Maximizing Learning Through Course Alignment and Experience with Different Types of Knowledge


Consistency among the objectives, learning activities, and assessment exercises results in aligned courses, which give students direction and clarity and yield increased learning. However, instructors may not check for course alignment. This article describes a concrete way to determine course alignment by plotting the course components on a table using the cognitive process levels from a revised taxonomy of learning objectives. Once instructors realize that courses are misaligned, they can make adjustments. By giving students experience with varied types of knowledge, which is the other part of this taxonomy, they also learn more. The types of knowledge include factual, conceptual, procedural, and meta-cognitive knowledge.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Phyllis Blumberg.

Additional information

Phyllis Blumberg received her A.B. in Psychology from Washington College (MD), her M.A. and Ph.D. both in educational and developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a Professor and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Her research interests include learning-centered teaching, self-directed learning and problem-based learning.

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Blumberg, P. Maximizing Learning Through Course Alignment and Experience with Different Types of Knowledge. Innov High Educ 34, 93–103 (2009).

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Key words

  • course alignment
  • student learning
  • objectives