Professional reading! Yah! Now I can blog!!!
Full reading here
'Constructive alignment' has two aspects.
The 'constructive' aspect refers to the idea that students construct meaning through relevant learning activities. That is, meaning is not something imparted or transmitted from teacher to learner, but is something learners have to create for themselves. Teaching is simply a catalyst for learning:
'If students are to learn desired outcomes in a reasonably effective manner, then the teacher's fundamental task is to get students to engage in learning activities that are likely to result in their achieving those outcomes... It is helpful to remember that what the student does is actually more important in determining what is learned than what the teacher does.' (Shuell, 1986: 429)
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 with the learning activities assumed in the intended outcomes. The learner is in a sense 'trapped', and finds it difficult to escape without learning what he or she is intended to learn.
In setting up an aligned system, we specify the desired outcomes of our teaching in terms not only of topic content, but in the level of understanding we want students to achieve. We then set up an environment that maximises the likelihood that students will engage in the activities designed to achieve the intended outcomes. Finally, we choose assessment tasks that will tell us how well individual students have attained these outcomes, in terms of graded levels of acceptability. These levels are the grades we award.
There are thus four major steps:
- Defining the intended learning outcomes (ILOs);
- Choosing teaching/learning activities likely to lead to the ILOs;
- Assessing students' actual learning outcomes to see how well they match what was intended;
- Arriving at a final grade.
Pleased to see it fits in with my current recomendations on outcome based learning activties and LOs (learning outcomes) for a more student centred programme (rather than a teacher having an agenda of info they need to teach and designing a programme to meet that agenda - we want to move towards a programme design that matches the graduate outcomes and let's them 'hit the ground running' in their chosen work environment).
Also ties in with SOLO TAXONOMY and BLOOM's (which I don't entirely agree on it's current useage in NZ tertiary programme design... but that is a blog for another time :P )
Weird Conclusion though - I did not find it related much at all to the rest of the article, lol! (maybe I got distracted by then!)