The GLbD Express workshops in the College of Design and Social Context here at RMIT involve taking an in-depth look at a course—who studies it, who teaches it, what it’s about, and how it’s delivered and assessed. Check out our other posts about Express for more information.
During the workshop and over the two weeks following, the mini-project teams will create a map of your course. Some of this information is contained within Part B of the course guide, but using the course map to organise the outcomes and activities provides a high-level view of the entire course. It ensures that everyone involved in the project understands your course landscape, and thus how best to support the development and delivery of new learning activities or modes, resources, or assessments.
In keeping with the idea of constructive alignment (Biggs, 1996), the map draws together the course-level outcomes and assessments with the activities and resources for both students and staff that create “an environment that maximizes the likelihood that students will engage in the activities designed to achieve the intended outcomes” (Biggs, 2003). For the purposes of the Express projects it isn’t essential that every field in the course map is complete, but rather that we jointly identify and expand a thread through the map to support a specific component of the course—for example, an activity, assessment, content module or other learning activity, as seen in the example above.
All Express resources, including the course map template and guide, are available in Drive (RMIT login required).
Examples and discussion
If you’re interested to learn more about the implementation of these practices, please see the resources below. Or if you are interested to share your own examples or ideas, we look forward to seeing your comments on this post.
- “Course design through constructive alignment” from the University of Guelph
- “Constructive alignment” resources, including a video series, from Federation University
- Simon Atkinson (Associate Dean of Learning & Teaching at BPP University) discussing some of the issues in using Biggs’s constructive alignment approach:
Biggs, J. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32: 347-364. Available online.
Biggs, J. (2003). Aligning teaching and assessing to course objectives. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: New Trends and Innovations. University of Aveiro, 13-17. Available online.