Independent labs. Athabasca University has developed a framework that allows you to access the laboratory component of certain science courses without taking the remaining instructional component, provided you meet strict prerequisite requirements and have professor approval before registering in the course. Each lab is worth one credit. Should you decide to take the remaining instructional portion of the course, the additional credit earned for laboratory modules is recognized.
Independent labs are supervised by our lab instructors and professors and are only offered at specific locations at specific times. Most labs run between two to eight days in length, for example. You will have up to two months to complete these courses from the date you register. No extensions are allowed in independent labs, unless specifically authorized by the course professor. Independent labs are not available for challenge.
If you are enrolled at another institution, you should receive approval in writing by your home institution to ensure that it will grant credit for the lab. If you are using this course to update laboratory skills (e.g., you are a teacher or instructor), you must provide evidence of having previously taken an equivalent science course or have the equivalent theoretical requirements.
When you attend the lab, you are responsible for making your own arrangements and payments for transportation, accommodation, and food.
Individualized study describes
a method of course instruction centered around a learning
system package that may include textbooks, workbooks, audio and
videotapes, computing resources, project kits, study guides, online resources, and
manuals. You will set your own schedule within the time allowed
to complete your course. Many courses and programs at Athabasca University are offered by a combination of print-based and online material (see below).
Individualized study online. Many AU courses are offered by a combination of print-based and online material. Other courses are offered almost entirely online. The amount of online activity varies among courses from participating in computer conferencing to the setting up of student Web site projects and downloading much of the learning materials in electronic format. The term "online-enhanced" means you have the option of using the Internet to augment the course material.
As a student in an online or online-enhanced course, you are responsible for your Internet connections and costs.
Some undergraduate programs and courses (e.g., COMP, CMIS and PSYC courses) require you to have a computer with specific configurations. Check the course syllabus for requirements, and review Computer requirements within this Glossary.
Intellectual honesty. The acknowledgement of the scholarly contributions of others. Failure to do so is academic misconduct.
Invigilator. An individual
authorized by Athabasca University to oversee the writing of
an exam by an Athabasca University student.
ISP: Internet service provider. A provider of Internet service other than a public institution.
Junior courses (designated by a course number in the 200s) are
usually introductory or survey courses and are equivalent to first-year
courses at most universities. K L
Lab-component only courses (also referred to as "independent labs). Students may take
the laboratory component of certain science courses without taking
the remaining instructional component. There are, however, strict
prerequisite requirements and professor approval is required before
registration can occur. Each lab-component-only course is worth
one credit. For current lab information, contact the Centre
science courses are courses that contain a substantial
amount of work including exercises, techniques, and equipment and
the course discipline. The lab portion
of these courses is usually site-specific and supervised. For
current lab information, contact the Centre for Science.
Learning Resource Fee. As a component of the course fee, payment entitles you to receive most learning resources required to complete the course for the period of active registration.
Learning resources include, but are not limited to, texts, student manuals, study guides, reading files and/or other instructional materials such as software and access to online resources. This fee contributes to the development and procurement for any online resources which may be part of the course (some courses may be entirely online). This fee also covers packaging, shipping, and handling of learning resource materials.
You may require additional items to complement the course such as binders, calculators, home lab materials, etc., and these are your responsibility.
Letter of Certification is an official
confirmation of information extracted from a student's record
that is not available on a transcript.
Letter of Permission (LOP) is a document
that gives you permission to take one or more courses at an institution other than the university in which you are admitted. Web site.
Levels. In addition to having a credit weight of three, four, or six credits, each course is assigned a particular level: preparatory (100), junior (200), or senior (300 or 400).
Major. A designated program of study within a
four-year program discipline such as the Bachelor of Arts, Anthrop logy major
or the Bachelor of Science, Human Science major.
Marks. "Marks" are applied to your assignments, essays, and exams. "Grade" refers to the overall average grade that you will receive on your course.
Member of the University community. Any student admitted to Athabasca University, an academic or nonacademic staff member, or a member of Athabasca University's Governing Council.
is your personalized portal to Athabasca University through which you can quickly access information that is relevant to you. Through myAU, you can view personal information, such as your library accounts, assignment marks, and course grades, or take care of administrative matters, such as registering for courses, booking examinations, submitting assignments, applying for extensions, and so on. Athabasca University will also use myAU to communicate directly with you.
No area of study indicates the designated course
cannot be used to fulfill an area of study requirement in a program.
The course can, however, fulfill part of the overall degree requirements
if it is appropriate to the program.
Non-Academic Misconduct Policy. Non-academic offences attempted or committed by students on University premises or during University-sponsored activities shall be grounds for disciplinary action by the University under the Non-Academic Misconduct Policy.
Non-credit courses do not fulfill any requirement
toward a credential.
Not-to-take will be awarded when
equivalent knowledge of a particular course has been identified
within your assessment. Athabasca University awards the credit and uses
the course, if it is required, to fulfill
Nursing transfer. This is a special program developed in cooperation with another university whereby students may complete courses through Athabasca University and use these courses to fulfill the requirements of a post-degree program.
