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EDM5001 Understanding Learners and Learning

Semester 1, 2019 External
Short Description: Understand Learners & Learning
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070100 - Teacher Education
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Mark Oliver


Pre-requisite: EDM5000 and Students must be enrolled in the MOLT

Other requisites

Students must have successfully completed the entire previous year’s Professional Experience courses in order to enrol in this course. Students must be available for a prescribed period of time to undertake a placement in a school or other approved site as required in this course.

Before commencing this course students will be assumed to have read the full details of Professional Experience particulars and familiarised themselves with the requirements. Please see the Education Placement Professional Experience website and the Professional Experience Book for full details.

State law in Queensland (Australia) requires that all adults working/undertaking professional experience/researching with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland must hold a valid blue card OR exemption card
If undertaking placement outside of Queensland you must ensure that all relevant checks are completed and evidence of this is provided to the Professional Experience office

Provided a blue card renewal application has been submitted at least 30 days before expiry of the current card, the blue card will remain active while the renewal application is processed (details available at

Blue Card Services cannot process a form dated more than 16 weeks prior to lodgement. In addition, a representative of USQ or a Justice of the Peace, must sight the applicant’s identification documents and check the information on the form, before signing and dating the USQ declaration (refer to

Where a student is denied approval for a blue card, enrolment in any initial teacher education program will be withdrawn (refer to
If undertaking Professional Experience outside of Queensland, students are advised to check the Working with Children requirements of the state within which Professional Experience will be undertaken (refer to


An understanding of student development and how the environment influences development, are critical for a professional teacher’s decision-making. Additionally, understanding the learning process will assist teachers to create effective and supportive educational environments. Familiarity with typical developmental milestones will assist educators to distinguish between individual differences and atypical developmental differences. Understanding developmental patterns, both typical and atypical, will assist teachers to create inclusive educational environments for diverse learners, as well as informing choice regarding differentiation strategies for use in classroom practice. To perform the ‘teacher as researcher’ role, teachers must develop the knowledge and skills to critically read contemporary and relevant literature related to learners and learning theory.


This course will provide an introduction to key concepts about learner development, specifically cognitive, physical and psychosocial development. The course will examine different explanations for learning, including the behaviourist, cognitive and social-learning perspectives. Individual differences (e.g., intelligence, motivation and social-cultural factors) and how they affect the learning process will also be examined. On the completion of this course, pre-service educators will have an understanding of learner development, which they will apply when designing effective educational environments that promote learning. Pre-service educators will also develop the critical literacy skills to analyse and evaluate research literature. Embedded within the course is a 20 day Professional Experience under the supervision of a mentor teacher.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. the ability to apply to their professional practice advanced knowledge of learner development (e.g., physical, cognitive and psychosocial development) and to critically analyse professional practice based upon contemporary learning theories (Assignment 1 & 2) (Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) 1.1, 3.1, 3.2) (Graduate skills: ethical research and enquiry; academic, professional, and digital literacy; cultural literacy)
  2. understanding of established developmental theories to analyse learning issues, and generate solutions for common teaching and learning problems (Assignment 2) (APST1.2) (Graduate skills: academic, professional, and digital literacy; cultural literacy)
  3. advanced knowledge and understanding of how different environments (e.g., school and home) influence student learning and development, especially for students from diverse backgrounds (Assignment 2) (APST1.1, 1.2) (Graduate skills: cultural literacy)
  4. demonstrate the ability to plan, implement and support through feedback, appropriate learning experiences to meet the learning needs of a range of learner abilities from relevant curriculum frameworks (Professional Experience, Assignments 2 & 3) (APST 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.2) (Graduate skills: problem solving; written and oral communication; management, planning, and organisational skills; interpersonal skills)
  5. an understanding and application of critical reflection to their own practice as learners and their developing role as a professional educator through an application of information from relevant research literature (Assignment 1 & 2) (APST13.6, 6.1, 6.3) (Graduate Skills: ethical research and enquiry; problem solving; academic, professional, and digital literacy)
  6. effective verbal and non-verbal communication (all assessments) (APST 3.5) (Graduate Skills: Academic, professional, digital literacy; written and oral communication)
  7. advanced cognitive, literacy and communication skills, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (Assignment 1 & 2) (Graduate Skills: Academic, professional, digital literacy; written and oral communication).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Educational psychology and professional practice 5.00
2. The learner developing over time (physical, cognitive and psychosocial development) 25.00
3. The learning process (behaviourist, cognitive and social learning explanations of learning) 25.00
4. Organising learning environments to accommodate individual differences (student motivation, socio-cultural factors) 20.00
5. Purposes and processes for reading, synthesising and writing a literature review from the relevant research, and its application to their role as a teacher researcher 10.00
6. Professional experience preparation and critical reflection 10.00
7. Professional educator. 5.00

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. (

Cavanagh, M & Prescott, A 2015, Your professional experience handbook, Pearson, Australia.
Duchesne, S & McMaugh, A 2016, Educational psychology for learning and teaching, 5th edn, Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne, Australia.

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.
Churchill, R, Ferguson, P, Godinho, S, Johnson, NF, Keddie, A, Letts, W, Mackay, J, McGill, M, Moss, J, Nagel, MC, Nicholson, P & Vick, M 2016, Teaching: making a difference, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Australia.
Callcott, D, Miller, J & Wilson-Gahan, S 2015, Health and physical education: preparing educators for the future, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, VIC.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 39 39 03 Apr 2019
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 1 1 17 May 2019 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 29 May 2019

  1. Students must successfully complete the Professional Experience to be eligible for a passing grade for this course. A mark of one (1) indicates you have passed the Professional Experience component. A mark of zero (0) indicates you have not passed the Professional Experience component. Professional Experience should be conducted as per the Professional Experience Calendar unless approval has been granted by the Program Coordinator.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    On-campus Attendance requirements: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures and tutorials) 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 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 complete assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each item in addition to the successful completion of the Professional Experience component. Failure of the Professional Experience component will result in a Fail grade for this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must successfully complete the Professional Experience component and must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Failure of the Professional Experience component will result in a Fail grade for this 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 items for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  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. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students 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. This guide can be found at

  2. Students are required to demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of academic language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and referencing in all assessment responses. Marks allocated to the aforementioned criteria will be specified in the criteria for assessment of all assessment items.

  3. Students are required to submit ALL assignments to evidence meeting or exceeding the mandatory requirements of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs).

  4. Professional Experience is a compulsory component of this course and integral to completion of the assessment tasks. Dates for each Professional Experience course are selected to support students’ capacity to apply the theory of the coursework in the Professional Experience placement. Students are advised not to select a course that includes Professional Experience in a semester where they are unable to meet the specified requirements of Professional Experience. Any application for a ‘change of dates’ for Professional Experience placement must qualify for consideration under the conditions of the USQ Assessment Extension Policy. An unsupported application will delay program completion.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the Master of Learning and Teaching and is benchmarked against the
  • internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.
  • professional accreditation standards of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST), Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) and Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Other requirements

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

  2. IMPORTANT NOTE: Working with Children: State law in Queensland requires that all adults (including university students, pre-service educators, trainers, vocational teachers, industry educators) working with children under the age of 18, in the State of Queensland*, obtain approval before commencing such work. Many education courses include a practical component (professional experience, project work, research, assessment etc.) that may require engagement with children under the age of 18. It is your responsibility to ensure that you possess a current suitability card (Blue Card or Exemption Card) before commencing any practical components of this course. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT 'BLUE CARD' or EXEMPTION CARD. For further information:
    • If you are undertaking practical experience outside the State of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.