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  • Semester 2Online Scheduled


EDSE450 Understanding Adjustments, Technology and Communication Systems

Unit rationale, description and aim

Includes: 30 days placement in a special educational setting

At a time of increased student diversity, the roles and responsibilities of an inclusive educator are much broader in providing high-quality education for every student, including those with disabilities and diverse learning needs, in line with relevant legislation, policies and Professional Standards. In this professional experience unit, within the Special Education specialisation of the Bachelor of Education, ACU students will engage in classroom-based and whole school community collaborative approaches involving students with disabilities and diverse learning needs in safe, supportive, inclusive learning environments. Influences across home, school and community will require ACU students to develop responsive communication to take account of multiple perspectives in building productive teamwork with students, their families, staff, and the wider community.

This unit will include Special Education professional experiences of 30 days working with mentors in planning, implementing, assessing and evaluating individualised learning plans, incorporating differentiation, adjustments and universal design for learning. ACU students will work with their mentors in supporting students with diverse learning needs, underpinned by research-informed, evidence-based practice and data-driven decision-making. The roles of the Special Education teacher and paraprofessionals in successful inclusive practice will be examined.

This unit is designed to support ACU students in putting into practice advanced specialised knowledge, understanding and skills, needed in inclusive environments that support the learning of all children and young people.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Demonstrate differentiated teaching, moving from individual lessons to units of work and full days of teaching, to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilitiesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC11, GC12
LO2Build towards taking responsibility in all aspects of the teacher’s role, including differentiated programming in literacy and numeracy, assessment and tracking learning outcomesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8
LO3Engage in observations, differentiated activities, collaborative communication and resource collectionGC1, GC2, GC3, GC9

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

In connection to the learning outcomes, on successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome

Early intervention


Diversity, difference and inclusivity


Learners with special/additional needs


Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

ACECQA -B1 Early Years Learning FrameworkLO2

The Australian curriculum


Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation


Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches


Children with diverse needs and backgrounds


Contemporary society and pedagogy


Developing family and community partnerships


Socially inclusive practice


Culture, diversity and inclusion


Contemporary theories and practice


Ethics and professional practice


Professional identity and development


Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level

In connection to the learning outcomes, on successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome
APST(GA)1.3Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgroundsLO2, LO3
APST(GA)1.5Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)1.6Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)2.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)2.2Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)2.3Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)2.5Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)2.6Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)3.1Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)3.2Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)3.3Include a range of teaching strategies.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)3.4Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)3.5Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)3.6Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)3.7Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)4.1Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)4.2Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)4.3Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)4.4Describe strategies that support students’ wellbeing and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)4.5Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)5.1Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.LO2
APST(GA)5.2Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.LO2
APST(GA)5.3Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.LO2
APST(GA)5.4Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)5.5Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.LO2
APST(GA)7.1Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.LO3
APST(GA)7.2Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.LO3
APST(GA)7.3Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.LO3
APST(GA)7.4Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.LO3


  • Inclusive approaches (access, engagement, participation, respectful relationships, collaborative partnerships, diversity as a resource, creating safe environments where all school community members feel safe and free from discrimination, bias and harassment); legislation and policies underpinning inclusive practice
  • Differentiating curriculum and instruction, Personalised/Individualised Learning Plans (PLP/ILPs), “differentiation”, “adjustments”, and “universal design for learning” assessment and support strategies; including the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data, assistive and digital technologies; and NESA assessment requirements for the Record of School Achievement and Higher School Certificate, an understanding of the different ways in which students with disabilities can access and participate in K-12 curriculum, including through Life Skills outcomes and content; and a comprehensive understanding of the K-12 curriculum including Life Skills course options in each curriculum area.
  • Evidence-based strategies for effectively meeting individual student needs in literacy, numeracy, language development, social-emotional learning and behaviour
  • Widely-used approaches to collaborate and consult effectively with stakeholders including students, their parents or guardians, allied professionals, and members of the school community to plan, and support and advocate for all students including those with disabilities and diverse learning needs (e.g., inquiry-based problem solving, family-school partnerships, school-based teams, community partnerships, cross-agency collaboration, networks of support, including professional agencies and Advisory teachers, National Disability Insurance Scheme.)

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This is a 10-credit points unit which is offered in multi-mode and will be supported by a Canvas site. Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum. The unit will facilitate active participation in pedagogical approaches that demonstrate alignment of teaching, learning and assessment and may incorporate a combination of strategies including individual and group work, activity-based workshops, formal presentations, online activities, and other activities such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts and videos.

Technology Enhanced Learning

The unit includes a Canvas site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between on campus content and school experiences.

  1. Video illustrations of teaching practice and focussed readings to address a wide spectrum of teaching contexts, practices and competencies;
  2. Online focused readings to help students prepare for the weekly schedule.


Within this unit pre-service teachers will undertake, a professional experience placement comprising 30 days in a special education setting with students with disabilities under the supervision of a mentor.