One month. Deemed to be equal to 31 days.
Online courses are delivered using the Internet and are designed for students who have access to specific computer requirements.
Online-enhanced is an optional component meaning the course uses
the Internet to augment course material.
Open admission means admission to the University
and registration in courses (except where a prerequisite is needed)
is not based on prior academic achievement. A student must be 16
years of age, unless specifically exempt from the age requirement.
Options. One or more courses chosen from any
discipline to complete degree requirements. You should be aware of the level and area of study requirements, if either have not
already been met.
Paced study courses: Refer to Grouped study courses.
Paced lab students are required to attend an on-site lab component
with a group of students at set times.
Parchment. Document issued by Athabasca University that communicates the nature of the degree and date of conferral. This document is signed and sealed by University officials.
Part-time students are registered in less than 60 percent of a full course load (a full course load is defined as two credits per month at Athabasca University) with Athabasca University. For taxation or Alberta Student Finance purposes, for example, students who register in less than four, three-credit courses over six months are considered part-time.
Plagiarism is the wilful act of presenting another person's work as one's
without the proper academic
acknowledgement and recognition.
PLAR. Refer to Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition.
Post diploma. If you have received a diploma from a recognized college, you may be able to transfer credit to the post diploma program at AU to help satisfy degree requirements. Recognized diplomas may also be considered for some programs on a course-by-course basis. For a list of already approved diplomas, please review the Transfer Credit Database.
Practicum courses (usually in the Applied Studies
area) require a substantial amount of supervised, discipline-related
time in actual work settings.
Precluded courses are courses in which the curriculum overlaps the course
being described to the extent that you would be duplicating
course work if you completed both courses. You cannot receive
credit for both the course being described and the course listed.
Precluded courses are usually the result of a course revision, course
renumbering or cross-listing.
Preparatory courses are designated by a number
in the 100s. These courses prepare students for university-level
study in disciplines that require a high-school background. A maximum
of 6 credits at the preparatory level may be applied to the completion
of the BA or BGS degree at Athabasca University. The Challenge for
Credit Policy does not apply to preparatory, 100-level courses.
Preparatory/alternative courses are courses
a professor may suggest a
student register in if the student is
experiencing difficulties in a more senior-level course. Preparatory/alternative
courses are not necessarily prerequisite courses but rather provide
the student with a more solid subject-matter
foundation before he or she advances
to the more senior-level course.
Preregistration is the act of registering for
a course with a start date up to six months in the future. Preregistration
is considered a registration and guarantees a particular start date.
Prerequisites. Many senior-level courses require
a knowledge of the material covered in junior or other senior courses.
Prerequisites ensure that a student has the required background
to successfully complete the course. Students who have fulfilled
the prerequisite by completing an equivalent course at another post-secondary
institution should complete the Prerequisite Waiver Declaration
Form so their course registration can proceed without delay.
Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR). Refer to Web site.
Professor approval. The term "Professor approval required" is usually associated with
prerequisites. It applies when students do not have credit in one or more of the
prerequisites for a given course. In such cases, the professor has the
discretion to waive the prerequisite requirement, after a discussion with
Program. A program is any combination of courses with a set of coherent organizing principles and goals; for example, the Bachelor of Arts degree, or a concentration or major in a degree or a university certificate.
Programs, Time to complete. Most of Athabasca University programs are open-ended, meaning there is no time limit to complete the undergraduate degree. Some programs allow a maximum term to complete the degree requirements and this is indicated in the specific degree regulations.
You should remain active in your program, or you will be required to re-enrol and charged a reactivation fee.
Students who re-enrol in their program are required to follow the program requirements in effect at the time of their re-enrolment. To be considered active in your program, you must currently be registered in an Athabasca University course or have completed an AU course within the last 12 months. The 12-month period is based on the most recent course contract end date, course completion date, or the date of withdrawal from an AU course.
Students who complete courses on a Letter of Permission from Athabasca University also retain their active status.
Some external courses transferred to some AU credentials can become
stale-dated after five or ten years. Should you become inactive during your AU program enrolment, you risk a course becoming stale-dated during your inactivity.
Reading courses are offered at the senior (usually
400) level and involve a specialized field of study.
Registration. The process of
selecting and undertaking specific courses at
Rejection of submitted work. Refusal of academic work that has been submitted to fulfill all or part of the course or program requirements; or an assignment grade of zero (0) to any academic work that has been submitted to fulfill all or part of the course or program requirements; or a grade of zero (0) as a course composite grade on a particular course.
Reprimand. Written notification to a student outlining the
nature of his or her misconduct and the implications of further
misconduct. A student who has received a reprimand is permitted
to continue at Athabasca University.
Residency. Residency is defined as the minimum number of Athabasca University credits that must be completed to fulfill a program's requirements.
Residency requirements are part of some AU program regulations.
