ECHE4000 – Individual Educational Project

2021 – Session 1, Infrequent attendance, North Ryde


As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Loraine Fordham
Contact via via iLearn
29 WW, Room 270
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
130cp at 1000 level or above including (ECH218 or ECHE2180 or ECH228)
Corequisites Corequisites
10cp from ECH or ECHE units at 3000 level or above
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit gives students the opportunity to pursue an area of interest through reading, writing and/or working with children. This unit is designed to enable students to acquire depth of knowledge in their chosen topic area, to consolidate their study and research skills. The unit also highlights the value of professional learning and lifelong learning. At the end of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to speak and write with confidence and authority about their chosen topic area.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Integrate and synthesise prior learning and development
  • ULO2: Locate, evaluate and analyse relevant theoretical and research literature
  • ULO3: Demonstrate a depth of understanding of key aspects of early childhood education
  • ULO4: Critically explore educational ideas and issues through relevant literature
  • ULO5: Demonstrate integrated knowledge and understanding of a selected area of inquiry
  • ULO6: Identify the implications of the topic for the early childhood field.

General Assessment Information

Assessment Presentation and Submission Guidelines 

Please follow these guidelines when you submit each assignment: 

  • Allow a left and right-hand margin of at least 2cm in all assignments. 

  • Please type all assignments using 12-point font and 1.5 spacing. 

  • All assessments must be submitted through Turnitin in .doc or .pdf format  

  • It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all assessments are successfully submitted through Turnitin. 

  • Faculty assignment cover sheets are NOT required. 


Draft Submissions & Turnitin Originality Reports 

  • Students may use Turnitin’s Originality Report as a learning tool to improve their academic writing if this option is made available in the unit. 

  • Students are strongly encouraged to upload a draft copy of each assessment to Turnitin at least one week prior to the due date to obtain an Originality Report. 

  • The Originality Report provides students with a similarity index that may indicate if plagiarism has occurred. Students will be able to make amendments to their drafts prior to their final submission on the due date. 

  • Generally, one Originality Report is generated every 24 hours up to the due date.  

Please note: 

  • Students should regularly save a copy of all assignments before submission, 

  • Students are responsible for checking that their submission has been successful and has been submitted by the due date and time. 


Assignment extensions and late penalties 

  • In general, there should be no need for extensions except through illness or misadventure that would be categorised as serious and unavoidable disruption according to the University definition of same, see: 

  • Applications for extensions must be made via AskMQ according to the Special Consideration policy. Extensions can only be granted if they meet the Special Considerations policy and are submitted via This will ensure consistency in the consideration of such requests is maintained.  

  • Late submissions: Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g., quizzes, online tests. Late penalties are applied by unit convenors or their delegates after tasks are assessed.  

  • If a student is still permitted to submit on the basis of unavoidable disruption, an alternative topic may be set.  

  • Students should keep an electronic file of all assessments. Claims regarding "lost" assessments cannot be made if the file cannot be produced. It is also advisable to keep an electronic file of all drafts and the final submission on a USB untouched/unopened after submission. This can be used to demonstrate easily that the assessment has not been amended after the submission date. 


Requesting a re-assessment of an assignment 

If you have evidence that your task has been incorrectly assessed against the grade descriptors you can request a re-mark. To request a re-mark you need to contact the unit convenor within 7 days of the date of return of the assignment and provide a detailed assessment of your script against the task criteria. Evidence from your assignment must be provided to support your judgements.  


  • Please do not request a re-mark for a Failed assessment as they are all double-marked as a part of the moderation process.  

  • The outcome of a re-mark may be a higher/lower or unchanged grade 

  • Grades are standards referenced and effort is NOT a criterion. 


University policy on grading 

Criteria for awarding grades for assessment tasks 

Assignments will be awarded grades ranging from HD to F according to guidelines set out in the University's Grading Policy. The following descriptive criteria are included for your information. 


Descriptive Criteria for awarding grades in the unit 

In order to meet the unit outcomes and successfully pass this unit, students must make a genuine attempt at all assessment tasks. Where any submitted assessment task is considered to be unsatisfactory in this regard, the highest possible final grade that can be awarded for the unit will be 45.

Students will be awarded grades ranging from HD to F according to guidelines set out in the policy:

The following generic grade descriptors provide university-wide standards for awarding final grades. 





