Course Syllabus

This course does not follow a weekly topic structure. Follow this link for the Learning Guide, which includes an overview of assessments and rubrics and resources that may be useful.

Course Summary:

Assessment 1 Task A: Journal Submission: Expectations

Assessment name: Task A: Journal Submission

Due: This task should be completed before the commencement of your placement

Weight: 20%

Length: 1000 - 1500 words

Feedback mode: Feedback will be provided in Canvas Grades.


Your initial reflective journal submission should record both your preparations for and expectations of the placement.  In 1000-1500 words (excluding any references), you are required to reflect on your preparations for your internship/placement and your motivations for undertaking it.  Specifically, in addition to identifying any practical applications of skills and discipline knowledge relevant to your postgraduate program, you are expected to formulate a plan for reflecting on your experiences and using them to develop your professional practice and insight, both personally and professionally. 

Materials that will assist you to understand scholarly thinking about reflective practice will be made available to you on the course website and below.  You should read these materials prior to preparing your submission for this task and references to one or more reflective models must be incorporated into your submission.   

In addition, the following questions that will assist you:   

  • What are your key motivations for undertaking the placement?

  • What are you expecting to get out of your placement/internship?

  • How will you know whether these have been met?

  • How might the models referred to in the reading (or otherwise identified in your own research) be used to assist you in your placement/internship and beyond?

  • How might you use the models to reflect on your experiences?

Key Readings

Reading 1: Kolb's model

See  Van Der Sijde, Peter, Ridder, Annemarie., Blaauw, Gerben., Diensberg, Christoph., and SpringerLink. Teaching Entrepreneurship. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag HD, 2008. This can be accessed online.  Pages 11 - 13 provide a description of the approach and Chapter entitled "Using Kolb’s Learning Cycle to Teach Negotiation Skill"

Reading 2: Gibbs reflective learning cycle

'Learning by Doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods' was first published in 1998 by the Further Education Unit at Oxford Polytechnic, UK (now the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development at Oxford Brookes University). The book was the result of a collaborative project between Graham Gibbs of Oxford Polytechnic and Bob Farmer and Diana Eastcott of Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham City University).  In 2001 the book was made freely available online in a series of webpages by the Geography Discipline Network, hosted by the University of Gloucestershire at (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. The reflective learning cycle presented in the book models how learners can link theory and practice through engaging in a cyclical sequence of activities: describing, feeling, evaluating, analysing, concluding and action planning. This model has been particularly influential in teacher development programmes  and in professions allied to medicine.

 Reading 3: Schon: Reflection in action / Reflection on Action

Schön's "Reflection in action / Reflection on action" model is described in the learning guide.  The following two journal articles consider the theory in the context of postgraduate education (it has been particularly popular in teaching and nursing/medical training).  In their criticisms of  Schön  the authors below explain the approach and its strengths and weaknesses.

Cunliffe, Ann L. "Republication of “On Becoming a Critically Reflexive Practitioner”." Journal of Management Education 40, no. 6  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(2016): 747-68.

Comer, Moya. "Rethinking Reflection-in-action: What Did Schon Really Mean?" Nurse Education Today 36 (2016): 4 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Additional reading - for those who want go to the source:  Schön, D. A. (1983) The reflective practitioner : how professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books  (I am not aware of an electronic copy in our library)

Reading 4: Boud Keogh & Walker

Boud, D. J., Keogh, Rosemary., and Walker, David. Reflection : Turning Experience into Learning. London: Kogan Page, 1985 is available from the RMIT Library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Bundoora campus).  I am not aware of an online version. 

This subsequent article by Boud & Walker will provide further detail and expand on the material provided in the learning guide:  BOUD, D. & WALKER, D. 1998. Promoting Reflection in Professional Courses: The Challenge of Context. Studies in Higher Education, 23, 191-206  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Reading 5:  Five point level of reflection scale (Also referred to as "The 5 Rs")

These articles supplement the materials in your learning guide:

·         Bain, John D., Roy Ballantyne, Jan Packer, and Colleen Mills. "Using Journal Writing to Enhance Student Teachers’ Reflectivity During Field Experience Placements." Teachers and Teaching 5, no. 1 (1999): 51-7 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.3.

·         Bain, John D., Colleen Mills, Roy Ballantyne, and Jan Packer. "Developing Reflection on Practice Through Journal Writing: Impacts of Variations in the Focus and Level of Feedback (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.." Teachers and Teaching 8, no. 2 (2002): 171-96.

This resource, published by QUT, provides a useful summary of the reflection scale: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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Assessment 2 Task B: Participation in a discussion board

Assessment name: Participation in a discussion board

Due: When 110 hours work experience has been completed

Weight: 20%

Length: 2000 words

Feedback mode: 


Linked CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4

Participation in a discussion Board

  • At least 2 posts prior to the end of week 8

  • At least 2 responses to the posts of others prior to the end of week 10

  • Submit edited / curated posts/responses to Turnitin by the end of Week 11

Part 1 - Your discussion post

Prior to the end of week 8 of the semester, each student must submit at least two posts to the discussion board describing relevant events and experiences during their placement / internship.  The objective of this task is to share a description of the major project /projects on which you have been working during the internship and to share with other students’ information about:

  • The nature of the project/s (objectives, measurement, construction etc);

  • the ways in which discipline specific knowledge is employed in the workplace / project that you are placed with;

  • our observations and insights (surprises, disappointments, challenges, new ways of thinking, delight)

The discussion board will be ‘seeded’ with starter questions for you to address in your posts. You must address post in response to at least two of these ‘seeded’ questions. You are encouraged to participate as much as possible in the discussion as this is one of the only ways that you will be able to interact with other students if your placement doesn’t involve teamwork.

