Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit introduces practising educators to the process of conducting action research in their own teaching programs. The focus is not on theoretical aspects of education research or on specific curriculum content or context, but on action research as a mechanism for designing and conducting classroom-based research. Students design a curriculum project for a specific group of students, whether in a particular learning area or cross-curricular, or to use in an existing curriculum package. Past experience has shown that this type of project is not well suited to learning areas which focus on basic skills (e.g. keyboard, word processing, motor skill training). The curriculum development aspect of the action research enquiry could entail planning for individual student contracts, group research projects, problem-based learning or cross-curricular approaches to integrated projects. Students design an action-research plan which is integral to their curriculum package including identifying what counts as data, how it might be collected and how it might be interpreted to prepare for the next cycle of action research enquiry.

6 points

Students are able to (1) understand and apply the principles of action research relevant to their own professional context; (2) review and evaluate critically current perspectives on curriculum innovation and design; (3) review and select appropriate models of teaching and learning; (4) construct a curriculum package which incorporates a rationale, a structured learning sequence, together with appropriate assessment components; and (5) develop an action research design to implement the package, defining what counts as data and how it will be collected.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) part A—an action-research plan to be handed in at the end of week 5 or within three weeks of delivery of compressed mode courses (30 per cent) and (2) part B—curriculum package to be handed in at the end of the semester or the final assessment date for compressed mode courses (70 per cent). There is no examination in this unit. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
enrolment in
the Graduate Diploma in Professional Studies in Education (31390)
or a master's degree in education
Advisable prior study
completion of a pre-service teacher education qualification and relevant professional experience
or EDUC5631 Approaches to Research (formerly EDUC8631 Approaches to Research)
or EDUC5678 Improving Learning and Teaching in the Curriculum (formerly EDUC5678 Curriculum Context, Development and Innovation)
Contact hours
25 hours (compressed unit)

Mertler, C. A. Action Research: Teachers as Researchers in the Classroom: Sage Publications 2006

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.