(High Distinction) 

Provides consistent evidence of deep and critical understanding in relation to the learning outcomes. There is substantial originality and insight in identifying, generating and communicating competing arguments, perspectives or problem solving approaches; critical evaluation of problems, their solutions and their implications; creativity in application as appropriate to the discipline. 



Provides evidence of integration and evaluation of critical ideas, principles and theories, distinctive insight and ability in applying relevant skills and concepts in relation to learning outcomes. There is demonstration of frequent originality in defining and analysing issues or problems and providing solutions; and the use of means of communication appropriate to the discipline and the audience. 



Provides evidence of learning that goes beyond replication of content knowledge or skills relevant to the learning outcomes. There is demonstration of substantial understanding of fundamental concepts in the field of study and the ability to apply these concepts in a variety of contexts; convincing argumentation with appropriate coherent justification; communication of ideas fluently and clearly in terms of the conventions of the discipline. 



Provides sufficient evidence of the achievement of learning outcomes. There is demonstration of understanding and application of fundamental concepts of the field of study; routine argumentation with acceptable justification; communication of information and ideas adequately in terms of the conventions of the discipline. The learning attainment is considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the specified outcomes 



Does not provide evidence of attainment of learning outcomes. There is missing or partial or superficial or faulty understanding and application of the fundamental concepts in the field of study; missing, undeveloped, inappropriate or confusing argumentation; incomplete, confusing or lacking communication of ideas in ways that give little attention to the conventions of the discipline. 


Note: If you fail a unit with a professional experience component, the fail grade will be on your transcript irrespective of the timing of  the placement. 


Withdrawing from this unit 

If you are considering withdrawing from this unit, please seek academic advice via before doing so as this unit may be a co-requisite or prerequisite for units in the following sessions and may impact on your progression through the degree. 



Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit 


Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Annotated bibliography 25% No 19/03/21
Synthesised review of relevant literature 35% No 23/04/21
Future directions: Implications of the literature review 40% No 04/06/21

Annotated bibliography

Assessment Type 1: Annotated bibliography
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: 19/03/21
Weighting: 25%

Students are asked to identify six peer-reviewed articles that raise key issues for their investigations. They need to compile separate annotations for each of six articles and then draw together the main themes of the articles and explain how their investigations will build on this initial stage of their reading (1600 words)

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Integrate and synthesise prior learning and development
  • Locate, evaluate and analyse relevant theoretical and research literature
  • Demonstrate a depth of understanding of key aspects of early childhood education
  • Critically explore educational ideas and issues through relevant literature

Synthesised review of relevant literature

Assessment Type 1: Literature review
Indicative Time on Task 2: 45 hours
Due: 23/04/21
Weighting: 35%

Students need to read and refer to at least 20 relevant research articles or academic book chapters to compose a literature review. This assignment expects students to synthesise the results of their literature search. They need to examine the information critically, by assessing the validity of the opinions held by the authors (2000 words)

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Integrate and synthesise prior learning and development
  • Locate, evaluate and analyse relevant theoretical and research literature
  • Demonstrate integrated knowledge and understanding of a selected area of inquiry

Future directions: Implications of the literature review

Assessment Type 1: Creative work
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: 04/06/21
Weighting: 40%

Students need to provide evidence of their deepening further understanding and knowledge of their selected topics and demonstrate an ability to relate theoretical perspectives with professional practice (2800 words).

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Integrate and synthesise prior learning and development
  • Identify the implications of the topic for the early childhood field.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources


Successful completion of this unit relies on independent study. There are no lectures, tutorials or preset readings in ECHE4000. Some students enjoy the challenge of independent study, while others find it difficult to work to their own schedule without a weekly timetable provided in a unit outline, or a structure provided by recorded lectures. In ECHE4000, you control your own learning and you should develop some personal strategies to make sure you remain focused on your study. Some strategies are listed in this section.

Set aside ‘class time’ It is often helpful to set aside some regular non-negotiable time each week, where you imagine that you are ‘going to class’. For example, you could decide that 7-10 pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings would always be ECHE4000 class time. You tell family and friends that you are not available for social gatherings or anything else on those evenings because you have to go to university – even if ‘university’ is actually your study space. Of course, this is not the full nine hours study time expected for this unit and you’ll need to add additional time as it suits you, having a regular study time should help you structure your learning.

