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EDU8324 Learning Difficulties: Reading

Semester 2, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education

Contents on this page


Examiner: Nicole Todd
Moderator: Susan Carter


People with low levels of literacy encounter grave difficulties in coping in a 'reading based' society. It is essential that at risk readers be promptly identified and that early intervention programmes be implemented. The expertise of the classroom teacher in the identification and remediation of children with reading difficulties is deemed to be a critical factor in the prevention of serious reading disabilities.


This course focuses on the teaching of children with specific learning difficulties in reading. The emphasis is on assessment and diagnosis of children with reading problems and on the structuring, implementation and analysis of appropriate intervention programmes. Note: Students will require regular access to a classroom for completion of this course.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an in-depth knowledge of the range of the complex skills involved in the teaching of reading and an understanding of the reading process from both a skill-based and a developmental viewpoint (Assessment item 1 and 2)
  2. a knowledge of factors which contribute to reading failure (Assessment item 1)
  3. the ability to design and implement a reading assessment programme which provides for efficient class screening and for individual diagnosis and which includes a wide range of instruments - standardised, teacher constructed, informal (Assessment item 1 and 2)
  4. competency in identifying, diagnosing and teaching students with reading difficulties (Assessment item 1 and 2)
  5. competency in developing programmes for group remediation and for individualised instruction of the child with a reading disability in the classroom (Assessment item 1 and 2)
  6. competency in structuring sequential courses for the remediation of skill deficits in reading, using a variety of corrective strategies (Assessment item 2)
  7. the ability to develop and evaluate specific materials for teaching reading to under-achievers in the classroom (Assessment item 1 and 2)
  8. the ability to select, evaluate and modify resources for programming (Assessment item 2)
  9. the ability to work with other professionals in the assessment and remediation of children with reading problems. (Assessment item 1 and 2)
  10. Demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing. (Assessment item 1 and 2)


Description Weighting(%)
1. The reading process; theory of reading; problem readers; the reading event; effective teaching 20.00
2. Assessment and diagnosis; general introduction; norm-referenced and criterion-referenced measures; diagnostic teaching; informal assessment; selecting tests; protocol of test administration; synthesising information; assessment using diagnostic lessons; assessment using portfolios; profiling 40.00
3. Programming for remediation; selecting instructional techniques; using instructional techniques; reading recovery; whole language; support a reader; computer assisted instruction 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Walker, B. J 2012, Diagnostic Teaching of Reading. Techniques for instruction and assessment, 7th edn, Pearson, Boston.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 80.00
Directed Study 60.00
Private Study 25.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 50 05 Sep 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 24 Oct 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the grades obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sourses they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require regular access to a classroom for completion of this course. Students are advised not to enrol in this course if this access is not possible.

  2. Students are to use a recognised referencing system a specified by the course Examiner.

  3. Students will require access to e-mail and Internet access to UConnect for this course.