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EDLL501 Effective Teaching and Learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

Includes: 15 days professional experience placement in a secondary school setting

Well-managed learning settings that are engaging, inclusive and safe promote the achievement of learning outcomes. Teachers must be able to apply effective practices to create and maintain positive learning environments that meet learners’ needs and foster participation.

This unit is the first of three that form an Effective Teaching sequence.

This unit develops the communication, management and organisational skills that are needed to create and maintain positive and effective learning environments and to guide learner behaviour. Pre-service teachers will examine contemporary research, policies, theories and practices related to effective communication and interpersonal skills, lesson planning, teaching strategies and classroom management, including the establishment of clear expectations in relation to learning and behaviour. Pre-service teachers will have opportunities to observe and practise introductory planning, teaching and classroom management skills through undertaking a 15-day professional experience placement.

The aim of this unit is to enable pre-service teachers to acquire and develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to effectively plan and implement classroom learning activities that promote positive behaviours and ensure meaningful engagement in learning. 

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 - Comply with legal and ethical requirements of teachers, and describe and apply policies and strategies for providing safe and supportive learning environments (GA3, GA5; APST 4.4, 7.1, 7.2)

LO2 - Apply knowledge of curriculum, planning, communication and teaching strategies to organise content and design and implement learning activities to engage learners of all abilities and diverse backgrounds (GA5; APST 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 4.2)

LO3 - Evaluate and utilise a range of practical strategies for managing common classroom behaviours (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5; APST 4.1, 4.3, 4.4)

LO4 - Complete a successful professional experience in a classroom setting engaging in critical reflection and responding to feedback from colleagues and supervisors to improve teaching practice (GA4, GA5; APST 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.2, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2)

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 


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

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

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.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

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.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

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.

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

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.


Topics will include:

The profession of teaching:

  • The complexities of the teacher’s role and the implications for practice, including:
  • Australian Professional Standards for teachers;
  • organisational policies and processes;
  • principles and codes of ethics and conduct;
  • legal and professional responsibilities including Duty of Care, Child Protection and Mandatory reporting
  • This unit includes a mandatory module on working with children and young people that focuses on responding to concerns and strategies to keep ourselves and others safe and support children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Introduction to planning:

  • Overview of the Australian curriculum
  • 4 levels of planning – Year/semester, unit, lesson, activity.
  • Setting clear and appropriate learning goals
  • Planning and implementing learning activities linked to curriculum content and learning outcomes

Introduction to teaching strategies:

  • Explicit strategies such as
  • demonstrating and explaining
  • didactic teaching/direct instruction
  • group work
  • discussion
  • problem solving
  • role play
  • Questioning techniques
  • Use of ICTs as an aid to teaching and learning

Professional communication in educational contexts:

  • Characteristics of effective teachers
  • Communication and interpersonal skills in the classroom, school, and other education contexts
  • Teacher behaviours to promote positive engagement: setting achievable and challenging learning goals, giving clear directions, strategies for attracting and maintaining student attention
  • Building positive, safe and supportive learning environments: getting to know your learners; appropriate teacher-learner communication

Introduction to classroom management

  • Theories and practices of classroom management, with particular emphasis on preventative measures and maintaining positive classroom environments for teaching and learning.
  • Establishing clear expectations in relation to behaviour.
  • With-it-ness (whole class awareness),

The Professional Experience:

  • Teacher self-care: physical and mental wellbeing and building resilience
  • Practise introductory planning, teaching and classroom management skills
  • Observation, reflection and applying constructive feedback as strategies that guide professional learning and growth

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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.

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s role through engagement in a range of learning activities such as reading, reflection, discussion, and engagement with webinars, podcasts and video resources. Knowledge of curriculum and teaching strategies and planning skills are introduced and developed through designing learning experiences and lesson plans appropriate for the educational context. The placement enables pre-service teachers to observe and engage with experienced practitioners and to make links between theory and its application to the learning environment. The learning and teaching strategies may include:

  • Formal online weekly input by the teaching team
  • Input from guests (e.g., early career teachers, experienced teachers, school leaders);
  • Online activities.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.


Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants.

On Campus

Most learning activities or classes are delivered at a scheduled time, on campus, to enable in-person interactions. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully online using an active, guided learning approach. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions and receive regular and timely feedback on their learning.


Within this Effective Teaching unit, pre-service teachers will undertake, in pairs where possible, a professional experience placement comprising 15 days in a secondary school setting (with at least 10 days of continuous engagement ie., ‘a block’).

Pre-service teachers will develop the habit of critically reflective practice through guided reflection upon their observations of their class and the educational setting. In collaboration with their supervising 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.

Required Teaching Experience

The following engagements are recommended across the 15-day placement for pre-service teachers undertaking professional experience placement in a primary or secondary school.

School settings: DAYS 1–5: Single days (e.g., once per week) OR incorporated into the block of 15 days

  • Days 1-3 Proposed Teaching Expectations
  • Assisted immersion in school and class contexts to begin to experience aspects of the secondary school teacher’s role and responsibilities
  • Structured observation and small group/team teaching
  • Assisting the supervising teacher in the teaching and learning process
  • Self-auditing and evaluation

  • Days 3-5 - Proposed Teaching Expectations
  • Structured observation and small group/team teaching
  • One – two lessons/learning experiences per day, leading to whole class teaching
  • Self-auditing and evaluation

School settings: DAYS 6–15: Block practicum

  • Days 6-10 Proposed Teaching Expectations
  • Planning for teaching; Observation and small group/team teaching;
  • Assisting the class teacher in the teaching and learning process;
  • One – two lessons/learning experiences per day plus management of class routines; Self-auditing and evaluation

  • Days 11 - 15 Planning for teaching;
  • Two - three whole class lessons/learning experiences per day;
  • Management of class routines;
  • Extra-curricular activities;
  • Self-auditing and evaluation

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment load and weighting of the assessments in this unit have been designed to incorporate the professional experience. The written assessment load in this unit has been adjusted accordingly.