Pre-service teachers will develop the habit of critically reflective practice through guided reflection upon their observations of class and school contexts. In collaboration with class teachers and other professional colleagues, they will develop basic teaching skills through assisting in the delivery of high-quality teaching episodes and teaching small groups and whole classes. They will critically reflect upon their teaching, and self-audit their progression and attainment of key teaching skills and standards.

The recommended arrangement of the 30 days is:

  • 10 days prior to the commencement of the block for example one day a week, by negotiation with the school/setting
  • 20 days of continuous engagement (the “Block”).

Recommended Teaching Experiences

The following engagements are recommended across the 30-day placement. They provide a scaffolded, praxis-oriented approach to building experience, competency and confidence, and are designed to align with on-campus content. These engagements are to be discussed, negotiated and planned with the supervising teacher/s.

Days 1 – 10 (Single days or incorporated into the block): Proposed Teaching Expectations

Days 1 – 3: Orientation, observation and assisting the class teacher/s in the teaching and learning process

Days 3 – 10: Observation and assisting the class teacher/s, plus planning and implementation of one teaching episode per day with a focus on small groups and practicing the skills developed through micro-teaching opportunities.

Block Practicum: Days 11-30: Proposed Teaching Expectations

Days 11 – 30: Observation and assisting the class teacher/s, plus planning and implementation of one or two teaching episodes per day, including small groups and building to taking responsibility for whole classes and managing class routines.

Practicum reflection, self-auditing and evaluation.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements.

In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks and meet Hurdle Task’s requirements. The assessment strategy used allows students to progressively develop their specialised knowledge, understanding and analytical skills to the level of sophistication where they can demonstrate effective differentiated teaching practices in specific contexts.

Assessment Tasks

There are three assessment tasks in this unit, including a hurdle task. The hurdle task requires satisfactory completion of a supervised Special Education Professional Experience.

The first assessment task is a differentiated unit of work and the second assessment task is a critical reflection on the professional experience and e-Portfolio. Each of the two assessment tasks are worth 50% of the final grade for the unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Capabilities

Assessment Task 1

Differentiated Unit of Work

Students are required to plan collaboratively for a differentiated unit of work in literacy and numeracy with adjusted teaching episodes including the setting of goals, outcomes, teaching strategies, content, assessment criteria and learning materials catering for a specific disability or learning impairment).


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11, GC12

Assessment Task 2

Critical reflection on the Professional Experience

Students are required to provide a critical reflection essay on their learning from the Professional Experience and development of their e-Portfolio. Students must also provide evidence of research-based analysis on a critical review of recent academic and professional literature.


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11, GC12

Hurdle Task

Professional Experience Assessment

Pre-service teachers must demonstrate attainment of the relevant Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate within a special education setting. Refer to Professional Experience Handbook and Report.

A pass grade for this task will be awarded following:

  • the successful completion of 30 professional experience days,
  • submission of a satisfactory Professional Experience Assessment Report, and
  • submission of a satisfactory portfolio of evidence that includes:
  • structured observation and analysis of school and classroom contexts, and teaching programs and practices and differentiated teaching programs and inclusive practices
  • critical reflection on own differentiated teaching experiences and inclusive practices of teaching and program evaluation
  • feedback from supervising teacher/s and university staff
  • e-Portfolio collection of artefacts and reflections should provide evidence of relevant differentiated teaching resources


  • Multiple attempts at this hurdle task are not permitted.
  • Professional Experience is a mandated part of Initial Teacher Education courses. Failing this task will result in a fail grade for the unit overall and pre-service teachers will be required to enrol in a future offering of the unit. 


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11, GC12

Representative texts and references

Ashman, A. F. (Ed.). (2019). Education for inclusion and diversity (6th ed.). Pearson Australia.

Chambers, D. (Ed.). (2015). Working with teaching assistants and other support staff for inclusive education. Vol. 4, International perspectives on inclusive education. Emerald Insight. (e-book)

Deppeler, J., Loreman, T., Smith, R., & Florian, L. (Eds.). (2015). Inclusive pedagogy across the curriculum. Vol. 7, International perspectives on inclusive education. Emerald Insight. (e-book)

Foreman, P., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (Eds.). (2017). Inclusion in action (5th ed.).Cengage Learning Australia.

Hyde, M., Carpenter, L. & Dole, S. (2017). Diversity, inclusion and engagement (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

De Nobilie, J., Lyons. G., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2017). Positive learning environments: Creating and maintaining productive classrooms. Cengage Learning Australia.

Plows, V., & Whitburn, B. (Eds.). (2017). Inclusive education: Making sense of everyday practice. Springer. (e-book)

Scorgie, K., & Sobsey, D. (Eds.). (2017). Working with families for inclusive education: Navigating identity, opportunity and belonging. Vol. 10, International perspectives on inclusive education. Emerald Insight. (e-book)

Scully, P. A., Barbour, C., & Roberts-King, H. (2015). Families, schools and communities: Building partnerships for educating (6th ed.). Pearson.

Tomlinson, C.A., & Imbeau, M. (2010). Leading and managing a differentiated classroom. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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