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This content is taken from the UNSW Sydney's online course, Introduction to Educational Design in Higher Education. Join the course to learn more.

Constructive alignment example

The learning outcomes in your course express the knowledge and skills you expect your students to acquire throughout the course. The challenge for academics is to ensure that the tasks and assessments encourage and support students to focus on what is important.

Learning outcomes need to be measurable, so they should specify knowledge or a skill that you want students to be able to demonstrate.

To achieve constructive alignment the Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) should clearly link to one or more Program Learning Outcomes (PLO).

Mapping Time

The Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) for the Foundations of University Learning and Teaching (FULT) Program are:

  • Apply learner-centred approaches to teaching and/or design for learning in higher education.
  • Integrate current curriculum design, teaching, assessment and evaluation principles and practices in your practice.
  • Develop teaching capability in face-to-face, blended and online learning contexts.
  • Critically reflect on professional practice drawing on current educational literature, institutional policy and other sources.

The Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) for the Introduction to Educational Design in Higher Education are:

  • 2.1 Describe established curriculum and learning design principles which support student learning in your context
  • 2.2 Identify the role of constructive alignment and the principles of assessment and relate them to your context
  • 2.3 Compare and contrast learning design models
  • 2.4 Apply an integrated model to (re)design components of a course of study aligned to a program.

Visually mapped, their relationship is:

visual mapping of program learning outcomes to course learning outcomes Mapping PLOs and CLOs (Click to expand)

Reflective point

Undertake a mini curriculum mapping activity.

1) Consider the Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) for a program which you teach into or have had involvement in developing

2) Consider the Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) for a course within this program

3) Can you map each of the Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) to at least one of the Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)?

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Educational Design in Higher Education

UNSW Sydney