Advertisement

Constructive Alignment: An Outcomes-Based Approach to Teaching Anatomy

  • John BiggsEmail author
  • Catherine Tang
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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.

References

  1. 1.
    Miller MA, Ewell P. Measuring up on college-level learning. San Jose, CA: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education; 2005.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Shuell TJ. Cognitive conceptions of learning. Rev Educ Res. 1986;56:411–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Biggs JB. Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. High Educ. 1996;32:1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Biggs J, Tang C. Teaching for quality learning at university. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill and Open University Press; 2011.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Colvin J, Phelan A. Evaluating student opinion of constructivist learning activities on computing undergraduate degrees. In: 1st annual workshop on constructive alignment, February 2006, Nottingham Trent University.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyle A. Using alignment and reflection to improve student learning. Elements. 2007;3(2):113–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lebrun M. Quality towards an expected harmony: Pedagogy and technology speaking together about innovation. Assoc Adv Comput Educ J. 2007;15(2):115–30.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nightingale S, Carew A, Fung J. Application of constructive alignment principles to engineering education: Have we really changed? In: Proceedings of the 2007 Australasian association for engineering education conference, Melbourne; 2007.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Raeburn P, Muldoon N, Bookallil C. Blended spaces, work-based learning and constructive alignment: Impacts on student engagement. In: Same places, different spaces. 2009. pp. 820–31. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/auckland09/procs/
  10. 10.
    Hoddinott J. Biggs’ constructive alignment: Evaluation of a pedagogical model applied to a web course. In: Bourdeau J, Heller R, editors. In: Proceedings of world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications, Chesapeake, VA; 2000. pp. 1666–7.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ladyshewsky R. Aligning assessment, rewards, behaviours and outcomes in group learning tasks. In: Evaluation and assessment conference: enhancing student learning. Bentley, WA: Curtin University; 2006.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moulding NT. Intelligent design: student perceptions of teaching and learning in large social work classes. High Educ Res Dev. 2010;29(2):151–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Morris MM. Evaluating university teaching and learning in an outcome-based model: replanting Bloom. PhD Thesis. Wollongong: University of Wollongong; 2008.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Brook V. Learning-focused curriculum development: the redesign of elements of a PGCE Science (Subject Year) Programme. Investig Univ Teach Learn. 2006;3(2):27–35.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Taylor R, Canfield P. Learning to be a scholarly teaching faculty: cultural change through shared leadership. In: Brew A, Sachs J, editors. The transformed university: scholarship of teaching and learning in action. Sydney: Sydney University Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rust C. The impact of assessment on student learning: how can the research literature practically help to inform the development of departmental assessment strategies and learner-centred assessment practices? Act Learn High Educ. 2002;3:145–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Edström K. Doing course evaluation as if learning matters most. High Educ Res Dev. 2008;27(2):95–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kandlbinder P, Peseta T. Key concepts in postgraduate certificates in higher education teaching and learning in Australasia and the United Kingdom. Int J Acad Dev. 2009;14(1):19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Harris D, Bell C. Evaluating and assessing for learning. London: Kogan Page; 1986.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Boud D. Enhancing learning through self-assessment. London: Kogan Page; 1995.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Boud D. Implementing student self-assessment. Green Guide No. 5. Sydney: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia; 1986.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations