Use this to define terms that are frequently misunderstood or misused.  

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adaptive mode

If a quiz uses adaptive mode, students can attempt each question more than once before continuing to the next question. After selecting what you think is the right answer, click the "Check" button and try again if you got it wrong. For more about adaptive mode, see the FAQ entry on it.


Blog Like format (forum type)


Each person posts one discussion (forum type)

This is forum type allows each student to post only one discussion topic by clicking the "Add new discussion" button at the top.  After the student has posted his or her discussion, this button will disappear, however students may still participate in discussions by replying to existing threads.


forum; fora

A forum (pl. fora) on MySats is an online discussion where students and lecturers can post and respond to questions relating to course subject matter.  A forum differs from a chat in that it is:

  1. often asynchronous (interactions or posts occur at different times), whereas a chat typically occurs in real time,
  2. often longer than a chat, consisting of more formal writing style and argumentation,
  3. archived for a period of time for reference later, whereas a chat is not often archived.

The prescribed writing convention for forum interactions is similar to that of an essay.  You should avoid colloquialisms or text (sms) talk in favour of complete sentences.  Forums posts should also attempt to contribute to the overall thread or conversation, rather than introduce new topics that are unrelated to the prevailing subject matter.

For a discussion of the various forum types, please see the glossary entries below:

Standard Forum

Simple Discussion

Question and Answer

Each person posts one discussion

Blog Like Format



An invigilator must be someone 21 years or older who is  not a relative, and who will be present throughout the duration of the examination. He or she must be willing and able to confirm that the student did not consult any unauthorised sources during the examination.


Negative marking

Negative marking means applying a negative mark as a penalty for wrong answers in certain types of questions. The negative mark issued depends on the number of choices in a multiple-choice question; see the explanation in the related FAQ.



You are allowed to use all your study materials during the test or exam to look up answers. You do not need to have an invigilator present.



A study programme is a collection of courses which, once successfully completed, result in a qualification.

For example, the programme for a Bachelor of Theology degree comprises various courses in biblical studies, practical theology and systematic theology.

programme qualification

The outcome of successfully completing all the courses in a programme is the qualification that is awarded.

Qualifications that SATS is accredited to award include certificates, diplomas, and degrees such as the Bachelor of Theology.


Question and Answer (forum type)

A question and answer forum type is one in which the student must respond to a predetermined question before being allowed to view other students' posts.  After a student has responded to the initial question, he or she may interact with others or read other students' responses to the same question.


Simple Discussion

This forum type allows for one single main discussion without groups or separate discussion threads.

Standard forum

The "standard forum" type allows for an unspecified number of discussions.  These are most often used for general forums in which users can create discussions as needed. This forum type may or may not use forum groups.

Study Term

Each academic year is comprised of four consecutive terms of three months each. SATS' academic year runs from 1 February every year till the 31 January the following year, and is named according to the calendar year in which it starts. (That is, the 2012 academic year runs from 1 February 2012 to 31 January 2013.)

Most tertiary education institutions offer their courses over the duration of a semester (6 months), but their students are usually studying full-time. Most SATS students are studying part-time, and SATS has learned that part-time students are more likely to progress through their study programmes faster if they study their courses in series (one after another) rather than in parallel (two or more at a time). Therefore, instead of running our courses over a semester, most SATS courses are run for one term. That means that part-time students usually aim to complete one course per term, rather than studying two semester-long courses at the same time. (Both approaches result in four courses completed in one year, but part-time students succeed better studying in series.)

In the past, SATS divided its semesters into two terms called 1A and1B for the first semester (February to July) and 2A and 2B in the second semester (August - January). These are now simply referred to as Terms 1-4.


Old name

New name

1 February - 30 April

Semester 1A

Term 1

1 May - 31 July

Semester 1B

Term 2

1 August - 31 October

Semester 2A

Term 3

1 November - 31 January

Semester 2B

Term 4


Thread (relating to forum)

A forum thread consists of the combination of a topic, a posting, and a reply.  Using Thread View, you are able to match replies to specific postings in the time/date order in which they were posted so you can see how the discussion progresses with time.  See this FAQ for example screenshots.

Topic (relating to forum)

Forum topics are used to set the subject of the discussion.  The discussion progresses and builds as others respond to the initial question or comment.  Some forum types allow for multiple topics to be introduced, whilst others only allow for a single topic.  Forum etiquette demands that participants stay on topic and speak to the issue at hand rather than introducing new material that is unrelated to the discussion.