Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Authentic assessment approaches are increasingly being applied in contemporary health professional education to actively engage learners in activities that resemble real-world work interactions and problem-solving. Health professional educators need the knowledge and skills to plan and design curricula, assessment tools and evaluation strategies as they apply to diverse healthcare settings. This unit will empower students to explore and apply a range of strategies and techniques to optimise health professional assessment and evaluation as a learning and teaching method.

To that end, this unit will help students learn about and apply educationally sound practices required to design effective curriculum which promote learner-centred education and inter-professional collaboration, in the context of healthcare professional education. Students will examine curriculum concepts, and establish a familiarity with instructional design that focuses on inquiry-based and evidence-based learning approaches.

Students will also be introduced to contemporary approaches to valid and reliable assessment of health professional learners, and be provided opportunities to develop and implement authentic assessment items, as well as practical experience in assessment. Finally, students will then critically analyse evaluation strategies to differentiate their anticipated purposes and outcomes, while taking into consideration the ethical, moral and legal issues. The overall aim is therefore to prepare students to optimise the learner and learning experience through the development of theoretically informed curricula and authentic assessment, and provide the skills to evaluate the effectiveness of this learning in healthcare education.

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 principles and features of curriculum design, and critically discuss strategies to promote learner-centered education and encourage interprofessional education (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8)

LO2 - Analyse selected contemporary assessment and evaluation models and approaches, and design an appropriate assessment tool for use in their own practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Apply knowledge and understanding to develop an evaluation tool for use in their own practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8)

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 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

Foundational theories and principles of curriculum design

  • Curriculum theories and principles of instructional design
  • Instructional design models
  • Factors that influence curriculum and program design
  • Curriculum change and innovation

Planning and Designing the Curriculum

  • Planning models
  • Planning, sequencing and delivering instruction
  • Integrating inclusive instruction, including interprofessional collaboration

Contemporary approaches to assessment in health professional education

  • Assessment for learning
  • Authentic assessment
  • Constructive alignment
  • Competency-based assessment
  • Models for innovative assessment
  • Entrustable professional activities

Assessment methods and tools in health professional education

  • Developing performance outcomes
  • Measuring objectives
  • Formative and summative assessment
  • Rating scales
  • Checklists
  • Criterion-based assessment
  • Providing feedback
  • Learner-centred assessment tools

Program and teaching evaluation models and strategies   

  • Models, strategies and instruments for evaluation
  • Development of evaluation indicators
  • Self-evaluation and peer-evaluation
  • Evaluating educational intervention and reporting to stakeholders for practice improvement

Ethical, moral and legal issues in curriculum design, assessment and evaluation  

  • Due process, equity and fairness 
  • Ethical, moral and legal obligations in curriculum design, assessment and evaluation of health professionals 
  • Maintenance of professional standards

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The 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 curriculum design, contemporary assessment and evaluation practices in healthcare education. 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 three assessment tasks. A minimum combined total grade for all 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 student 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, students will:

  • demonstrate knowledge through a written assessment, by designing a health professional education or simulation curriculum/program and discussing appropriate evaluation strategies;  
  • demonstrate further understanding by critically analysing different assessment methods, and developing a valid and reliable assessment tool for use in the workplace, 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 needs to be done to succeed. Further, the use of rubrics aims to provide students with helpful feedback about the quality of their work. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Written assignment with concept mapping 

Enables students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of constructive alignment, by developing a concept map for an education program or lesson. Students will work with other students to peer review their program learning outcomes, which encourages interprofessional practice and education.



GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Written assignment and development of an assessment tool 

Enables students to build upon assessment 1, by developing an education program which is constructively aligned. Students will demonstrate knowledge and critical analysis of their chosen assessment methods, and they will develop an assessment tool for use in their workplace. 


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Written assignment and development of an evaluation tool   

Enables students to apply knowledge and understanding of evaluation methods, by evaluating their chosen education program/ assessment method/ assessment tool. This will be done by identifying and critically analysing the relevant evaluation methods, and students will develop an evaluation tool for use in their workplace.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Biggs, J.B., &Tang, C. S. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Billings, D., & Halstead, J. (Eds.). (2015). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (5th ed.). Elsevier.

Gardner, J. (Ed). (2012). Assessment and learning (2nd ed.).SAGE.

Oermann, M. H., & Gaberson, K. B. (2017). Evaluation and testing in nursing education (5th ed.). Springer Publishing Company.

Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (2017). (Eds.). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology (4th ed.). Pearson.

Swanwick,T. (2014). Understanding Medical Education: Evidence, Theory and Practice (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

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