EDUC 4543A - Alternative Curricula A (UG)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The course aims to present information on a range of methodologies and develop a variety of pedagogical skills to help students to be better prepared for the start of their teaching career.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 4543A
    Course Alternative Curricula A (UG)
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hours per week, in addition to a 2 hour common lecture focussing on Planning and Teaching
    Prerequisites None
    Incompatible EDUC 4517A
    Restrictions Available to B Teaching students only
    Course Description The course aims to present information on a range of methodologies and develop a variety of pedagogical skills to help students to be better prepared for the start of their teaching career.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Robert Matthews

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 To understand the current trends in teacher employment, the policy and curriculum frameworks that support the professional teacher, in a competitive local and international job market.
    2 To identify qualities and skills of the 21st century teacher as well as your own philosophy and demonstrate this in a well written personal statement.
    3 To understand and demonstrate how innovative pedagogy, differentiated teaching and a personalised approach can enrich the student learning experience.
    4 To understand that various specialised educational programs exist in a range of teaching environments and articulate how one of these meets the needs of its diverse learners.
    5 To understand and articulate how various technology tools are used to engage and enhance the student learning experience in and outside of classrooms.
    6 To understand and identify professional learning opportunities and associations that support the personal and professional development of classroom teachers and leaders.
    7 To develop an awareness of the factors that impact on student and teacher wellbeing and resilience within diverse educational contexts.
    8 To develop students’ skills in educational research so they gather information from a range of primary and secondary resources, and articulate this in oral and written form.
    9 To demonstrate effective communication, organisation, problem solving and teamwork skills to produce a high quality group presentation to peers.
    10 To demonstrate fair and ethical assessment of peers’ group presentations of specialised education programs, using the course assessment tool provided.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,3.
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,3,4,8,9,10.
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4,9.
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 8,9
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2,5,9
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,4,7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Due to the practical nature of this course most resources will be provided with links to websites and guest speakers will provide additional resources during their presentations. All lectures will be recorded and uploaded to MyUni.

    Most information for the written case study and group presentation will come from websites and your primary resources (people). Some of these resources include:

    Other resources:

    • Education sector policy and strategy
    • Specialist sector and site based staff
    • School or site based policy and strategy
    • Relevant community organisations and professional education associations
    • National and international policy and strategy

    You may want to include the South Australian Strategic Plan, Target 89. If a program is to be funded by the state government it must address one of the 100 targets.

    School sectors:

    Catholic Education of South Australia (CESA)

    116 George St
    Thebarton SA 5031 (08) 8301 6600

    Department for Education and Child Development (DECD)

    31 Flinders Street
    Ph: 8226 1000

    Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA)

    301/303 Unley Rd
    Malvern SA 5061 (08) 8179 1400
    Recommended Resources

    As the majority of resources are provided during guest lecture presentations, every effort will be made to ensure the presentations are available prior to lecture. Additional resources will be uploaded continuously throughout the course. 

    Online Learning

    Any additional resources to support the delivery of this program will be uploaded onto MyUni and students will be notified of these.

    Course communication will be primarily through emails and MyUni postings. It is a course requirement that you access and frequently check (at least 2 times per week) these communications. 

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The lecture session will be in face to face mode. At the end of each presentation five minutes will be allowed for question time.

    The format of the tutorials will vary. Tutorial 1 and 2 will be delivered in lecture mode. Students will deliver group presentations during tutorials 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Alternative Curricula A is a three unit practical based course and therefore the writing length for assessment requirements will not exceed 3,000 words; 1000 words for the personal statementand 2,000 words for the case study. The group presentation will be 25 minutes in total (20 minutes for the group presentation, with 5 minutes for questions and peer assessment).

    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture Content AITSL Standards
    Week 1 Introduction to Course
    Lecturer: Tammy Edwardson
    Standards 2 and 6
    Week 2 The 21st century teacher and preparing your personal statement.
    Lecturer: TBA
    Standards 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7
    Week 3 Innovative pedagogy and differentiated teaching
    Standards 1,2,3 ,4 and 5
    Week 4 The integrated program approach
    Standards 1,2,3 ,4 and 5
    Week 5 The global education teaching experience.
    Standards 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7
    Week 6 Integrating technology to engage a diverse range of learners.
    Standards 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7
    Week 7 The international teaching experience.
    Standards 1, 2, 3,4,5,6 and 7
    Week 8 Student and teacher wellbeing within the school context.
    Standards 1, 4,6 and 7
    Specific Course Requirements

    All students are required to attend the compulsory lecture and tutorial sessions. In the case of absence an email to the course coordinator, or a medical certificate or other verification is required. If a student is absent from the group presentation, additional work may be required by the student. 

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Item Weighting Due Date
    Personal statement 30% Wednesday, Week 5
    Case study of a specialised educational program 40% Monday 9.00am (week of the group presentation)
    Group presentation 20% Tutorials 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (negotiated in Week 1 and finalised in Week 2)
    Assessment of peers’ group presentation (five) 10% Tutorials 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Students must attend 80% of all lectures and tutorials and sign the attendance sheet on arrival. 

    Assessment Detail

    It is expected that students will not miss more than 20% (two) lectures or tutorials in a semester. If you are unable to complete the pre-readings and tasks or attend the lecture for some reason, come to the lectures or tutorials anyway and participate as best you can. It is expected that you will catch up with the readings or lecture online in the week following.

    ‘Participation’ can mean a number of things but usually includes completing the required readings, thinking about the focus questions, making notes, listening to others and participating in in-class discussions and activities.

    We are all responsible for creating an atmosphere where every student feels welcome to contribute. Be prepared to listen carefully and respectfully to your classmates and to reflect on your own participation so that you contribute to the class.

