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EDU5321 Educating Students with Special Needs

Semester 3, 2021 Online
Short Description: Educ Students with Spec Needs
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 070113 - Teacher Education: Special Edu
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 July 2021


Examiner: Henriette van Rensburg


This course is an introduction to the education of students with special needs. Inclusive education has resulted in many more students with special needs and disabilities participating in regular classrooms, and this has created a need for educators in all settings and at all levels to develop their knowledge and skills about effective educational strategies to maximise learning outcomes for all students. This course will be of particular relevance to teachers in regular schools who have students with special needs included in their classes, and current or intending special educators and support personnel.


In this course students will explore inclusive education philosophies, policies and practices as a contemporary response to maximising learning outcomes for students with special needs and disabilities. Additionally students will develop knowledge of the characteristics and educational approaches for a range of special needs and disabilities: intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, autistic spectrum disorder, communication disorders, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, health impairments, and ADHD. There is also consideration of the exceptional needs of students who are gifted and talented. A key emphasis throughout the course is the considerable diversity that exists within each of the specials needs and disabilities categories, thus necessitating individualised approaches to the evaluation and support of students with special needs.


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 successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply and evaluate inclusive and special education philosophies, policies and practices in educational settings (Assignment 1, Assignment 2);
  2. demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics and issues for a range of special needs and disabilities (Assignment 2);
  3. apply knowledge and understanding of special needs and inclusion to the development of effective educational practices (Assignment 2);
  4. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (Assignment 1, Assignment 2).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Foundations of special education 20.00
2. Educating students with intellectual disabilities 10.00
3. Educating students with learning disabilities 10.00
4. Educating students with emotional or behavioural disorders 10.00
5. Educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 10.00
6. Educating students with communication disorders 10.00
7. Educating students with sensory impairments 10.00
8. Educating students with physical disabilities, health impairments and ADHD 10.00
9. Educating gifted and talented students 10.00

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. (

Hyde, M, Carpenter, L & Dole, S 2017, Diversity, inclusion and engagement, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
(ISBN 9780190308452.)

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.
Keeffe, M & Carrington, S (ed.) 2007, Schools and diversity, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.
Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

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 40 40 22 Dec 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 11 Feb 2022

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 administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment 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 weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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 at

Other requirements

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

Date printed 21 July 2021