• Class Number 4552
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Diana Margaret Slade
    • Prof Diana Margaret Slade
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that ineffective communication at all levels of the healthcare system leads to poor patient outcomes, including serious illness and death, clinician dissatisfaction, and inefficiencies in the health system. Despite local and international recognition of the critical role communication plays in healthcare, and many excellent international policy initiatives to improve healthcare communication, there is little evidence that communication practices are becoming safer. In this course we introduce students to this relatively new field of healthcare communication research, accumulatively building up their qualitative and mixed methods research skills to undertake their own research project in this area. The lectures will detail both national and international evidence based research. The course will develop skills to firstly critically analyse features of effective and ineffective communication practices and then to translate these insights to the development of communication frameworks, models and training to improve clinical practice. Students will develop skills for analysing naturally-occurring healthcare interactions, and they will have the opportunity to develop their own research project using a method encountered in the course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of both qualitative and mixed methods relevant to the investigation of issues and questions in healthcare communication research;
  2. describe and critically analyse naturally-occurring healthcare communication interactions using discourse analytic techniques;
  3. demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the processes of translating evidence based research into communication frameworks, protocols and training to improve practice; and
  4. carry out an independent research project using methods covered in the course.

Required Resources

In this course I will be drawing closely on these books. It is strongly recommended that you buy one of these. I will be uploading 2-3 readings each week on wattle.


·     Harvey, Kevin and Koteyko, Nelya 2013; Exploring Health Communication Language in Action, Routledge, UK

  • Eggins, Suzanne, Slade, Diana and Geddes, Fiona (eds) 2016 Effective Communication in Clinical Handover – from Research to Practice De Gruyter Mouton, Berlin; (PASA, Patient Safety 16).
  • Slade, Diana, Manidis, Marie, McGregor, Jeannette, Scheeres, Hermine, Chandler, Eloise, Stein-Parbury, Jane, Dunston, Roger and Matthiessen, C. M.I.M. 2015 Communicating in Hospital Emergency Departments, Springer, Germany, USA, China


See wattle site

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 What is communication in health(care)? Introduction and overview lecture: 26th Feb seminar: 27 Feb
2 Introduction to healthcare communication research; who does it and how? lecture: 5th March seminar: 6th March
3 Linguistic ethnography as an approach to healthcare communication: methodology and data lecture: 12th March seminar: 13th March
4 Analysing healthcare interactions lecture: 19th March seminar: 20th March
5 Communication in Hospital Emergency Departments lecture: 26th March seminar: 27th March
6 Patient-centred care: clinician-patient interactions lecture: 2nd April seminar: 3rd April (TEACHING BREAK-WEEKS 8TH APRIL-23RD APRIL)
7 Intercultural clinical communication lecture: 23rd April seminar: 24th April Assessment 2 due
8 Health Literacy lecture: 30th April seminar: 1st May
9 Translating healthcare communication research into practice: Communication in clinical handover lecture: 7th May seminar: 8th May
10 Health promotion: Analysing written and visual forms of health communication lecture: 14th May seminar: 15th May
11 Healthcare communication and technology lecture: 28th May seminar: 29th May Final project data presentations (Final Assignment due on Friday 7th June)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % 29/05/2019 06/06/2019 1,3
Discourse analysis of authentic healthcare communication interactions 35 % 24/04/2019 08/05/2019 2
Research project presentation 5 % 28/05/2019 28/05/2019 1,3
Research Project report 50 % 07/06/2019 21/06/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 29/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 06/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3


Participation is awarded for your active engagement in the lectures and tutorials.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 24/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 08/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2

Discourse analysis of authentic healthcare communication interactions

Refer to wattle site

Assessment Task 3

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 28/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Research project presentation

Refer to wattle site

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 07/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Project report

Refer to wattle site

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Diana Margaret Slade

Research Interests

My main research areas are communication in health care, linguistics, description of spoken English, organizational communication, applied linguistics and translational research method design. Since 2011, I have focused on the critical role of communication in the provision of safe and effective healthcare.

Prof Diana Margaret Slade

Wednesday 10:30 12:30
Wednesday 10:30 12:30
Prof Diana Margaret Slade

Research Interests

Prof Diana Margaret Slade

Wednesday 10:30 12:30
Wednesday 10:30 12:30

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