    Assignment 1: Personal statement (Individual component)
    Weighting: 30%
    Length: 1,000 words
    Due Date: Wednesday of Week 4
    Graduate Attributes: 1, 2,3,5,6 and 8
    Course Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8.

    Teachers seeking employment are required to produce a personal statement addressing key areas of the profession, which is also an essential requirement of the National Quality Teacher Standards eportfolio.

    For this assignment students are required to prepare a written personal statement of 1000 words, identifying their philosophy, skills and readiness for the teaching profession.
    In Week 2, a lecture will be held the topic of The 21st century teacher and preparing your personal statement. During this lecture essential information will be provided to assist with the written statement.

    Due to the subjective nature of this written assignment, students will be assessed on the following criteria:

    · Content and knowledge of topic
    · Articulation of philosophy, skills and readiness for teaching
    · Organisation and structure
    · Grammar

    Rubric for Assignment 1: Personal statement (Individual component) will be available in MyUni.

    Assignment 2: Case study of a specialised education program (Individual component)

    Weighting: 40%
    Length: 2,000 words
    Due Date: Monday 9.00 am (week of the group presentation)
    Graduate Attributes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8
    Course Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4,5,6,8 and 9

    For this assignment students are required to undertake a case study of a specialised education program that exists within an educational school, learning site, institution or community.

    This written case study will form the basis of a group presentation during one of the allocated tutorial sessions. Information for this assignment will be gathered from a range of primary and secondary resources.

    Students should address the following areas within this individual 2,000 word case study:

    · Background of the program/School context
    · Eligibility criteria and student profile
    · Policy, strategy and curriculum frameworks that underpin the program
    · Program structure, content and assessment
    · Differentiated teaching (personalised learning) and resources
    · Student and achievement outcomes
    · Literacy, numeracy and ICT strategies
    · Family and community engagement
    · Professional learning to assist teachers delivering the program
    · Future directions for the program
    · Any other information
    · Bibliography of primary and secondary resources

    Rubric for Assignment 2: Case study of a specialised education program (Individual component) will be available in MyUni.

    Assignment 3: Group presentation of a specialised education program (Group component)

    Weighting: 20%
    Length: 25 minutes in total (20 minutes for the group presentation, with 5 minutes for questions and peer assessment)
    Due Date: negotiated by Week 2
    Graduate Attributes: 1,2,3,4 and 5
    Course Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4,5,6,8 and 9.

    During tutorial 1, students will devise their groups of four. Each group will identify a specialised education program that will form the basis of the written case study and group presentation. A schedule of groups and presentations will be finalised by the week 2 lecture.

    Students will deliver their group presentation, based on the case study of a specialised education program during tutorials 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

    The group presentation will be 25 minutes in total (20 minutes for the group presentation, with 5 minutes for questions and peer assessment). It is expected that each group member will make an equitable contribution to the preparation and delivery of the group presentation e.g. three slides each minimum.

    Mode of delivery can vary, however use of information and communication technologies is part of the assessment.

    Presentation materials (i.e. power point) need to be submitted one day before the group presentation.

    Group Presentation Assessment Proformas will be provided on the day.

    Assignment 4: Assessment of peers’ group presentation (Individual component)

    Weighting: 10%
    Due Date: To be completed during tutorials 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
    Graduate Attributes: 1, 2 and 8.
    Course Outcomes: 10

    Students will deliver a group presentation, based on their case study of a specialised education program during tutorials 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. The group presentation will be 25 minutes in total (20 for the main presentation, with 5 minutes for questions and peer assessment).

    Students will be required to assess five other groups in a fair and equitable manner using the assessment proforma provided, during the group presentation.

    At the end of each group presentation, completed proformas will be handed to the lecturer and students will receive a score out of 20.

    Assessment criteria includes:

    · Allocation of marks (5)
    · Fair and equitable assessment (10)
    · Descriptive feedback in the comments section (5)

    Students are encouraged to collect their peer assessment forms at the end of the course for inclusion in the ePortfolio.


    1. All assignments must be word-processed or typed. Illegibly written or badly presented assignments will be sent back for re-transcription. Legible typescript and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process.

    2. Assignments must:

    • have a margin of at least 4cm on one side of the page to leave room for comments
    • have all pages numbered and securely attached

    Clearly indicate on the front page of the assignment: your name, student ID, word length, course and name of your lecturer.

    Include a detailed bibliography. Only list those sources actually used. Copies printed back to back are acceptable.

    3. Content and quality of thought matter more than quantity but you should keep to the prescribed limit. If you find that your draft is under 90% you probably have written too little. If it is below 80% you have certainly done so. Equally if you have written more than 110% you have probably written too much.

    4. Online submission via MyUni is now becoming usual. Emailed assignments should be accepted in cases where students or their children are unwell or live in remote locations, such as a country town.

    5. Markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism or where a student has not accepted the plagiarism rules in an online submission of an essay (refer to the policy on plagiarism below). In the case on online submission, an accompanying email is required.

    5. Requests for extensions will be considered if they are made three days before the due date for which the extension is being sought. In extreme circumstances, contact your course convener as a matter of urgency.

    6. Computer problems, resource availability and/or lost materials do not constitute grounds for an extension.

    7. If you are experiencing any difficulties understanding an assigned task or meeting a deadline you are encouraged to make an appointment with your lecturer to discuss the matter as soon as the problem is apparent. We understand that illness and family responsibilities usually affect everyone at some point. If you discuss the difficulty with us promptly, we may be able to negotiate a solution.

    8. Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify the lecturer-in-charge of any discrepancies.

    9. Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted and assessed for this course or any other course.

    10. Penalties for late submissions should only apply on business days. This is so that a student submitting an assignment on Saturday is NOT penalised for Sunday as well.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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