Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Health professional education occurs in diverse and complex health settings. It is a requirement of a health professional educator, to understand the context of contemporary health professional education, foundational theories and models, and contemporary approaches to health professional education in order to provide rich learning experiences.  This unit helps students to learn about learner-centered approaches to facilitating health professional education in diverse settings. Students will explore ethical, moral and legal issues impacting on health professional education, and critically analyse the concept inclusive education in relation to their practice. 

To that end, students will first explore teaching approaches and models and theories of learning in the context of contemporary health professional education. Students will then explore ethical, moral and legal issues as these relate to practice as an educator of health professionals. This will include a critical evaluation of teaching and learning practice. Scholarly evidence will be combined with practical community wisdom as important sources of student's learning. 

The overall aim is to provide students with a firm foundation of the theories, applications and priorities informing contemporary health professional education, and support to relate and apply knowledge to healthcare context. 

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe the main features of and theoretical approaches to contemporary health professional education (GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9)

LO2 - Identify and analyse the ethical, moral and legal aspects of health professional education (GA1, GA3)

LO3 - Critically evaluate one's own teaching and learning practice, activities or programs in the context of contemporary health professional education (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 

Context of contemporary health professional education 

  • Professional standards for practice 
  • Accreditation of health professionals 
  • Interprofessional practice 
  • Quality and safety in healthcare 
  • Promoting equity for First Peoples 
  • Diverse teaching and learning environments (i.e., simulated, classroom, real practice environments) 

 Foundational theories and models of health professional education 

  • Adult learning theory 
  • Behaviourism 
  • Constructivism 
  • Reflective learning and reflective practice 
  • Experiential and experience-based learning 
  • Transformational learning 
  • Workplace learning theory 

 Contemporary approaches to health professional education 

  • Active learning 
  • Authentic learning and authentic assessment 
  • Teaching critical thinking, clinical reasoning and clinical decision-making (i.e., CPL, IPL, PBL) 
  • Competency-based training and assessment 
  • Interprofessional education 

Ethical, moral and legal issues in health professional education  

  • Ethical, moral and legal dimensions of professional practice 
  • Ethical, moral and legal obligations of educating health professionals 
  • Exploring ethical, moral and legal aspects of health professional practice through education 

Becoming an inclusive educator 

  • Understanding the impact of difference on learning and teaching (i.e., culture, language, disability) 
  • Respecting different preferences for teaching and learning 
  • Designing engaging learning activities for inclusivity 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in online mode and uses an active and collaborative learning approach to support students in the exploration of the essential knowledge associated with contemporary education trends and education theory in health professional education. Using a blended learning strategy, students will acquire and explore the essential knowledge underpinning contemporary and emergent trends in health professional education in a series of online interactive lessons.  Students will be supported to actively engage with the content through readings, discussion forums and collaboration with peers. Students will also be supported in the construction and synthesis of this knowledge through participation in synchronous online webinars.    

This learning approach allows flexibility and uses expert support to draw upon learning experiences that are essential for required skill development. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit two assessment tasks. A minimum combined total grade of both assessment tasks of 50% is required to pass this unit. Students will be awarded a final grade result. 

The assessment strategy used aims to progressively develop knowledge and skills to enable students to meet the learning outcomes for this unit; in other words, it supports learning as well as providing a means to demonstrate learning. In order to develop the knowledge, comprehension and skills required to achieve the learning outcomes and Graduate Attributes:

  • demonstrate knowledge of learning theories through participation in online discussion forums with peers, and consider the ethical, moral and legal issues relevant to different health professional education contexts in a written assessment; 
  • demonstrate further understanding by critically examining individual beliefs, behaviours and teaching practices, to ensure the provision of a safe and inclusive learning environment, as part of the final assessment task.  

Each assessment task in this unit will be assessed according to criteria and standards that are simplified and summarised in the form of a rubric. The rationale for the use of rubrics in this unit is to provide students with a clear statement of the performance expectations for each assessment task, and to provide clarity around what students need to do to succeed. Further, the use of rubrics aims to provide helpful feedback about the quality of student's work. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Written Assignment  

Requires students to demonstrate fundamental knowledge about learning theories relevant to health professional education contexts, while taking into consideration the ethical, moral and legal issues as it relates to their practice. This also enables students to demonstrate skills in academic writing and referencing. 


LO1, LO2,

GA1, GA3, GA4 GA7, GA8, GA9 

Written Reflective Assignment

Requires students to critically examine their own beliefs, behaviours and teaching practices in the context of health professional education, to ensure they provide a safe and inclusive learning environment.  


LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Brookfield, S. (2017). Becoming a critically reflective teacher (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass. 

Jarvis, P. (2010). Adult education and lifelong learning (4th ed.). Routledge. 

Kerridge, I., Lowe, M., & Stewart, C. (2013). Ethics and law for the health professions (4th ed.). The Federation Press.

Merriam, S.B., & Bierema, L.L. (2014). Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice. Jossey-Bass. 

Sawyer, R. K. (2014). The Cambridge handbook of the learning science (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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