Teaching & Education

Language And Learning In Your Discipline Unit Information Guide

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Word Count

1700 words


Education and Teaching


3 Days

Assignment Criteria

Assessment 1: Short Written Response and Learning Plan (15%) This first assessment has two main aims: 

  • To introduce the fundamental building blocks of writing – the paragraph. • To facilitate a self-directed approach to learning. 

There are two components to this assessment: 

1. Learning Plan (5%) 

You will develop a personal learning plan for this unit this session. In a table format, you are required to address the following three (3) points: 

  1. Identify four (4) learning goals that can be achieved by the end of the session. These learning goals should be practical, realistic, and align with the content of this unit.
  2. Identify your barriers to achieving these goals. These barriers need to be specific to each learning goal.
  3. Identify strategies and resources to support your learning. State how these strategies and resources will be accessed and used.

There is no word limit and no referencing required. Your learning plan forms the basis of your final learning plan (Assessment 3) and, as such, is regularly reviewed and reflected upon throughout this session. Based on your ongoing review and reflection, you will modify and amend your learning plan as required. 

2. Reflective Description of your Learning Plan (10%) 

In a single paragraph, you will describe and reflect upon your learning. Using informal language, you will describe your learning goals and then reflect by asking yourself the following types of questions: What skills do I need to improve upon? What short and medium term goals do I want to achieve? How can I achieve these goals? What can help and hinder me from achieving my goals? You are not required to answer these questions specifically, but rather use them to help get you started. 

The paragraph should be 200 words in length. This assessment is to be submitted through Turnitin with an Assignment Cover Sheet. The Turnitin submission link and cover sheet are located in the 'Assessment Details' tab on the Blackboard learning site. 

Marking Criteria 

This assignment will be marked using the following criteria 

  1. Your ability to write a single paragraph of 200 words (10 marks) based on the marking criteria or rubric. 
  2. Your learning Plan (5 marks) using the template provided.

Assessment 2: Essay

The aims of this assignment are as follows: 

  1. To introduce you to readings in your discipline. 
  2. To develop an understanding of how to write a critical essay using your critical reading and writing skills. 
  3. To practice paraphrasing and referencing using Harvard or APA 6th edition. 4. To become familiar with using Turnitin. 

There are two components to this assessment: 

  1. Evaluative/Argumentative Essay (30%): Description of task 

Choose one of the five (5) topics provided to you, read the four readings on the topic (i.e. three journal articles and one book chapter), and write a 1000 word critical essay on the topic. You must reference the four provided readings, both in-text and in the reference list at the end, either in Harvard or APA 6th edition. The word length, excluding your reference list at the end, is 1000 words. 

In an essay format, briefly state your position on the topic and why the issue is important. Identify or list the main arguments or ideas to be discussed in the essay in the order in which they will appear. Consider these tips while writing your essay: 

Assessment | 11

  • The critical essay is argumentative in style, rather than simply descriptive. It is not simply a summary of the content of the readings. In this kind of writing, all claims made about the topic or issue need to be supported with evidence. 
  • The difference between your opinion and facts is important – it does not matter what you believe about the topic or issue; what matters is what you can prove about it, drawing upon evidence found in the readings. 
  • Criticism does not mean attacking the readings or the authors; it simply means you are thinking critically about the ideas or arguments presented by the authors in each of the readings and discussing your findings. 
  • The tone is objective and serious. 
  • Key terms and concepts should be explained or defined. 
  • It is not necessary to cover all points. Focus your arguments on the major ideas and develop them well. 
  • Be sure your arguments are clearly organised. Each paragraph should support the main idea (i.e. Topic Sentence) and logically flow. Within each paragraph, sentences should be connected to one another. 

Sources: http://essayinfo.com/essays/critical_essay.php; and https://student.unsw.edu.au/ writing-critical-review 

  1. Turnitin Reflection (10%): Description of task 

Once you have completed your final draft of your essay, submit it through Turnitin at least 24 – 48 hours before it is due. Then, once your Originality Report has been generated (this can take up to an hour or more if it is your first submission and 24 hours if it is your second or subsequent submission), write a 200 word reflection on your experience of using Turnitin to submit your assessment. Include an interpretation of the score you received and identify any issues in your Originality Report. Explain how you addressed these issues in your assignment. Include your view of the benefits and challenges of using Turnitin to submit assessments at university. 

This reflection is written on a separate page after your reference list at the end of your essay. Since this is about you reflecting on your experience of using Turnitin, you can use personal pronouns, such as ‘I’ (but not 'you' or 'we'). However, you still must use correct grammar and punctuation (e.g. do not use contractions, such as ‘can’t’). 

You will then re-submit this assessment, with your 200 word reflection, through the correct Turnitin link with an Assessment Cover Sheet BEFORE the due date. 

