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EDLL501 Effective Teaching and Learning OR EDLX510 Effective Teaching and Learning in Professional Practice

Unit rationale, description and aim

Developing and implementing effective teaching practices requires a strong understanding of the connection between teachers’ practices and students’ learning.

This unit focuses on the fundamental role of teachers to evaluate the effect of their teaching on students’ learning and achievement. These capabilities will support participants towards longer term professional goals and efforts to actively participate in and eventually lead collegial conversations centred around evidence-based effectiveness in teaching and learning. The unit is embedded within the reality of everyday teaching, with all practical and assessment components undertaken within the employment-based setting in which participants of this course operate. The participant will use a critical enquiry approach to further develop competencies in the alignment of curriculum, assessment, learning and teaching. Evidence-based practice in this unit will centre around the discipline area of the participant, but also give consideration to the national priority areas of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum.

The overall aim of this unit is to develop the critical knowledge and skills teachers require to measure their impact and connect this evidence to their 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.

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

LO1 - Identify, explain, and apply strategies for assessing, moderating, interpreting educational data, making consistent judgments, keeping accurate records, tracking and profiling, for the purposes of reporting to students, parents/carers, and modifying teaching practice (GA5; APST 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5)

LO2 - Critically analyse a variety of evidence, which relates to the impact of the ECT’s pedagogy on student learning outcomes (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8; APST 1.2, 3.6, 5.1, 5.4)

LO3 - Design, implement and evaluate a critical, evidence-based enquiry into the alignment of curriculum, assessment, learning and teaching to enhance student learning outcomes in selected areas, incorporating literacy and numeracy (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 4.1, 5.1, 5.4, 6.2, 6.4, 7.1)

LO4 - Demonstrate the ability to communicate the findings of a critical enquiry to specialist and non-specialist audiences (GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 6.2, 6.3, 7.4)

Graduate attributes

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 

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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 


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.

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

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.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.

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.

3.6 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.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

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.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

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.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


Topics will include:

  • Principles of ethical data collection and analysis techniques commonly used in educational research
  • Preparing proposals; refining, contextualising and justifying a research problem and researchable questions
  • Strategies to record, interpret and analyse student assessment data in order to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.
  • Data and evidence; designing assessment practices for collecting, analysing and interpreting data to evaluate student learning outcomes.
  • Conducting practitioner research; implementing research methods and techniques commonly used in educational research
  • Identifying, developing, and utilising tools to track the developmental progression of students, such as developmental rubrics
  • Principles and practices of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning
  • Synthesising and evaluating critical enquiry; evaluation of teaching and learning for forward-planning in relation to student learning and professional development
  • Preparing research reports; conventions of professional academic writing

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The implementation of this unit will focus on educational context in which the participant will be engaged in a 0.8 teaching load (as per the employment-based pathway) and undertaking the diverse duties of a practising educator including: planning, teaching, assessment, reporting, differentiated engagement with students, department/year-level/school meetings, collaborative team planning sessions, supervision, moderation of learning, and other duties required within the particular education setting.  

This unit involves an ongoing research and critical enquiry focus on evidence-based practice. The critical enquiry aims to inform the participant’s pedagogy, is aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and adds value to their education context. The project provides evidence that the participant has developed adequate knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the discipline of teaching, with the employment-based pathway ensuring this assessment evidence is delivered within an authentic, contextually relevant space.

The research project will be conducted in consultation with the participant’s school and university staff over the course of the project. The participant will engage in regular feedback discussions and proactive planning with mentors and other support staff, and engage regularly with peers within the supportive environment of a community of practice (COP). The unit will conclude with a final report and presentation on the critical enquiry research project.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teachers can progressively achieve the Course Learning Outcomes and the Professional Standards and is consistent with university assessment requirements.

The assessment strategy deconstructs the complex work of practice-based, school-embedded enquiry into three critical components that cumulate and culminate in a final enquiry report that emphasises and reflects participant knowledge and expertise in research principles and methods applicable to the discipline of teaching. The staging of each task reflects the logical, sequential elements of teacher-led enquiry, beginning first with the development of a project proposal supported by school-based research and investigation of relevant literature, progressing into the implementation of their design, analysis of evidence, and progress, and ultimate completion and reporting of their results. As this course is employment-based and praxis-centred, the participant’s project will be undertaken within the context of one of their classes within their placement school and involve the actual implementation and evaluation of evidence-based teaching approaches.

In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes by submitting all assessment tasks and obtain a combined final mark of at least 50 per cent.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:  Classroom Impact Project Proposal

Develop a proposal for a pedagogical enquiry designed to interrogate effective teaching and learning to meet the identified student strengths and needs for a selected class. Proposals must include a situational analysis of learners drawn from diagnostic data, an instrument for tracking the developmental progression of students within the learning area, and a theoretical connection between the suggested pedagogical focus and anticipated results, informed by research.


LO1, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2: Classroom Impact Progress Report

Commence implementation of the project and present a progress report that includes critical reflection of evidence-based practice within selected teaching areas, and related evidence of learning of students.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3: Classroom Impact Project Report and Presentation

Finalise the implementation of the project, collect and analyse data and evidence to assess student learning and the effectiveness of the pedagogical approach being investigated, and prepare a final report following conventions for reporting research, with accompanying presentation.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Alber, S. (2011). A tool kit for action research. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Bullough, R.V. (2014). Toward reconstructing the narrative of teacher education: A rhetorical analysis of preparing teachers. Journal of Teacher Education. 65(3). Pp. 185-194.  

Cairns, L. (2011). Learning in the workplace: Communities of practice and beyond. In M. Malloch, L. Cairns, K. Evans, & B.N. O’Connor (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of workplace learning (pp. 73-85) London, England: SAGE

Fichtman, D.F., & Yendol-Silva, D. (2009). The reflective educator's guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Routledge.

Johnson, A.P. (2012). Short guide to action research. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson 

Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Nixon, R. (2014). The action research planner: Doing critical participatory action research. Singapore: Springer Singapore.  

Koshy, V. (2010). Action research for improving educational practice: A step-by-step guide (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage.

Macintyre, C. (2012). The art of action research in the classroom. London, England: David Fulton Publishers Ltd.

Shagoury, R., & Miller-Power, B. (2012). Living the questions: A guide for teacher-researchers (2nd ed.). United States: Stenhouse Publishers.

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