Example | Four-day intensive unit

Discipline: Postgraduate high performance sport

Mode: Attendance

Number of students: 60

Overview of unit design

This unit is run as a 4-day face to face intensive, there is no other online or face-to-face component (except for the completion of assessments after the intensive).

This unit's approach was developed over 4 years and meets two aims:

  • It is designed to be completed at the beginning of the course as a community building, engagement and preparation unit. This allows for students to network and meet each other before predominantly working online in other units in the course.
  • It positions ACU at the forefront of the high performance sport field. The 4-day intensive is as good quality as an international conference in this area, the first two days are marketed as a 'Summer Series Seminar' for those outside the course to attend. The income from these attendees has offset the cost of bringing in international presenters.

There are good international opportunities in terms of employment in this field, and having international presenters helps local students gain an understanding of the pathways and opportunities.

The intensive includes:

  • Local, interstate and international presenters who are experts in their fields
  • Two round-table discussion forums in which students can ask questions
  • Dinner to help build a sense of community and networking opportunities.
  • Practical components with hands-on tasks and computer lab work
  • Academic and technology related presentations relevant to course such as:
    • Using LEO
    • Using Adobe Connect
    • Literature search strategies
    • Using EndNote.
  • Sessions were recorded for students to review later

Another institution had a known two-week intensive but this was seen as too hard for those with employment and familial responsibilities to get time off for. So, initially the intensives for this unit were 7-days long, but the team found that this was too much for students.The four-day intensive was found to work the best.


  • International expert presenters (one in person, one online)
  • First two days marketed externally as "Summer seminar series" available to those external to course in industry at cost

Needs of overseas-located students

The course leads have spent a lot of time considering the flexibility needed for their students that are located overseas. Some overseas students have flown themselves in to complete the intensive, and where this wasn't feasible students have been able to complete a different unit as a replacement. The February timing was actually found to clash with the key mid-season point of many overseas sports professionals, this inhibited growing the international market. So for the future, the team are running a US and UK intensive especially for these students at a time that doesn't clash with their sporting season.

Sample four-day schedule






Intensive week orientation session

ACU Lecturer

LEO and Adobe Connect

ACU Staff

(Computer Labs)


Strength & power profiling

ACU Lecturer

Athlete tracking and technology

External expert (in person)


Creating the training environment

International USA expert (in person)

Performing outside the box

ACU Lecturer and Sport Insitute member






  • Strength & power profiling
  • Athlete tracking and technology
  • ACU Lecturers


The winning edge

External expert

Hamstring strain injuries
in elite sport

ACU Lecturer








Creating the training environment

International expert (online)

Controversy of recovery

ACU Lecturer and Sport Insitute member



Biological basis of adaptation in S&C

ACU Lecturer

High intensity interval training – testing & prescription

International expert (online)


From research to application

ACU Lecturer

Contemporary issues in
sports nutrition

ACU Lecturer and Sport Insitute member





Speed and agility

ACU Lecturer

Heat and altitude

External expert



Creating the training environment

2 x ACU Lecturers

1 x International expert

2 x Local external expert


The performance puzzle

2 x ACU Lecturers

3 x Local external expert, sporting institute





Literature search strategies and EndNote

ACU Library







As this unit is the first unit in the course the assessments were intentionally designed to scaffold student's academic skills in preparation for future units.

  1. Database/literature review search strategy (15%) - due 3 weeks post-intensive
  2. Article critique (35%) - due 6 weeks post-intensive
  3. Reflective report on learnings from intensive (50%) - due 10 weeks post-intensive

See ACU assessment policy for up-to-date advice on designing your assessments.

Technology used in this example

The following is a list of the technologies used within this unit, links to resources are provided to support you if you would like to use a similar technology in your unit.



Online live classrooms: microphones with webcam were used to allow international speakers who couldn't fly in to present.

Some of the presenters used Skype for Business to give their presentations.

Page last updated on 28/02/2020

Learning & teaching

Please contact the Learning and Teaching Centre for professional development, resources and advice for your learning and teaching needs at ACU.

LEO support

Available 8am-10pm Sydney time, Mon to Fri,
9am-5pm Weekends and public holidays
Closed Good Friday and Christmas

LEO Guides
LEO Guides feedback