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SPE3007 Differentiated Curriculum

Semester 2, 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: Nicole Todd
Moderator: Mark Oliver


A major challenge for teachers is the diversity which exists in classrooms. One of the responses to the diversity in classrooms is differentiated curriculum. Curriculum is sometimes considered as the content that is covered in class. This course, however, will use the term, curriculum, to describe a course of study which includes both the content and teacher methods used in planning and in class. It is vital for teachers to understand current approaches to addressing individual learning needs and to be able to develop an effective inclusive classroom. In any classroom students have a range of abilities. Students may experience learning difficulties or be gifted and talented. Teachers are accountable for the learning outcomes of all students. Differentiated curriculum is a strategy which gives teachers the opportunity to reach all students.


SPE3007 will introduce the background development of and theory behind differentiation (conceptual framework). There will be a particular focus on the practical nature of employing the theory in the classroom. Through activities in class, students will have opportunities to practice applying the principles of differentiated curriculum. This will assist in the development of effective practical skills for classroom teachers and special education personnel. In this course students will be supported in their understanding of how to create curriculum and deliver instruction that is differentiated for students with a range of abilities. 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 development of responses to diversity and inclusion. (Assignment 1)
  2. provide a clear understanding of the concept of differentiation as it applies to planning, instruction and assessment in the diverse classroom. (Assignment 1)
  3. demonstrate competence in differentiating the learning process through curriculum mapping, scaffolded instruction and assessment processes, including strategy training and fostering autonomy in students in a diverse classroom (Assignment 2)
  4. demonstrate competence in information literacy skills, including critical and reflective thinking (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)
  5. 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. Conceptual framework and context - responses to diversity and inclusion 20.00
2. Differentiating the learning process through curriculum mapping and content adaptations 10.00
3. Differentiating the learning process through scaffolded instruction and assessment 30.00
4. Strategy training and metacognition for students with difficulties and disabilities 20.00
5. Fostering autonomous gifted and talented learners 20.00

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. (

  • There is no prescribed text for this course.

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.
  • Coyne, M. D., Kameenui, E. J., & Carnine, D. W (2007), Effective teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learners, 3rd edn, Pearson Education, New Jersey.
  • Dempsey, I., & Arthur-Kelly, M (2007), Maximising learning outcomes in diverse classrooms, Thomson, South Melbourne.
  • Mastropieri, M. & Scruggs, T (2010), The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for effective instruction, 4th edn, Merrill, Upper Saddle River, N.J.
  • O' Meara, J (2010), Beyond Differentiated Instruction, Corwin, Thousand Oaks, California.
  • Vaughn, S., Bos, C. S., & Schumm, J. S (2007), Teaching students who are exceptional, diverse and at risk in the general education classroom, Allyn & Bacon, Boston.
  • Westwood, P (2006), Teaching and learning difficulties: cross-curricular perspectives, ACER, Victoria.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information The gateway to education resources is here ...

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 09 Sep 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 21 Oct 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    ON-CAMPUS MODE: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and 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.

    ONLINE: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them including discussion fora scheduled for them, and 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.

  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:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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.