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SPE3003 Teaching Students with High Support Needs

Semester 1, 2013 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Rahul Ganguly
Moderator: Nicole Todd


While representing a relatively small percentage of the school-age population, students with low incidence disabilities present a major challenge to teachers. Such children often require individualised, specialised pedagogical skills. Teachers need to acquire a good understanding of these student's needs and the professional expertise to work effectively with them. They must also understand that, for these children, transitions into schools, between schools and from school are significant stages in their education development. These transitions rely on a commitment from teachers to working in a systematic and collaborative manner with families, agencies, employers and schools to ensure high quality programmes delivering appropriate outcomes.


This course introduces pre-service teachers to the individual educational needs of students with low incidence disabilities and the processes of developing appropriate curriculum and pedagogy for them. It will also examine how transitions for these students are facilitated through careful planning, preparation and documentation of a systematic and coordinated process suited to the individual needs of families, schools and the range of professionals involved. NOTE: Minimum enrolment numbers apply to this offering. Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the ONLINE offering and advised of this change before semester commences.


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. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. articulate the diverse learning needs of students with high support needs. (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)
  2. describe general and specific research based instructional strategies that address the educational needs of students with high support needs (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)
  3. analyse, evaluate and modify curricular approaches and techniques relevant to the instruction of student populations with high support needs in an inclusive educational setting (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)
  4. analyse transitions from a general education and special education perspective for students with a range of disabilities (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)
  5. demonstrate competence in information literacy skills, including critical and reflective thinking (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)
  6. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Students with high support needs: Learning Assets and Challenges 10.00
2. Collaboration with multiple stakeholders in education 10.00
3. Creating Inclusive Educational Environment 10.00
4. Exploring features of transition plans and life skills 10.00
5. Specific Instructional and Management Strategies 30.00
6. Curriculum and pedagogy 30.00

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. (

  • Westling, D.L. & Fox, L (2009), Teaching students with severe disabilities, 4th edn, Prentice Hall, New York.

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
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 06 May 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 10 Jun 2013

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 administrations.

  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.

  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 available 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 aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Closed Examination: Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examination for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  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 sources 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 access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.