Science. This area of study normally comprises courses based on a knowledge of facts, phenomena, laws, and proximate cause (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Nutrition, and Physics).
Science labs. Some science labs can be conducted from your own home. Others are supervised and taken in a group at a specific time and location. Science lab
Semesters are time periods during which many grouped-study
courses are offered. Fall semester courses typically run from September
winter courses are usually offered from January through April.
Some grouped-study courses are offered during spring/summer semester.
Senior courses (designated by a course number in
the 300s or 400s) assume
a background of university learning
and usually specify a junior course
as a prerequisite.
Social Science. An area of university study that normally comprises anthropology, economics, geography, labour studies, political science, psychology, sociology, and women's studies courses.
Stale-dated Courses: Some external courses transferred to some AU credentials can become
Streaming Video. Another new technology used to enhance the delivery of Athabasca University courses is streaming videos. When a video or movie is "streamed," it is sent over the Internet to be viewed in real time by QuickTime, a free,
stale-dated after five or ten years. Should you become inactive during your AU program enrolment, you run the risk of a course that was originally transferable, becoming stale-dated during your inactivity.
Student Assessment Letter (SAL) is a specialized document issued
by the Office of the Registrar that indicates the courses approved
degree or university certificate program and all remaining requirements.
The SAL includes transfer credits, completed courses, courses in
completed on letters of permission,
and preregistered courses. The SAL is normally sent to students
when the evaluation of their previous education is completed, when
notified of a final
grade, or at the student's request. The SAL may also be obtained
from the Learning Centres but not without a request.
Student awards/scholarships. Refer to Web site. Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal Regulations. Academic offences are identified within the Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal Regulations online.
Students Finance Board is the official agency in
each province that is responsible for supplying loans and bursaries
bursaries are dependent upon need and require the
student to maintain full-time status.
Student, full-time. Full-time students are registered
in a minimum of 60 percent of a full course load (a full course
load is defined as two credits per month at Athabasca University)
with Athabasca University. For taxation or Alberta Student Finance
purposes, for example, students who register in a minimum of three,
three-credit courses over a four-month period or four, three-credit
courses over a six-month period are considered full-time. Course
extensions will not extend a student's full-time status.
Student ID number. A seven-digit number assigned to each student. Students should have their student ID numbers available whenever they contact Athabasca University.
Student, part-time. Part-time students are registered in less than 60 percent of a full course load (a full course load is defined as two credits per month at Athabasca University) with Athabasca University. For taxation or Alberta Student Finance purposes, for example, students who register in less than four, three-credit courses over six months are considered part-time.
Supervised labs describe compulsory course learning activities in some of our science courses that take place in person at specified times and locations.
These lab sessions concentrate a great deal of work in a short period of time, from two days to more than a week. The sessions are conducted in teaching laboratories in buildings owned or leased by Athabasca University.
Supervised labs usually involve field as well as lab work. Some supervised lab activities are held at various times throughout the year in Calgary, Edmonton, and, occasionally, in other localities within Alberta. Certain supervised labs are held only once per year in one location in Alberta.
You are required to book in advance in order to attend these sessions.
Athabasca University retains the right to postpone or cancel scheduled
lab sessions due to insufficient registrations. Costs for travel,
accommodation, and food are the responsibility of the student.
Please check the specific course
syllabus for details.
Supervisor. In an academic context, a supervisor coaches and assists a student with senior, project-based courses or with a graduate thesis/project.
Supplemental exam. An additional exam written by a student to improve the grade received on the original exam.
Synchronous communication T
Télé-université du Québec.
Equivalent courses in French are offered by Télé-université through Athabasca University. Joint bilingual programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate level are also available. For more information about these equivalency courses, please contact Athabasca University.
Transcript. An official document prepared by the Office of the Registrar recording a student's academic performance and bearing Athabasca University's seal. Transcripts must be requested in writing. Transcripts are not released to anyone without the student's permission. A fee is charged for each transcript.
Transfer credit is credit granted for the successful completion
of course work at another accredited institution.
Tutor. In most individualized study courses, you will be assigned a tutor to help you throughout the course.
U V W
Unclassified students. Students who are not enrolled in an AU degree, diploma, or certificate program.
Video component. Some Athabasca University courses
include DVDs and/or videotapes that are required viewing to complete the course.
Other courses use videotapes to enrich the course content. Some
courses have required viewing that is broadcast throughout Alberta
on ACCESS, The Education Station. Students who are unable to view
the television broadcasts in their area may borrow videotapes from
Athabasca University Library. Overseas students, please contact AU Library before registering in a course that has a videotape component.
Visiting students. A person taking courses for transfer of credit to another post-secondary institution is a "visiting student." Visiting students are also described as "unclassified students" at Athabasca University. More than 6,000 visiting students a year take
one or more courses at Athabasca University to
complement their studies at their home institution.
Withdrawal. The voluntary exit from an
Athabasca University course by a student. Students can
withdraw from a course any time during the period of active study
provided the final exam has not been deemed written. Withdrawal
time frames are important!