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ESI3006 Developmental Differences in Learning in Secondary Context

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Developmental Differences Sec
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070105 - Teacher Education: Secondary
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Tracey Chamlin

Other requisites

Students enrolling in courses which do not follow the recommended enrolment pattern cannot be assured of a developmental learning experience or program completion within their preferred timeframe.


The primary role of an educator is to facilitate opportunities for learners to access and participate in curriculum to their fullest potential. The Australian Curriculum has been envisioned on a continuum of learning development. How this curriculum can be delivered in inclusive learning environments that embrace a range of diverse learners is a necessary understanding and skill for all educators. Catering for learner diversity requires secondary educators to firstly be able to recognise these needs, secondly, understand how these needs affect learning, and lastly, provide appropriate teaching strategies to support curriculum access and participation.


This course will explore a range of learner developmental differences (atypical development) that may or may not be associated with a diagnosed disability but do impact upon the secondary school learner's access to and participation in, the curriculum. Areas including but not limited to attention, motor skills, communication, sensory processing, and executive functioning, will be defined and their impact on learning illustrated through examples found within a secondary school environment. Evidence-based teaching strategies specific to a secondary school environment and relevant to these developmental differences will be explored as well as data collection methods to identify these diverse needs, and inform appropriate educational practices. Additionally, the role of motivation and self-regulation in learning will be considered.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course in accordance with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). On successful completion of this course pre-service teachers should be able to:

  1. identify and explain a range of developmental differences (atypical development) that are likely to be present within a learning environment, and how these differences may impact student learning (APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 1.6)
  2. describe appropriate data collection, assessment and moderation methods that can be used to identify and support student need in regard to identified developmental difference (APST 5.1, 5.3, 5.4)
  3. identify and justify appropriate evidence-based practice for teaching learners with specific developmental differences in an inclusive learning environment using a range of teaching strategies (APST 1.5, 1.6, 2.6, 3.3, 4.1)
  4. seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices (APST 6.3).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of developmental differences 10.00
2. Motor skills:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
3. Receptive, expressive and pragmatic communication:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
4. Executive functioning, metacognition and memory, and attentional difficulties:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
5. Sensory processing:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
6. Motivation and self-regulation:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
7. Planning, assessment and moderation to meet student need. 15.00

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. (

Nagel, M & Scholes, L 2016, Understanding development and learning: implications for teaching, Oxford University Press, Victoria, 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.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 50 18 Sep 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 23 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    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.

  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:
    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 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:
    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: 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

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 Bachelor of Education and is benchmarked against the:

  1. 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
  2. Queensland College of Teachers
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Other requirements

  1. Participation: Students can expect it will be necessary to participate in and contribute to a range of learning opportunities in this course including online study activities, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, group discussions and self-directed study activities in order to apply the coursework that will enable quality assessment tasks to be submitted as evidence of professional development.