Activity-Outcome Alignment

Guideline:  Align interesting and challenging activities with intended learning outcomes.

A less effective course will focus primarily on content (with the main emphasis on the teacher’s knowledge). In contrast, a soundly structured course will focus on aims for student learning (with the emphasis on the relation between students and the content to be learned).

Ramsden, P., Learning to Teach in Higher Education, Routledge, London, p.133 (1992).

… if students are to learn desired out-comes 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 these outcomes, taking into account factors such as prior knowledge, the context in which the material is presented, and the realization that students' interpretation and understanding of new information depend on the availability of appropriate schemata. Without taking away from the important role played by the teacher, 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, T. J. (1986). Cognitive conceptions of learning. Review of Educational Research, 56(4), 411-436. doi:10.3102/00346543056004411


Additional References:

Biggs, John & Tang, Catherine. Teaching For Quality Learning at University. Buckingham: Open University Press/McGraw Hill, 2011.

Blumberg, P. (2009). Maximizing learning through course alignment and experience with different types of knowledge. Innovative Higher Education, 34(2), 93-103. doi:10.1007/s10755-009-9095-2

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2006). Understanding by design (Expanded 2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education, Inc.


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