Constructive alignment

Bringing learning outcomes, courses, and examinations into optimal agree­ment

While teaching staff often rely on course materials as the starting point for their instruct­ional strategy, students, by contrast, typically base their self-study tech­niques on exami­nations. If you fail to design and develop your exami­nations with care, students may thus approach their studies differently from the way you in­tended: "What you test is what they learn."

Constructive alignment (Graphic: TUM)
Constructive alignment (Graphic: TUM)

Defining learning goals as clearly and con­cisely as possible is an essential step in setting down the out­come of a teaching session. To en­courage students to apply "deep learning" tech­niques for com­petency acquisition, examinations in particular, not just course content, must be designed in accordance with con­structive align­ment standards; this is the only way to ensure that students will acquire the requisite target com­petencies. Thus, courses and course units should be designed as follows: (1) define learning out­comes, (2) decide on examination formats, and (3) bring the structure and sequence of course content into alignment with the examination tasks. This process is not strictly linear, how­ever: If ex­perience shows that certain com­petencies cannot be tested or eva­luated, for example, your learning goals may have to be read­justed accordingly.

  

  

  


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80333 München
Tel.: +49.89.289.25363
E-Mail: info@prolehre.tum.de
www.prolehre.tum.de