Marking Criteria 

The specific topics, readings, and the marking criteria (rubric) are available in the 'Assessment Details' tab on the Blackboard learning site for this unit.

Assessment 3: Reflective writing – Reflective Report and Learning Plan (45%) 

This final assignment is a written account of your learning experience during this session. It is based on your learning plan which was submitted as part of your first assessment. 

This assessment consists of two key elements: 

  1. A Reflective Report (25%): 1700 words (excluding reference list at the end and Appendix) 

Write a reflective report based on your final learning plan. This report MUST consist of a minimum of four (4) academic references from the myReadings list. You are required to cite these sources both in-text and at the end in your reference list using Harvard or APA 6th edition. It is essential that you use the appropriate reflective style of writing with a report format for this assignment using headings and sub-headings (submission is via Turnitin with an Assignment Cover Sheet). To be more specific, your reflective report should include the following information: 

  • Self-evaluate your learning development and learning experiences in this unit. Provide examples, taken from your learning plan, of personal learning goals. Evaluate your outcomes (e.g. Did I achieve my goals? What is my evidence to support this claim?); and reflect on your learning in relation to unit content (e.g. What did I learn? What strategies worked and why? How does this relate to knowledge and skills learnt in this unit? What will I do differently in the future?). 
  • Identify barriers to your learning and strategies you used to overcome them (e.g. How did I overcome my barriers?). 
  • Identify learning strategies you will adopt in future learning situations (e.g. What will I do differently in the future for each of my learning goals?). 
  • Describe the academic skills learnt in this unit that is required in your discipline of study (e.g. Business, Tourism, Health, Science, and Arts). 
  • Identify some clear recommendations. Present concrete strategies to improve your learning skills for your future studies and/or professional career (e.g. How will you use or adapt your strategies in your future learning?). 
  • Appendix: Your updated learning plan presented in a table format in landscape. 
  1. Final Learning Plan (20%): No word limit 

This is an update of your original learning plan, which you submitted in Assessment 1, incorporating an evaluation and reflection of your progress this session. The development, review, reflection, and modification of your learning plan is required to be evident throughout the session. Your final learning plan is an updated version of the first one you submitted for Assessment 1. The only difference is that your final learning plan includes a fourth column where you will review and reflect upon your progress and achievements (Review and Reflection). It includes modifications and additions based on your ongoing reflections (e.g. You may add in more barriers and strategies). It should also incorporate the feedback received on your initial learning plan submitted in Week 3 (Assessment 1). The feedback you received on your first learning plan will assist you with completing your final learning plan. Do not delete anything you were not asked to remove. Any additions or changes need to be in a different coloured font (e.g. red or blue) so that your updates are easily identified. Your final learning plan is marked based on a demonstration of your ongoing review, reflection, and modification. 

Both your final Learning Plan and Reflective Report are due at the same time. They are submitted as one assessment (with an electronic cover page) on Sunday 28 May by 11.00pm (end of Week 13). 

Marking Criteria 

This assignment will be marked using the marking criteria (rubric) located in the 'Assessment Details' tab on the Blackboard learning site for this unit. Your reflective report is worth 25% and your final learning plan is worth 20% for a total value of 45%.

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Assignment Solution

1. Introduction

I am studying for a Diploma in Business at Southern Cross University. In addition to business and management-related skills, my course also provides me with an opportunity to improve my academic writing skills. The mixture of creating a learning plan and reflection is what I find most attractive about the system created in this course to help students like me achieve their learning goals. 

This present report facilitates self-evaluation on my own learning development and experience during my first session at the university. My learning goals are to develop a growth mindset and improve confidence in speaking, to know more about the study structure in Australian universities, to develop academic writing skills and to increase the capability to negotiate university internet site. Strategies and resource, constraints and enablers, evaluation and reflection, are also mentioned in the above learning plan regarding my goals. 

2. To change my fixed mindset 

When I found that I was getting very stressed whenever I had to make a presentation in front of my tutor and classmates, I reflected on this while making my learning plan. (Covey 1990) mentions that it is important not to get over-stressed. I get very stressed if I have to speak in class and make a presentation. To improve my participation in my course, I watched other students make presentations and speak confidently in class. I realised then that my own fear of speaking in public came from a fixed mindset and the idea that I have to know all the answers if I need to speak in class. To my surprise, I found that many of my classmates and my tutor also often did not know answers to some questions while talking in public or making presentations and it was my faulty idea about this that had led to my fixed mindset. 

My own reflections, as well as discussions with my tutors and seniors, helped me a lot in identifying the cause of my fear of public speaking. With their guidance and constant practise, I am now getting better at presenting my views in public and also in making presentations in the class. 

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