Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Teaching occurs through communication, therefore, teachers need strong skills in communicating to students and other stakeholders in school and early learning communities to succeed in professional practice. Pre-service teachers must develop effective skills for professional communication via different modes (e.g., speaking, listening, representing, and writing) with different audiences (e.g. colleagues, parents and students) for different purposes (e.g., social, academic, and institutional).

In this unit, theories of communication and the issues, strategies, and expectations relevant to professional communication in the educational context will be explored. Pre-service teachers will engage with educational scenarios and experiences to develop skills for communicating effectively with various audiences. They will collaborate with peers to design a project which reflects their expertise in using representational systems (spoken and written language, symbols, static and dynamic images, gesture, etc.) to interpret and communicate ideas. Pre-service teachers will critically assess and evaluate case studies of professional communication in educational contexts.

The aim of the unit is to develop pre-service teachers’ professional communications skills for different audiences and purposes.

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 - Explain how theories of representational systems are used to make meaning for different purposes and audiences in a variety of contexts, including digital environments (GA4, GA8, GA9; APST 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.5; ACECQA B9, F3)

LO2 - Communicate in professional contexts using a range of modes, for a variety of purposes and audiences in an educational context (GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, APST 3.4, 3.5, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 5.2, 5.5, 7.3; ACECQA C3, C4, F3)

LO3 - Apply knowledge of the expectations (including codes of ethics and conduct) and issues involved in communicating professionally in an educational context (GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA10; APST 4.2, 4.5, 5.2, 5.5, 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3; ACECQA C5, C6, D1, E3, F3)

LO4 - Apply knowledge of representational systems to design professional communications in a variety of modes (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10; APST 2.6, 3.4, 4.5; ACECQA D1, E3, F2)

Graduate attributes

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

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

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

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.

5.5 Demonstrate 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.

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

B. Education and curriculum studies

B9. curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Teaching pedagogies

C3. guiding behaviour/engaging young learners

C4. teaching methods and strategies

C5. children with diverse needs and backgrounds

C6. working with children who speak languages other than, or in addition to, English

D. Family and community contexts

D1. developing family and community partnerships

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E3. ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice

F2. management and administration

F3. professional identity and development


Topics will include:

  • Theories of communication
  • The role of representational systems (spoken and written language, symbols, static and dynamic images, gesture, etc.) as tools in interpreting and communicating ideas
  • Communicating ideas for different purposes in educational contexts such as to express and develop ideas, for interacting and to structure and organize information
  • Effective communication-Listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, interpersonal skills in communicating
  • Designing professional communications to:
  • Communicate professionally with colleagues, peers, and mentors
  • Communicate effectively in the classroom
  • Communicate with students through feedback
  • Communicate with parents
  • Ethical and inclusive communication
  • The use of ICT as a communication tool

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit may be offered on-campus, online or in a blended mode. This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the teaching period comprising of directed tasks and self-study. This unit positions pre-service teachers as adult learners with responsibility for their own learning and who are capable of problem solving. The learning in this unit is inquiry-based, learner-focused and student centred.

Teaching and learning strategies are designed to be flexible and promote self-regulated and guided learning, underpinned by adult learning principles and will include:

  • Lectures face-to-face or online to enhance knowledge
  • Seminars, tutorials or workshops; online activities to engage in active learning
  • Reading guides which involve directed reading as well as self-directed online study materials
  • Discussion Forum online postings and responses designed to encourage peer collaboration
  • Webinars and podcasts for lecturer and student communication

Technology Enhanced Learning

This unit uses a Learning Management System for the provision of lecture and tutorial content, required and/or further readings, and other unit material. Recorded lectures will be made available to students through this system. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment tasks are criterion-referenced and designed to demonstrate that the unit learning outcomes have been met and match accreditation requirements for Professional Standards. Types of assessments involve a variety of tasks to challenge students’ learning and to enable differentiation of achievement and be equitable and ethical. The assessments engage pre-service teachers in diverse forms of communication required for teaching: self/metacognitive (Assessment 1: Reflective Journal); communicating collaboratively (Assessment 2: Team-based Digital Content Design Project); and communication for public and academic purposes (Written Project). The assessments follow a developmental trajectory, so completing each assessment supports the learning and capacity to complete the following assessments.

Minimum Achievement Standard

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%. Assessment in this unit includes two Critical Tasks: Assessment Task 2: Reflective Journal and Assessment Task 3 Portfolio and Reflection. These tasks are core to the demonstration of a number of Australian Professional Teacher Standards. Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative standard listed in the learning outcomes and attain a Pass in both tasks and a Pass overall in order to pass this unit.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Electronic submission is used for submitting, marking, and returning of assessment tasks. Assessment tasks will be returned within three weeks of submission.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Team-based Digital Content Design Project:

Working in small groups, students will design and implement a project that uses two or more digital communication technologies to communicate to two audiences within an educational context. 


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2: Reflective Journal

Critical Task

Students will develop an online reflective journal, that responds to a series of questions and prompts regarding professional communication and the application of codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession. Your reflection should also include a personal statement outlining your understanding of the strategies, skills and importance of communicating ethically and effectively in educational settings. Core prompts for research and reflection include:

  • Effective strategies for involving parents/carers in the education of their child
  • Effective strategies for working sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5,

GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Portfolio and Reflection

Critical Task

Create at least 6 artefacts of different types of communication used in an educational setting. This portfolio needs to include:

  • At least two examples of communication with parents such as report, letter to parent regarding student progress, letter to parent regarding a learning activity, transcript of a parent/teacher interview or conversation
  • At least two examples of communication with colleague such as constructive feedback from mentor with reflection on how this will change practice from pre-service teacher, transcript of conversation about practice, shared discussion with peer on practice, reflection on professional learning and how this will improve practice
  • At least two examples of communication with student or students such as transcript of classroom discussion, communication with students on classroom activity, feedback to students
  • At least one of the artefacts should be an example using digital or multimodal technology


You are to reflect on your artefacts in light of your learnings and readings in this course. Your reflection must include discussion on how your portfolio reflects theory of communication, is ethical and inclusive, uses interpersonal communication to support student learning.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Required text(s) Nil

Australian Curriculum

Early Years Learning Framework

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents.

Recommended references

Barber, D., & Cooper, L. (2011). Using new Web tools in the primary classroom: A practical guide for enhancing teaching and learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

De Silva Joyce, H. (2016). Language at work: Analysing language use in work, education, medical and museum contexts. Newcastle-on-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Ewing, R., Lowrie, T., & Higgs, J. (2010). Teaching & communicating: Rethinking professional experiences. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Gibbons, P. (2009). English learners, academic literacy and thinking: Learning in the challenge zone. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hamilton, C., & Kroll, T. (2018). Communicating for results: A guide for business and the professions (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Humphrey, S., Droga, L., & Feez, S. (2012). Grammar and meaning (New ed.). Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

La Rocque, P. (2013). The book on writing: The ultimate guide to writing well. Arlington, TX: Grey & Guvnor Press.

Williams, B., Damstra, D., & Stern, H. (2015). Professional WordPress design and development (3rd ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Wiley & Sons.

United Nations. (2015). Framework for action: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all. Retrieved from

United Nations. (2017). UNESCO study reveals correlation between poverty and education. Retrieved from

Zajda, J. (2018). Globalisation and education reforms: Paradigms and ideologies. Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research (Vol. 19). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.

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