support.

Student Advisors

Your support team available 7 days a week to help with questions outside your unit or course content. They can assist with general course advice, enrolment help, course planning, technical support, referrals for counselling, career advice and tips on how to get started if students are feeling overwhelmed.

Learning Group

Each unit you study throughout your degree will see you studying in a small “class” called a learning group, facilitated by an eLA. These small groups allow you to explore concepts with your peers and eLAs without getting lost in a crowd.

Student Hub

The Student Hub is a one-stop-shop for information and support on the learning journey. You can check your course details or grab study resources.


Collaborate sessions are one of the tools we use to deliver online learning. It’s a web conferencing tool with live chat, audio and video that allows you to interact with eLAs and fellow students during live presentations.

Teaching Period

There are three teaching periods, sometimes referred to as TPs, which run all year round, allowing you to complete your studies with lots of flexibility.


Studiosity is an independent tutoring service that offers constructive essay feedback in less than 24 hours. Submit your draft essay or report to get expert feedback on academic writing, structure, flow and use of research.

Study Planner

Is a handy quick reference tool. You can download your own study planner to help you keep track of important dates, assessments and exams, across each teaching period.


An eText is a digital textbook for you study needs. You access your eTexts through your online classroom, Canvas.


For our education students! As part of your education course, you must complete a professional experience placement within a school environment to graduate. A placement allows you to use your practical teaching skills in a live classroom environment.

Core and Elective Units

All undergraduate courses are made up of Core and Elective units. Core units are the subjects that must be studied to complete the requirements of the course and electives are subjects that you can choose to study for interest or to build out your understanding in certain areas.

For more study and time management tips, visit our blog.