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SPE3007 Instructional Approaches in Special Education

Semester 3, 2020 Online
Short Description: Instruction Special Education
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 : 070113 - Teacher Education: Special Edu
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 11 July 2020


Examiner: Tracey Chamlin


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in: BEDU or BPED or BSED or MOLT(Sec)
BEDU(Primary/Special Ed), BEDU(Special Ed) or BPED students to have completed EDC2400
Pre-requisite: ESP2200 (BEDU, BPED and BSED only)
Co-requisite: EDM5000 (MOLT (Sec) only)

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.


Developing instructional plans to support the specific developmental needs of learners with additional needs is mandated by state and federal legislation, and is a key professional responsibility of educators in regular and special education contexts. The development of effective instructional plans will include the consideration of the developmental needs of individual learners, contextual affordances and constraints, and guiding policies. Pre-service teachers must therefore be well-versed in the instructional design process, and possess a knowledge of effective strategies for supporting learners with special needs. Additionally, educators must appreciate the experiential knowledge of professional team members, and the values of family members in order to implement evidence-based practice in inclusive educational contexts. While individual instructional plans are a key tool for promoting positive learning outcomes, educators must also plan opportunities to provide learners with additional needs constructive feedback about learning goals. This is necessary for promoting efficacy, self-concept, and fostering self-determination.


This course will provide pre-service teachers with knowledge of the instructional approaches used to support learners with additional needs in different educational contexts. Pre-service teachers will develop an understanding of the different views of human learning, and how these views have led to the development of numerous instructional approaches. The course will analyse the major instructional frameworks within the special education field, and the efficacy of common instructional strategies used to support learners with additional needs. Pre-service teachers will develop skills to collect and analyse different types of student data (e.g., performance, observation, conversational), and understand how to use this data to design and evaluate instructional plans as well as provide formative feedback to learners. The course will also examine the efficacy of assistive technologies for including and instructing learners with additional needs. Additionally, pre-service teachers will consider the role of external professionals and community representatives to help support appropriate instruction for learners with additional needs. At the completion of this course, pre-service teachers will understand the national requirements to report data related to school learners with disabilities.


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. design and evaluate instructional plans that support curriculum learning, behaviour, cognitive, and psychosocial skill development (APST 3.1, 3.3, 7.3);
  2. analyse the collection, storage and use of different learner data for instructional purposes, and describe how data is used to provide feedback to learners with additional needs about their learning or report to parents/carers (APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5);
  3. critically analyse the use and efficacy of instructional strategies that support the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of learners with additional needs within the inclusive classroom (APST 3.3, 3.6, 4.1);
  4. describe and evaluate the use of assistive technologies to support learners with additional needs in inclusive educational contexts (APST 3.4, 4.1, 7.4).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Planning for learners with special needs 40.00
2. Instructional strategies 40.00
3. Assistive technologies for instruction 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. (

Mitchell, D & Suterland, D 2020, What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education: Using Evidence-based Teaching Strategies, 3rd edn, Routledge London 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 expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 50 23 Dec 2020
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 27 Jan 2021

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 for that item.

  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:
    There is no examination 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. 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).

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.

Date printed 11 July 2020