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92463 Communication and Diversity

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject focuses on students developing their written, oral and interpersonal communication skills in the context of effectively nursing a diverse Australian population. Core literacies related to practice readiness including interpersonal skills, intrapersonal knowledge, behavioural management skills, and dealing with challenging behaviours such as anxiety, anger and grief are introduced. Students are guided to reflect on their own identity and values and how these affect the way they interact with others. Different world views and representations of diverse groups are explored as well as concepts of power and privilege. Learning occurs in a non-confrontational, respectful, collaborative and collegial space.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the diversity of Australian society (NMBA Standards 1 & 2).
B. Express how personal, cultural and institutionalised discrimination can manifest in marginalisation and health inequalities nationally and internationally (NMBA Standard 1) .
C. Show respect and acceptance of worldviews, values and beliefs that are different from their own including ensuring that their own values and beliefs are not imposed upon others (NMBA Standard 1).
D. Describe the impact of power in regards to diverse groups in society and also power in the nurse-patient relationship (NMBA Standard 1).
E. Recognise the relationship between self-concept, self-esteem, self-awareness and confident therapeutic practice (NMBA Standard 1).
F. Appraise the concept of the personal and professional self to identify the ways in which self-awareness can be increased for personal and professional growth with particular reference to mindfulness and reflective practice (NMBA Standard 1).
G. Recognise the centrality of effective interpersonal communication in developing therapeutic relationships with patients/clients and the positive association between effective interpersonal communication and clinical quality and patient safety (NMBA Standard 2).
H. Demonstrate effective communication orally and in writing, in a way that is sensitive to how people are represented (NMBA Standard 2).

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Communicate and collaborate effectively and respectfully with diverse groups (3.0)
  • Demonstrate professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to assist you to develop the means and confidence to communicate with, and effectively nurse people from diverse groups.

Storied Learning
This subject takes a narrative approach. Students will watch online audio-visuals accessed through UTSOnline depicting people and their families discussing clinical, community and social situations. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on issues or situations. Audio-visuals may be played in tutorials or students may be required to view them prior to class.

Lectures in this subject will be online accessed via UTSOnline. Lectures will be in the form of podcasts, TED talks and other readily available resources to expose students to alternative perspectives.

Online Learning Activities
Prior to attending tutorials, students access online learning resources including lectures, tutorial preparation sheets, audio-visuals, and prescribed readings. Online resources enable students to clarify complex concepts and terminology, and reflect on sensitive or confronting topics. Undertaking these activities prior to the tutorials will ensure collaborative, informed and vibrant discussion of topics in class.

Experiential Activities
This subject has been designed to be thought provoking and to facilitate students developing empathy for others. In and out of class time, students will engage in experiential activities that will allow them to gain understanding of themselves and other people's perspectives.

The development of students' emotional intelligence is a core objective of this subject. Online mindfulness sessions have been provided that are designed to assist students to reflect on and engage with their own beliefs and values regarding the tutorial topics.

Simulated in-Class Role Plays
Role plays provide a simulated environment for students to practice their communication skills. Scenarios from relevant situations are used to depict real life experiences in nursing practice. Students interact, observe and provide feedback within the facilitated debriefing, and reflect on their own skills, values and experiences.

Academic Writing
Demonstrating information literacy and technology skills, students search and synthesise the professional literature to answer an essay question. Students comply with academic writing practices and use information ethically, legally and respectfully.

Content (topics)

Content will include: diversity in Australia including but not limited to: age, ethnicity, culture, race, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, religious and/or spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic and educational background, income, marital status, and parenteral status; appreciating the local Indigenous community and understanding their health care needs; appreciating that diversity encompasses both ways of knowing and being and learning to accept alternative worldviews; cultural safety; cultural differences in communication styles; mindfulness regarding our own qualities and experiences, beliefs and values, and considering how they influence the way we approach, interact and communicate with others; fostering respect, acceptance, tolerance and empathy for qualities and experiences and communication styles that are different from our own; how the media influences our views of diverse groups; concepts of institutional, personal and cultural power; understandings of health and illness; and, health literacy. Oral and written communication will be assessed. Interpersonal skills and skills that facilitate a partnership orientation such as listening, empathetic understanding, responding appropriately and emotional intelligence will be explored and developed.


