How Placements Work

We ensure Australia's newest teachers are classroom ready by delivering a well-rounded, high-quality education that encourages students to develop professional skills as they learn.

We actively prepare our students so they can organise their placements themselves - an important graduate attribute. This also gives students and mentor teachers the opportunity to meet before the placement starts, ensuring both parties are comfortable and well-prepared.


How We Prepare & Support Our Students

All Swinburne Online students are enrolled in a professional experience or practicum unit while on placement where they learn the theory that will enable them to complete their placements at your school or early learning centre.

During this time they are supported by eLearning Advisers (eLAs), who are also teachers themselves. They are passionate professionals with years of industry experience, specially trained for teaching online students. They will help to guide the student through their course content and are on-hand to help them with any placement questions they might have.

Each unit is studied as part of an online study group of between 20 – 30 students. Facilitated by eLAs, study groups provide an ideal forum to network with other students and utilise the knowledge of the group to support learning.
eLAs are the primary source of academic support, and are available to answer questions and help students through their assessments.

eLAs in a practicum unit work collaboratively with both mentor teachers and with pre-service teachers, to provide support in putting theory into practice while they are completing the placement component of this unit. If you have not received an email please contact the placements team.

What to Expect

  • Secure the placement: Students secure their placement by completing the Acceptance of Placement form. It is highly recommended that students arrange a meeting to complete this form with the Pre-service Teacher Coordinator.
  • Nominate a primary contact: The Acceptance of Placement form will ask for a primary contact to be nominated. This person will receive all communication from Swinburne Online, including Placement Assessment Report and claim for payment information.
  • Confirmation email: After the placement has been approved, the nominated contact will receive an email confirmation. This email will include an attachment with the placement details.
  • Before the placement starts: 10 days before the start of the placement the nominated contact will receive an email which includes a Word version of the assessment report and an outline of the reporting responsibilities.
  • Interim assessment: Around the mid-point the nominated contact will receive a reminder email to submit the Interim Report. The email will include a link to the Results Webform (except 10 day placement and Internship). If the Pre-service Teacher has received a cause for concern you will receive a follow up email.
  • End of placement: Three days before the end of placement the nominated contact will receive a reminder to submit the final assessment report. This email will also include the Claim for Payment form and feedback form.

The Professional Experience Unit

Each professional experience or practicum unit is embedded with 8 weeks of relevant theoretical content together with a practical placement in order to prepare our students to apply theory into classroom practice.

Each unit has Learning Outcomes, Assessments and Key Generic Skills. The students will learn communication skills (both oral and written), negotiating, planning and organisation, inquiry/research, critical thinking, teamwork, use of communications technology and internet resources.

Lesson plans and other written work and documentation will contribute to their assessment in each practicum unit. It is a requirement that students pass both the theoretical component and the placement component in order to successfully complete the unit.

Placement Requirements

  • Have a valid Child Safety Screening Clearance;
  • Complete no more than two placements in each education setting;
  • Complete each placement in a different age group or year level;
  • Show an understanding and appreciation of diversity in education by completing placements at a variety of education providers and with students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds;
  • Complete the required number of placement days during the specified dates;
  • Complete the placement in an education setting that follows the Australian Curriculum or Early Years Learning Framework where English is the primary language of instruction.

Placement Contact Days

The number of placement days each student must complete depends on the course. 

  • Bachelor of Education (Primary): 3 x 20 days, 1 x 21 days. Total: 81 days
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood): 3 x 20 days, 1 x 21 days, 1 x 10 days. Total: 91 days
  • Master of Teaching (Primary): 3 x 20 days. Total: 60 days