A range of assessment procedures are used to help the pre-service teacher to progressively demonstrate achievement of the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and academic standards consistent with University assessment requirements. The Effective Teaching units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the domains of professional knowledge, practice and engagement needed to meet expectations of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST): Graduate level.

The assessments in this unit focus on understanding the profession of teaching and the facilitation of pre-service teachers’ development of their communication and teaching skills.


Minimum Achievement Standards

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%.   

In addition, pre-service teachers must attain a Pass in the two hurdle tasks. The first hurdle comprises a collection of preparatory tasks that must be completed to a high standard prior to commencement of the placement. The second hurdle task is the Professional Experience Placement – which is assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Lesson planning

To demonstrate a positive and engaging learning environment which caters for the diverse learning needs of all students, develop a sequence of learning activities in the pre-service teacher’s subject area. The sequence will include:

  • reference to curriculum/state-based syllabus
  • learning goals and success criteria
  • strategies to support inclusive student participation
  • a range of teaching strategies to meet the needs of students of all abilities and from diverse backgrounds (including linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic)
  • a variety of resources to engage students
  • instructions on the implementation of the learning activities in a classroom and provide examples of clear directions for students


LO1, LO2


Assessment Task 2: Classroom management

Pre-service teachers will be provided with a scenario (or series of scenarios) that will describe a commonly encountered form of ‘off-task’ or low-level classroom misbehaviour. Pre-service teachers will need to explore a variety of approaches to handling the situation and present their findings. 


LO1, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5

Hurdle Requirement 1: Preparation for the Professional Experience Placement

Prior to commencing the Professional Experience placement, pre-service teachers must complete a series of compulsory online preparation modules, attaining a score of 95% or above in each module. The modules cover:

  • Professional Standards;
  • Professional expectations and codes of conduct;
  • Legal requirements, including Duty of Care, Child Protection and Mandatory Reporting; and
  • Professional relationships.

Pre-service teachers must also complete and provide evidence of the following:

  • Anaphylaxis training;
  • Working with Children Check or a Police Check where this is appropriate or mandated.
  • Child Safe online module: Online multiple choice or short answer questions in 4 sub-modules. Pre- service teachers will need to attain a mark of 75% or more in each sub-module before progressing to the next sub-module.

Note: Completion of this module does not exempt students from seeking a Working with Children Check or a Police Check where this is appropriate or mandated.

Anticipated completion time: 7 hours.



GA3, GA5

Hurdle Requirement 2: Professional Experience Assessment

Professional Experience requirements include compilation of evidence as required.

(Refer to Professional Experience Handbook and Report).

Compilation of evidence will include:

  • observations and analysis of educational setting and classroom context
  • for all teaching episodes, detailed lesson plans including the setting of goals, outcomes, content, assessment criteria, catering for a variety of abilities and characteristics
  • annotations to documentation demonstrating application of feedback
  • relevant teaching resources
  • critical reflection on own teaching experiences
  • feedback from supervising teacher/s and university staff
  • response to feedback addressing teaching and professional development

This evidence must be compiled into a well-presented and well-organised Professional Experience Folder that can be shared with placement and tertiary supervisors. It should be up-to-date throughout the placement.

Artefacts and reflections may provide evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate level) and can be included in an ePortfolio.

A pass or fail grade will be awarded for completion of the professional experience days


GA4, GA5

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 

Recommended references

Allison, S. & Tharby, A. (2020). Making every lesson count: Six principles to support great teaching and learning. Crown House Publishing.

Call, K. (2018). Professional teaching standards: A comparative analysis of their history, implementation and efficacy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43 (3), 93-108.

Churchill, R., Keddie, A., Apps, T., Batt, J., Beckman, K., Grainger, P., Letts, W., Mackay, J., McGill, M., Moss, J., Nagel, M.C., Shaw, K., & Rogers, J. (2021). Teaching: Making a difference (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons..

Dawson, V., & Shand, J. (2019). Impact of support for pre-service teachers placed in disadvantaged schools. Issues in Educational Research, 29 (1) 19-37.

Ewing, R., Glass, C., Kervin, L., Gobby, B., & Le Cornu, R. (2019). Teaching: Dilemmas, challenges and opportunities. Cengage Learning Australia.

Gutierrez, A., Fox, J., & Alexander, C. (2019). Professionalism and teacher education: Voices from policy and practice. Springer Singapore.

Kauchak D., & Eggen, P. (2017). Introduction to teaching: Becoming a professional (6th ed.). Pearson. (Only available in print.)

Kennedy, K., Marsh, C. J., & Henderson, D. (2022). Becoming a teacher. (7th ed.). Pearson.

Killen, R. (2016). Effective teaching strategies: Lessons from research and practice (7th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

Pritchard, A. (2014). Ways of learning: Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom (3rd ed.). Routledge.

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