LEO Guides

Case study: First year speech pathology

Student profile:
Students enrolled:

Allied Health
SPHY101 Introduction to Speech Pathology Practice
Bachelor of Speech Pathology, 1st year
Leigha Dark, Lecturer in Speech Pathology
Approximately 80% directly from high school, predominantly female
200 (approx)


This case study examines how blended learning was used to introduce a ‘Flipped Classroom’ into a first year speech pathology unit. Strategies were used to embed the presence of industry professionals, outline the scope of the speech pathology profession and support student’s transition into university studies.


  • Flipped classroom approach
  • Embedding videos of industry professionals for case-based learning
  • Positive student feedback
  • Active learning approach
  • Supporting the first year’s transition to university (transition pedagogy)

In this clip Leigha discusses the development of a blended unit for first year students.

ACU Case study: First year speech pathology - SPHY101 Introduction to Speech Pathology Practice - L.Dark (2016) <url>

Many thanks to the Faculty of Law and Business for the use of their Pop-up Studio Equipment to record this interview.

Length: xxxxx mins

Transcript <LINK>

Strategy and pedagogy

This unit introduces students to the profession and practice of speech pathology through a range of learning activities, including exposure to clinicians in the field and guest lecturers from a range of practice settings.

Unit examples

Scroll through these examples to see some highlights from the unit.

Here are some of the approaches integrated into the unit:

Flipped classroom approach

A flipped classrooms approach was used to deliver online content in this unit. Student had access to preparatory content to work through before they attended weekly lectures and tutorials. They complete the online learning component as preparation for their face to face classes so that they are familiar with important concepts and can explore and consolidate these in a more applied way within class time.

Community based activities

Student participate in a community based professional practice placement where they have the opportunity to observe a Speech Pathologist working.

Transparent pedagogy

Transparent pedagogy is a strategy where teachers deliberately model and openly discuss their own pedagogical choices.

In SPHY101 transparent pedagogies were consciously integrated into the weekly face to face tutorial classes to foster the sense of a classroom community, encourage students to form connections with their peers to communicate their ideas and developing knowledge, and to assist students with important fundamental study skills such as critical reading, analysis and reflection.

Example: you set a quiz. Applying transparent pedagogy you would communicate to student why you set the quiz, and know yourself what theory/evidence supports the choice.

Reflection: How do you explicitly communicate your teacher decision-making to your students? Are there ways you do this online?

Examples of tutorial slides from Week 1, Week 4 and Week 12 of the SPHY101 unit offer a sense of how Transparent Pedagogies have been integrated into this unit and focus outcomes. <LINK to PDF docs here - Leigha will send to Vebica>

Transition pedagogy

Transition pedagogy is about being aware of the needs of students who are new to tertiary learning (first year students) and creating curriculum that is supportive of their needs.

Students in first year come with a wide array of skills and experiences and part of the role of educators is to assist students to make connections between their previous experiences, their current learning and their future profession. In SPHY101 curriculum decisions have been informed by best practice criteria in the areas of: Transition, Diversity, Design, Engagement, Assessment and Evaluation/Monitoring, and embedded in both online and face to face learning environments. The goal of the academic team is to set students up for success early in their university experience so as to experience smooth transition in, through and out of their tertiary study and into their profession of choice.

An example of the strategies employed in SPHY101 is as follows:




  • Scaffolded introduction to multiple modes of learning; Regular communication using face to face and online modes; Low stakes formative activities for engagement with LEO unit;  ‘Creating a Classroom Community’ using Transparent Pedagogy


  • Offering flexible learning options; Individualised face to face support with technology access
  • Multimodal delivery of information i.e. videos, text, podcasts, models / diagrams


  • Weekly learning materials aligned with discipline specific range of practice areas
  • Consistent and explicit approach to structure of online and face to face learning materials and graded presentation of fundamental concepts


  • Encouraging students to personally reflect on past experiences and link to new knowledge and skills;
  • LEO materials written in conversational style
  • Use of Transparent Pedagogies to facilitate active learning
  • Early professional practice observation experience to see first hand what their chosen profession looks like


  • Blended learning (Flipped Classrooms) linked with existing assessment tasks i.e. completion of summative online quizzes
  • Authentic assessment modelling the types of thinking required of students throughout their degree and beyond
  • Multiple modes of assessment (written, spoken, technology navigation)


  • Student evaluation of learning and teaching (SELT) surveys; LEO forums; Tutorial reflection activities; Student representatives (year level reps); Scheduled individual meetings with students; Year Advisor acts as conduit to supports
  • SPHY101 will facilitate transition into 2nd semester 1st year screening clinic in which students will participate in screening of communication skills in preparation for professional practice placement





Asynchronous online

1 hour per week

Online self-directed learning to be completed prior to lecture (containing videos, readings, reflections and quizzes).


1 hour per week

Face-to face in a classroom, with each participating campus connecting via video conference. Each campus has a lecturer attending, though only one lecturer presents the week’s topic. The other attending lecturers assist facilitation discussion.


2 hours per week



1 day

Professional observational placement


This is a list of some of the major tools used in this unit.





In both the online environment and face-to-face videos were integrated to provide examples industry professionals performing their roles.

See the eLearning 101 webinar, Embedding Kaltura and YouTube videos in your units

See LEO Kaltura guide

LEO lesson template

The LEO lesson template was used to package activities into a sequence for the preparation modules. Containing videos, readings, reflections and quizzes.

See LEO guide for Lesson activities


Quizzes were embedded at the end of each preparation module for students to check their understanding.…….

See the eLearning101 webinars, Quizzes in LEO part 1 and 2

See LEO Quiz guide

Video conference and ECHO 360

Face to face lecture are given in a classroom, with video conferencing software and technology used to connect each participating campus. Each video conference is recorded using ECHO 360 and posted on the unit website for students to review.

See the LEO ECHO360 guide


These are examples of the kinds of support the academic staff building this unit drew on.

  • Academics staff attended a professional development workshop on ‘Flipped Classrooms’
  • Academic staff used their faculty’s communities of practice to shape and refine the unit
  • The unit was part of a group of units that were targeted in the FHS Blended and Flipped learning project.

Next time

The academic would like to focus on the following for future iterations of the unit:

  • Exploring using wikis
  • A greater focus on student-led interaction
  • Experimenting with the LEO chat function for online synchronous chat with the view to learn more about the preferences of 1st year students in terms of engaging with their peers and academic staff

Further reading

The following may be useful if you would like to understand the flipped classroom model more.

  • 7 things you should know about the flipped classroom (EDUCAUSE 2012)
  • This website provides a comprehensive look at the flipped classroom, including its theoretical basis, evidence for its effectiveness and its key elements.
  • This short video provides and simple but useful description of a flipped classroom
  • This report provides a summative evaluation of the good practices and key outcomes for teaching and learning from completed ALTC projects and fellowships relating to blended learning. It includes a literature review of the good practices and key outcomes for teaching and learning from national and international research and identifies areas in which further work or development are appropriate.
  • The following checklists may provide useful tips to help you to support students in the transition to higher education.
  • Articulating a transition pedagogy to scaffold and to enhance the first year student learning experience in Australian higher education.
  • Transition Pedagogy Handbook


EDUCAUSE 2012, 7 things you should know about the flipped classroom, viewed 23 June 2016.

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