Constructive Alignment: An Outcomes-Based Approach to Teaching Anatomy

  • John BiggsEmail author
  • Catherine Tang


Constructive alignment is an outcomes-based approach to teaching that we describe here, illustrating with examples from the teaching of anatomy. Constructive alignment is based on two principles: constructivist psychology, which posits that students construct their knowledge through appropriate learning activities; and curriculum theory, which posits that optimal learning is achieved when teaching and assessment methods are aligned to the learning outcomes that it is intended students are to achieve. Students are thus encouraged to engage in learning activities that are relevant in achieving that outcome. Teaching here is not topic-based, as is traditional teaching, but focuses on what students are intended to do after they have learned the curriculum topics. The outcome statements contain a verb or verbs that specify these intended outcome activities, and these verbs are specifically addressed both in teaching and in assessment.


Final Grade Assessment Task Intended Outcome Letter Grade Teaching Anatomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tasmanian Institute of Learning and TeachingUniversity of TasmanianHobartAustralia

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