Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


UNMC500 Culturally Safe Teaching Practice OR UNMC550 Evaluating Technology-enabled Learning Activities in Higher Education OR UNMC581 What works in higher education: Evidence-based teaching practices in the classroom OR UNMC582 What works in higher education: Evidence-based teaching practices that surround the classroom


UNHE503 Scholarship in Higher Education

Unit rationale, description and aim

To be professionally capable and progressive as a tertiary educator you need to inform your practice through skills of scholarship in learning and teaching. This micro-credential is designed to engage and build on the knowledge and skills that you have developed in preceding micro-credentials of the ACU Graduate Certificate in Higher Education through the development of a personalised SoTL project. You will learn key principles for research design that are appropriate for the higher education context and properly reflect the ethical considerations and constraints involved in researching with humans as defined and regulated by the National Human Medical Research Council (NHMRC). As part of your project, you will develop a research question that seeks to investigate an innovative, interesting or troublesome aspect of your practice that is theorised by adult learning and teaching principles. You will plan and justify a research approach that is founded on relevant literature and contributes to your own professional learning as well as the understandings of other practitioners in your field. Completing this micro-credential will develop the knowledge and skills you need to complete an application for ethics approval to implement your planned research. Therefore, the aim of this micro-credential is to develop your foundational knowledge and skills in SoTL and prepare you for applied research of your practice in teaching and learning in higher 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 - Communicate knowledge of research ethics in the scholarship of learning and teaching context (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Apply sophisticated knowledge and deep understanding of adult learning and teaching theory and practice to a learning and teaching 'project' (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6)

LO3 - Demonstrate basic skills in scholarship by critically and reflectively describing and defending a research design that investigates your practice and contributes new understandings to the higher education sector (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8)

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 

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

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


Topics will include: 

Module 1 – Research Ethics in SoTL 

  • Research ethics, including in Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and international contexts and in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 

Module 2 – Research Design in SoTL 

  • Scholarship in Learning and Teaching research including Indigenous research methodologies and the ACU mission  
  • Teaching and professional practice as a scholarly activity 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

To maximise flexibility and engagement for all students and therefore foster learning opportunity, student-centred, self-paced learning is an underpinning strategy adopted within this micro-credential. It follows that you will be expected to interact with your peers, contribute to online discussions and contribute to a pool of shared resources. You will also be expected to keep a reflective journal within your LMS portfolio to support your ability to engage in critical self-reflection that may contribute to your continuing professional development, such as in an application for Advance Higher Education Higher Education Academy Fellowship. Engagement with teaching staff in this fully online micro-credential will be facilitated primarily through online forums and meetings. This online engagement will be supplemented by telephone and email communication as requested by individual clients. Individualised textual feedback on your formative and summative assessment tasks is provided to support your continuing development and refinement of your project as you progress in UNMC570 and prepare for UNMC580 where your project planning may be applied.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment for this micro-credential is designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome. Assessment for each learning outcome allows you to demonstrate knowledge acquisition, assimilation and application. This is done using a formative assessment task and a (linked) summative assessment task. In the formative task you will present your acquired knowledge of ethics in learning and teaching research practice by relating ethical principles to your planning for a suitable research method (assimilation). You will find the learning you achieve through this task is a necessary scaffold toward your completion of the summative task. In the summative task, you will develop an ethically appropriate research proposal that reflects your existing knowledge of your discipline as well as adult learning theories and applies your developing knowledge of research methods in SoTL to the design and justification of a planned research process.  

It should be noted that UNMC570 is a Pass/Fail micro-credential and as such there is no grade allocated to assignments in this micro-credential. In order to pass this micro-credential, you are required to:  

1. Submit a credible attempt for each assessment item  

2. Demonstrate a passing standard (or better) for the summative assessment task. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Formative assessment 

The kind of assessment task needed is one that requires you to explain how ethical tenets for research with humans relate to your developing research question and planning.  

In this micro-credential, the task is for you to present the key ethical challenges for your SoTL project and possible strategies for addressing and overcoming ethical risks associated with your research question and planned research method.  

For feedback


GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2: Summative assessment 

The kind of assessment task needed is one that requires you to relate and apply the concepts, principles and theories you are learning from SoTL literature about ethical research, scholarly literature including theories of adult learning and research design and planning in higher education. 

In this micro-credential, the task is for you to present a research plan that poses a question relevant to SoTL practice accompanied by relevant scholarly literature and an appropriate and ethically informed research method.  

The assessment must reference adult learning and teaching theories and principles as well as SoTL and discipline-related literature. 

This task uses Turnitin 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university (4th ed.). Open University Press.  

Bell, J. (2014). Doing your research project: A guide for first-time researchers (UK Higher Education OUP Humanities & Social Sciences Study). Open University Press. 

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education (8th ed.). Routledge.   

Creswell, J. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). SAGE. 

Creswell, J. (2018). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (4th ed.). SAGE. 

Mackinlay, E., & Nakata, M. (2016). Editorial. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 46(2), iii-iii. doi 10.1017/jie.2017.26 

Punch, K. (2014). Introduction to social research: Quantitative & qualitative approaches (3rd ed.). SAGE. 

Trigwell, K., Martin, E., Benjamin, J., & Prosser, M. (c. 2011). Scholarship of teaching: A model.  

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