Maintain a learning journal It is a good idea to maintain a learning journal as you progress through your study for this unit. This is a personal record of your study, and entries may include responses to your readings, any quotes you would like to remember, new ideas or techniques you would like to try and questions for discussion with your tutor or other students. Weekly entries in your learning journal will help maintain a steady focus on your study.

Readings As there are no lectures, tutorials or on-campus sessions for this unit, your independent reading is a key component of your learning. The diversity of students’ interests makes it impossible to cover the range of topics in a text or recommended readings. You must spend time searching for relevant information to complete your assignments. A wide range of original and creative thinking underlies the work you will complete for ECHE4000, and a search of the literature is an important component of your study. If you feel that you are struggling to understand your reading, try one or more of the following strategies: (a) go to one or more of the references listed at the end of the reading, (b) contact another student and discuss the issues, (c) post your question on an ECHE4000 iLearn Forum, or (d) contact your convenor.

UNIT WEB PRESENCE This unit has a full web presence through iLearn. Students will need regular access to a computer and the Internet to complete this unit. You can access the website for this unit by logging into: This site is an essential unit resource and every student must check it at least twice a week. It has the following features, which we encourage you to make effective use of:

  • Unit Resources: contains your unit outline and links to useful resources on academic writing and studying at the Department of Educational Studies.
  • Forums (discussion boards): where you can discuss with each other ideas and questions that arise from readings.
  • Dialogue (email facility): for private email messages to other students and the unit teaching staff.

iLearn announcements and dialogue functions/student email: During session time, staff may contact students using iLearn announcements or dialogue facilities or their official MQ student email address. It is students’ responsibility to check both iLearn and their student email at least twice a week during session.

Access and technical assistance Information for students about access to the online component of this unit is available at You will need to enter your student username and password.

Please do NOT contact the Unit Convenor regarding iLearn technical help. No extensions will be given for any technical issues. Allow enough time for your submissions.

Assistance is available from IT Helpdesk ph: 1800 67 4357, or log a request at OneHelp is the online IT support service for both students and staff.

This unit requires students to use several ICT and software skills:

  • Internet access: The iLearn site contains materials for this unit; it is also required for the online submission of all Assessment Tasks, and for the use of Turnitin submission for ALL tasks. 
  • Word processing, visual representations, and document formatting: You are required to use an appropriate form of software to present your assignments.
  • Uploading of assessment tasks to iLearn.

IMPORTANT: The iLearn website is not a substitute for reading the unit outline and associated expectations, guidelines or information. It is there to support your engagement with the unit’s content and relevant communication with other students and teaching staff.

  • Staff will respond to emails in a timely manner. Please be aware that they have multiple teaching, research and university service commitments, and may take a couple of days to respond. It is unrealistic to expect them to respond after work hours or during weekends.
  • Please follow accepted modes of communication that are appropriate for an academic website and show respect towards your addressee/s. Please use standard semi-formal English in your posts and emails, focus only on topics relevant to the unit, use clear and concise subject lines, and avoid posting questions that have already been addressed elsewhere (on the iLearn website, in lectures or in the unit outline).
  • Consider the tone of all your messages very carefully and avoid creating unnecessary anxiety in your peers. Disrespectful, inappropriate or off-the-topic messages will be deleted or returned to sender

Recommended Resources

In the Macquarie School of Education, students are required to use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing procedures.

The library provides a range of resources and referencing information:

Unit Schedule

There is no Unit Schedule as your learning is self-directed.

Assessment details are provided on the iLearn site.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central ( Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies ( It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central ( and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct:


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit or if you are a Global MBA student contact

School of Education Procedures 

In addition, the following policies and procedures of the School of Education are applicable in this unit.

Electronic Communication 

It is the student’s responsibility to check all electronic communication on a regular weekly basis.  Communication may occur via: 

  • Official MQ Student Email Address 

  • The Dialogue function on iLearn 

  • Other iLearn communication functions 

Please note: It is not the responsibility of unit staff to contact students who have failed to submit assignments.  If you have any missing items of assessment, it is your responsibility to make contact with the unit convenor. 

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit

Learning Skills

Learning Skills ( provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

Student Enquiries

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at

If you are a Global MBA student contact

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.