Assessment task 1: Online Communication and Diversity Quiz


This assessment task allows students to demonstrate understanding of basic communication concepts and skills in the context of nursing a diverse patient population. Good communication skills are vital to the delivery of safe, empathetic, culturally safe nursing care.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, C and G

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):


Type: Quiz/test
Weight: 30%

60 Multiple choice questions over two hours.

Assessment task 2: Worldview and Privilege Essay


Cultural respect is essential for effective health service delivery to people of all backgrounds, but is especially significant in the context of the unacceptably poor health outcomes in Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This assignment has been designed to provide you with a beginning understanding of historical events that have resulted in these health disparities and how power and privilege can impact on health outcomes. This assessment provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate development of the graduate attribute, Indigenous Cultural Respect and your written communication skills.

A detailed marking matrix is available on UTSOnline, based on the REM Framework. REM stands for Respect, Engagement and sharing and Moving forward together. First year students are expected to be able to demonstrate respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, the first element of the REM framework. The elements of respect assessed in this essay are: demonstrated understanding of the nature of worldviews and culture and correlating the dynamics of power and privilege with health outcomes.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and H

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

3.0 and 6.0

Type: Essay
Weight: 40%

1200 words (+/- 10% including references)

Assessment task 3: Communication Journal Reflective Essay


Effective interpersonal communication skills are intrinsic to nursing practice. This assessment has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to not only practice inter-personal communication, but also to reflect on your strengths and further development needs.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

E, F and G

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):


Type: Essay
Weight: 30%

1000 words (+/- 10% including references)

Required texts

Required readings will be available on UTSOnline

Recommended texts

Best, O. & Fredericks, B. 2014, Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing & midwifery care, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.

Grellier, J. & Goerke, V. 2014, Communications toolkit, 3rd edn, Cengage Learning Australia,South Melbourne.

Levett-Jones, T. 2014, Critical conversations for patient safety: An essential guide for health professionals, Pearson, Melbourne.


Asmar, C 2011, Indigenous teaching and learning at Australian universities: Developing research-based exemplars for good practice, Teaching Fellow final report, Strawberry Hills, NSW.

—— 2014, Indigenous teaching at Australian universities: Research-based approaches to teaching Indigenous students and Indigenous curriculum., Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney, NSW.

Boud, D 1995, Enhancing learning through self-assessment, Routledge, Abingdon.

Chiang, V, Leung, S, Chui, C, Leung, A & Mak, Y 2013, 'Building life-long learning capacity in undergraduate nursing freshmen within an integrative and small group learning context', Nurse Education Today, vol. 3, no. 10, pp. 1184-91.

Critz, C & Knight, D 2013, 'Using the flipped classroom in graduate nursing education', Nurse Educator, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 210-3.

EDUCAUSE 2012, 7 things you should know about flipped classrooms, Educause Learning Initiative, viewed 24th August, 2012, <>.

MacDonald, K & Smith, C 2013, 'The flipped classroom for professional development: Part 1 benefits and strategies', The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 437-8.

McMillan, SS, Kelly, F, Sav, A, Kendall, E, King, MA, Whitty, JA & Wheeler, JA 2014, 'Using the nominal group technique: how to analyse across multiple groups', Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 92-108, DOI 10.?1007/?s10742-014-0121-1, <>.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 2006, National competency standards for the registered nurse, viewed 12th October, 2014, <http://www.nursingmidwifery>.

Raghallaigh, M & Cunniffe, R 2013, 'Creating a safe climate for active learning and student engagement: An example from an introductory social work model', Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 93-105.

Roehl, A, Reddy, S & Shannon, G 2013, 'The flipped classroom: An opportunity to engage millenial students through active learning', Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, vol. 105, no. 2, p. 44.

Smith, C & MacDonald, K 2013, 'The flipped classroom for professional development: Part II making podcasts and videos', The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, vol. 44, no. 11, pp. 486-7.

Smith, DG 2014, Diversity and inclusion in higher education: Emerging perspectives on institutional transformation, Routledge, Abindon, Oxfordshire; New York.

Stein-Parbury, J 2014, Patient & Person: Interpersonal skills in nursing, 5th edn, Elsevier, Chatswood, NSW.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.