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The Behaviour Change and Well-being subject will provide students with integrated behaviour change and well-being related knowledge, understanding and associated experiential learning resources and activities. This will help students develop an integrated theoretical and practical understanding of behaviour change, behaviour change techniques, well-being and their interrelationship. The subject will focus on developing students’ theoretical understanding of how implementing behaviour change strategies can lead to enduring changes in behaviour and associated well-being improvements. The subject will include content on the measurement and evaluation of behaviour change and on associated issues. Consistent with the University’s drive to explicitly link academic knowledge to real world knowledge, there will also be a practical and experiential component in which students are challenged to actively apply wellbeing methods in their own lives, and evaluate the effectiveness of the approach in changing behaviour. Students will use and evaluate at least one behaviour change app that has been designed to improve an aspect of well-being. For example, the app might encourage the student to exercise more often, adopt better sleep habits or eat more healthily. Students will get to choose which app they interact with. By interacting with their chosen app, students will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of a practical behaviour change implementation and thereby better understand issues in and barriers to translating theory into practice.
Key behaviour change and well-being related areas of Psychology will be brought together in the subject including behaviour change theory and techniques, well-being theory and techniques, self-awareness, self-care, goal-setting, mindfulness and resilience. Key themes of the subject will include the various determinants and aspects of behaviour change and well-being, including psychological and physical, and individual differences in these. Content and teaching will be provided by University of Melbourne experts in these areas including from the Centre for Behaviour Change, the Ethics & Well-being Hub, and the Brain & Mental Health Hub.
The subject will be offered fully online and supported by weekly online content modules. It will introduce optimal online education features based on e-workbooks. The e-workbooks will guide students through online learning content and include multi-media materials such as videos and e-learning activities. There will be weekly online 1 hour e-tutorials, where students will be paired with other students to perform tasks designed to reinforce what they have learned in that week’s e-workbook. The subject will also be supported by a suite of behaviour change related app-based resources and activities which are being developed by the Centre for Behaviour Change. This practical resource will help students understand behaviour change, well-being and their relationship.
It is possible that in learning about well-being students may decide that their own well-being needs to be improved. While the focus of this subject is purely academic and the subject is not designed to improve a student’s personal well-being, students will be referred to external services as appropriate.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a broad theoretical and practical understanding of behaviour change, by assessing and evaluating behaviour change theory and relating and applying it to behaviour change practice, taking into account individual differences as well as physical, psychological and social factors;
- Demonstrate a broad theoretical and practical understanding of the principles of well-being. Be able to assess and evaluating well-being theories and to have some experience in applying these theories to practice;
- Exercise independent critical thought, rational enquiry and scientific thinking;
- Analyse and evaluate scientific literature; and
- Perform scientific tasks, interpret scientific data, performing quantitative and statistical analyses as necessary.
On completion of this subject, students will have developed the ability to:
- Apply research and analytical skills to investigate and evaluate new issues
- Critically think about theoretical and methodological issues relating to psychological phenomena
- Construct arguments, reason logically, and express oneself both verbally and in writing
- Conduct discussion and debate on sensitive topics in a respectful manner
Last updated: 17 June 2021