Credit points


Campus offering

Find out more about study modes.

Unit offerings may be subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

Please select your preferred campus.

  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Offshore Trimester 2Attendance (Rome)
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode


EXSC187 Growth, Motor Development and Ageing

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to design, deliver and evaluate protocols for motor learning and skill acquisition, based on theoretical and best practice approaches, to meet the specific health, fitness and/or sporting goals of clients, is central to exercise science practice. This unit is designed to provide students with a detailed understanding of the major theoretical concepts of motor control and learning. The emphasis is on developing students' ability to structure effective situations in acquisition, retention, and transfer of motor skill, based on the scientific evidence. This will be facilitated through an understanding of the role of instruction, demonstration, practice conditions, feedback and mental practice in the learning continuum. The aim of this unit is to develop knowledge, understanding and competency in motor control and skill acquisition consistent with the professional standards of several accreditation bodies, including those for Exercise Science, including the ability to integrate these knowledge and skills with other sub-disciplines in exercise science practice.

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 an understanding of the theories of motor control as they relate to environments, protocols and processes for motor learning and skill acquisition.GC1, GC6, GC7, GC8
LO2Describe biological and behavioural characteristics of motor control as they relate to the development of and change in functional skills.GC1, GC8
LO3Select and conduct assessments of motor learning and function relevant to professional practice in exercise science.GC2, GC3, GC4, GC10
LO4Design, deliver and evaluate protocols and programs for effective motor learning and skill acquisition.GC1, GC2, GC7, GC10, GC12


Topics will include: 

  • Classification and measurement of motor skills and abilities 
  • Theoretical foundations in motor control and learning 
  • Motor control characteristics of functional skills 
  • Neural contributions to motor control
  • Action preparation 
  • Memory, attention and information processing 
  • Learning: stages, assessment / Transfer of learning 
  • Instruction and observational learning 
  • Augmented feedback 
  • Practice composition  
  • Practice Scheduling 
  • Mental Practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit fosters student-centred active learning and accommodates diverse student needs. It includes a combination of self-paced, online learning and real-time classes.

Learning and teaching strategies include case-based learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning, project work, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities. These strategies will provide students with access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for application of this learning in health, exercise and sporting contexts related to motor skill learning and acquisition. Overall, these strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate capabilities of the unit, as well as professional practice standards. Embedded within these strategies is respect for the individual as an independent learner and as such, students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities. 

This unit is offered as multi-mode or an an offshore intensive in Rome for sponsored / special cohorts, with the learning and teaching strategies being equitable for multi-mode and intensive delivery formats as endorsed by the School Course Monitoring Committee.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate capabilities, standards-based assessment is used throughout, consistent with ACU assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies is used including: Assessment Task 1, an examination to assess student learning of unit content; students will prepare a Motor Control Learning (MCL) poster for the Assessment Task 2 to assess application of this learning and its communication both in writing and through the use of visual content; and for Assessment Task 3, a case study task to assess the application and implementation of knowledge, understanding and skills.

To achieve a pass grade for this unit, a student must demonstrate achievement of all learning outcomes and attain a minimum grade of 50% overall including a minimum of 50% for Assessment Task 3.

Assessments of EXSC230 Motor control and learning, will be transparently equitable for multi-mode and offshore intensive delivery formats in Rome as endorsed by the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences Course Monitoring Committee. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Capabilities

Assessment Task 1

Mid-Semester Exam

Enables students to demonstrate an understanding of the theories of motor learning and control and to describe the behavioural characteristics of motor control as they relate to the development of functional skills.


LO1, LO2GC1, GC6, GC7, GC8

Assessment Task 2

Motor Control Learning (MCL) Poster

Enables students to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of motor learning and control in real world settings and to engage with scientific literature and develop effective written and visual communication skills.


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC10

Assessment Task 3

Case study – Skill acquisition intervention for functional skill development

Enables students to demonstrate their application of knowledge and skills by designing and evaluating motor learning environments and protocols for learning a functional skill. This includes demonstration of reporting and communication skills.


LO3, LO4GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC10, GC12

Representative texts and references

Chow, J. Y., Davids, K. (Keith), Button, C., & Renshaw, I. (2022). Nonlinear pedagogy in skill acquisition : an introduction (Second edition.). Routledge.

Coker, C.A. (2021). Motor learning and control for practitioners (Fifth edition.). Routledge. 

Magill, R.A., & Anderson, D. (2021). Motor learning and control : concepts and applications (Twelfth edition.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs