The Innovation Hub is happy to support the Schools and Departments in providing professional development around Outcomes Based education and the area of Constructive Alignment. (Click here to see workshops available for Staff AND we have set aside every Friday morning for any staff needing assistance to visit the iHub drop-in area)
This section covers:
- A definition of constructive alignment
- General Information regarding learning outcomes
- Anatomy of a learning outcome
- Structure of a learning outcome
- How do I use learning outcomes to design a learning ecperience such as a course?
- General Considerations
- Resources / Further Reading
A definition of constructive alignment
Biggs (2003: 27) defines constructive alignment as:
||The ‘constructive’ aspect refers to what the learner does, which is to construct meaning through relevant learning activities. The ‘alignment’ aspect refers to what the teacher does, which is to set up a learning environment that supports the learning activities appropriate to achieving the desired learning outcomes.
The key is that the components in the teaching system, especially the teaching methods used and the assessment tasks are aligned to the learning activities assumed in the intended outcomes. The learner is ‘trapped’, and cannot escape without learning what is intended.
(reference - https://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/groupwork/docs/ConstructiveAlignment.pdf )
General Information regarding learning outcomes
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) are single - sentence statements that clearly articulate the key elements
of what students are expected to know, understand, and/or be able to do on successful completion of their
studies for a defined period of learning, at a specified level (e.g. course, programme, project, unit).
Anatomy of a learning outcome
Each learning outcome statement answers 3 questions about the student’s experience:
Do what? (verb)
With what? (content)
For what? (this is what you will assess)
Structure of a learning outcome
How do I use learning outcomes to design a learning experience such as a course?
The following three questions are typical of “backward design,” where you determine the outcome, then
the assessment and then the learning activities:
1.What will students learn? learning outcomes
2.How will outcomes be measured? appropriate assessments
3.What will students do to achieve these outcomes? appropriate learning activities to develop the required
knowledge, skills or attitudes.
- Where courses are “clustered” (eg Performance Practice I….Performance Practice IV) it should
be clear how the course and its LOs/Assessment components differ and how the difference in the
QF Levels reflect these outcomes.
- LOs needs to be more specific and measurable - and align to the appropriate QF level / GLD
indicated on the syllabus
- No longer 0.5 credits allowed
- “Continuous Assessment” component within courses should be clear regarding jow this will be
assessed and manageable within student workload
- LOs of these Continuous Assessments should usually be different to the Courses’ LOs.
- The Learning Outcomes should not describe the course content, but rather define what the
student will learn
- The assessment criteria should be different to the Learning Outcomes
- There should be clear evidence of progression between the courses at different QF levels
- There should be clear evidence of constructive alignment between learning outcomes, the
learning activities and the assessment tasks and criteria
- Learning resources should be current (can include old references IF they are definitive texts)
- The degree of the action students take? Depth and Breath should be clear
Resources / Further Reading