ECHE4000 – Individual Educational Project

2023 – Session 1, Online-flexible

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Emma Sutherland
Contact via Contact via iLearn Dialogue
29WW 348
By Appointment - please note I work part time
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


  • Students should be aware of and apply the University policy on academic honesty (see:
  • Unless a Special Consideration (see: request has been submitted and approved, a 5% penalty (of the total possible mark) will be applied each day a written assessment is not submitted, up until the 7th day (including weekends). After the 7th day, a mark of‚ 0 (zero) will be awarded even if the assessment is submitted. Submission time for all written assessments is set at 11.55pm. A 1-hour grace period is provided to students who experience a technical issue.
  • This late penalty will apply to non-timed sensitive assessment (incl essays, reports, posters, portfolios, journals, recordings etc). Late submission of time sensitive tasks (such as tests/exams, performance assessments/presentations, scheduled practical assessments/labs etc) will only be addressed by the unit convenor in a Special consideration application. Special Consideration outcome may result in a new question or topic.
  • Please format assessments using 12-point font and 1.5 spacing.
  • All assessments are submitted electronically. Turnitin plagiarism detection software is used to check all written assessments.
  • Students can use Turnitin’s Originality Report as a learning tool to improve their academic writing if this option is made available in the unit.
  • Students should carefully check that they submit the correct file for an assessment as no re-submissions will be accepted after the due date and time, including instances where students upload an incorrect file in error.
  • Word limits are strictly applied. Work above the word limit will not be marked.
  • All assessments are marked using a rubric.
  • Marking of all assessments is moderated by the Unit Convenor.
  • Applications for extensions must be made via AskMQ (
  • It is not the responsibility of unit staff to contact students who have failed to submit assessments.  If you have any missing items of assessment, it is your responsibility to make contact with the unit convenor.

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. For Professional Experience units the PE Report is marked as satisfactory or unsatisfactory and the Teaching Performance Assessment (in final PE units) is marked as not meets, meets or exceeds. 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.






(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 course progression.



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 23:55 17/03/2023
Synthesised review of relevant literature 40% No 23:55 24/04/2023
Future directions: Implications of the literature review 35% No 23:55 29/05/2023

Annotated bibliography

Assessment Type 1: Annotated bibliography
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: 23:55 17/03/2023
Weighting: 25%


Students are asked to identify five peer-reviewed articles that raise key issues for their topic under investigation. They need to compile a separate annotation for each article and then draw together the main themes of the articles (1500 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: 23:55 24/04/2023
Weighting: 40%


Students will read and refer to 15 relevant sources (peer-reviewed research articles, academic book chapters, government websites) to compose a literature review of their chosen topic. This assignment expects students to synthesise the results of their literature search and critically examine the information (2200 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

Future directions: Implications of the literature review

Assessment Type 1: Creative work
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: 23:55 29/05/2023
Weighting: 35%


Students will provide evidence of a deep understanding and knowledge of their selected topic and demonstrate an ability to relate literature and theoretical perspectives through the creation of a professional resource (2000 words).


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate integrated knowledge and understanding of a selected area of inquiry
  • 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

Learning in this unit

Successful completion of this unit relies on independent study. There are no lectures, tutorials or preset readings in ECHE4000.

However there is a UNIT OUTLINE available on the iLearn site which makes clear your tasks over the course of the session.

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: such as your unit outline and links to other supportive resources.
  • 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.

Assistance is available from IT Helpdesk

Ph: 9850 4357 or 1800 67 4357


On Campus: Ground floor at 18 Wally’s Walk

No extensions will be given for any technical issues. Allow enough time for your submissions.


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 official reading schedule as your learning in this unit is self-directed.

But there are a few tasks that you are required to complete during the session that help you build on your learning.

Full details of all tasks are in the Unit Outline on the iLearn page.

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

Academic Integrity

At Macquarie, we believe academic integrity – honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and courage – is at the core of learning, teaching and research. We recognise that meeting the expectations required to complete your assessments can be challenging. So, we offer you a range of resources and services to help you reach your potential, including free online writing and maths support, academic skills development and wellbeing consultations.

School of Education Procedures

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


Attendance for undergraduate units

See the university timetable for information about when classes begin in this unit.


Activities completed during weekly tutorials (internal) or on campus days (external) are essential for building the core knowledge and/or skills required to demonstrate the learning outcomes of this unit [and to meet the AITSL Graduate Teacher Standards and/or ACECQA requirements]. Attendance at all tutorials or on campus days is expected and the roll will be taken. Make up tasks may be given if attendance is missed to ensure all content is covered to meet accreditation requirements.


Students are required to attend the tutorial in which they are enrolled. Any changes to tutorial enrolments must be completed officially through e-student. Please do not contact the unit convenor requesting a change.


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

Student Support

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

The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre provides resources to develop your English language proficiency, academic writing, and communication skills.

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

Student Services and Support

Macquarie University offers a range of Student Support Services including:

Student Enquiries

Got a question? Ask us via AskMQ, or contact Service Connect.

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.

5Rs Framework

The 5Rs Framework, developed by the School of Education at Macquarie University, is embedded throughout your teacher education course.

Your use of the 5Rs Framework will help you develop the capabilities that will make your teaching career sustainable and fulfilling.

In this unit, you will learn using the 5Rs framework in the following important ways:



Be empowered to work independently and be confident in accessing support. Be aware of the Early Childhood / Teaching profession and your role within it as well as your capacity to contribute. Develop your self-awareness.


Be able to acting on your reflections AND reflect on your practice. Demonstrate an understanding of teaching that is inclusive and actively embraces diversity.


Take responsibility for your learning. Demonstrate a professional approach to study. Create a professional resource for yourself, that is also one that you could proudly share with colleagues.

Ready to learn

Be part of the Early Childhood / Teaching professional learning community. Look for (and access) relevant online resources. Collaborate and show leadership.

Research engaged

Source and intelligently use research evidence to support your work and build an argument/address a research question /topic of interest. Be able to translate research evidence to a professional and /or community audience (e.g., educators, families, community stakeholders). Understand how ‘big data’ is obtained and what it means e.g., AEDC, LSAC, LSIC.

Unit information based on version 2023.01R of the Handbook