Part 2 – Your contributions to a conversation

Prior to the end of week 10 each student must respond to at least 2 posts made by other students asking questions or providing their own insights or reflections with a view to moving a conversation forward. Students must also respond to comments made by other students and the responsible academic to their own posts. Again, whilst 2 is the minimum number of responses required, you are encouraged to participate as much as possible in the discussion as this is one of the only ways that you will be able to interact with other students if your placement doesn’t involve teamwork.

The objective of this task is to allow you to demonstrate that you can apply insight and your own experiences, both within the placement and your degree program generally, to interact with other students in an engaging, relevant and meaningful way.  Whether that is by providing advice about a particular circumstance or situation, reflecting on how a similar question might be addressed within your own discipline or raising questions which might assist another student to consider a problem or opportunity in a different way.

Submit via Turnitin:

At the end of Week 11 students are required to submit copies of their originating posts and each of the comments that they have provided on the posts of others via Turnitin for assessment. You may add annotations to your submission to provide context, explain your choice of matters to respond to and to include reference materials. You may also amend for grammar, spelling and formality (for example) ensure that your references are appropriately cited using the referencing standard relevant to your discipline.

GRADED DISCUSSIONS as part of the Assessment Task B: Discussion Board Participation. Students must participate in a minimum of 5 discussions. All posts must be fully referenced.

Assessment 3 Task: Portfolio of Work / Reflective Essay

Assessment name: Portfolio of Work / Reflective Essay

Due: Start of SWOTVAC Week 13

Weight: 50%

Length: 2000-3000 words

Feedback mode: Feedback will be provided via Canvas

Learning Objectives Assessed: This assignment assesses Learning Objectives 1, 2, 3 & 4


Each student must submit a portfolio of work incorporating their reflections on their work experience via Turnitin. 

In 2,000 words minimum (3000 words maximum), you are to collate and collect evidence of the projects you have been involved in and demonstrate that you have used research and other skills relevant to your program of study during the work placement or, in the case of those placements that primarily involve shadowing, in your consideration of an important issue relevant to your placement and your host organisation. 

The objective of this task is to allow you to demonstrate that you can, using models introduced in the learning materials, apply reflective praxis to demonstrate insight in respect to your own experiences.

What is meant by an annotated portfolio of work?

It will not be enough to merely submit examples of your work or any report that you have written. Instead you are required to identify the context in which you were asked to provide this work, the extent to which it aligned with your academic experiences so far, the research and research methodologies you deployed (and the reasons for suggesting them). To the extent that the project was a collaborative or group project, you must identify your own contributions and reflect on the nature of the collaborative process using one or more of the reflective models included in the course materials.  

What if you are unable to produce ‘work product’?

Some students will not be able to produce ‘work product’ for a range of reasons - for example, their placement may involve significantly more observation than work activity (which is the case with student who are given the opportunity to shadow a magistrate for example) or it may be a breach of confidentiality to disclose work product.  In such cases, your final report will need to be structured to focus on the reflective practice. You should talk to your facilitator with a view to determining the most appropriate way to structure your submission in your specific circumstances.

Assessment criteria for the reflective report / annotated portfolio of work

A detailed assessment rubric will be provided in the course website.  The Assessment criteria for this task are:

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Assessment 4 Task D: Research Proposal

Task D: Research Report 

Due & Weight: 20% - Research Proposal due at the end of Week 6

Due: When 120 hours work experience has been completed

Length: 3000 words minimum (5000 words maximum)

Detail: Research Paper on a topic agreed with your academic supervisor in discussion with your workplace supervisor, addressing an important issue relevant to your placement and your host organisation.

Step 1 - Research Proposal due end week 6

You must submit a topic for feedback and approval by the end of week 6 to your academic supervisor. 20% of your mark is provided for your initial submission, but more importantly this will be an opportunity for you to obtain feedback and direction.

Your research proposal should be no more than 3 pages and include the following:

  • your proposed topic;

  • a brief outline of the reasons why you consider this to be an important and relevant matter for consideration;

  • a preliminary literature review;

  • a description of your proposed methodology.

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Assessment 5 Task D: Research Report

Task D: Research Report 

Due: Research Proposal - at the end of week 6

Research Report - at the end of SWOTVAC week 13

Length: 3000 words minimum (5000 words maximum)

Detail: Research Paper on a topic agreed with your academic supervisor in discussion with your workplace supervisor, addressing an important issue relevant to your placement and your host organisation.

Step 2 – Research Paper due end of SWOT VAC week 13 (30%)

  • Must address feedback received from supervisor on research proposal

  • 3000 – 5000 words, excluding references

Assessment Criteria for your research paper:

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