Learning Continuity Alignment:
LC3: Emphasize Learning Outcomes
Communicate how learning outcomes align with course activities, assignments, and assessments.
Quality Matters Alignment:
QM 2.3: Learning objectives or competencies are stated clearly, are written from the learner’s perspective, and are prominently located in the course.
QM 2.4: The relationship between learning objectives or competencies and learning activities is clearly stated.
Clear and well-defined learning objectives are necessary for effective learning across various course formats, including online education, where interactive discussions can be limited. The recent surge in online and hybrid learning, spurred by the pandemic, has underscored the necessity of aligned unit/module learning objectives to enhance student engagement, motivation, and learning.
To bridge the gap between course activities and learning outcomes, educators must explicitly communicate this alignment to students. This not only provides a sense of purpose but also ensures that all course activities align with unit or module objectives. This approach is effective in both face-to-face and online/hybrid classes, with easily accessible alignments on learning platforms and brief video explanations.
Research affirms that this explicit alignment stimulates higher-order thinking and deep learning among students. Assessments linked to learning outcomes assist instructors in refining their teaching methods, while students benefit from better organization in their studies.
The following examples demonstrate breaking down learning objectives, smart learning objectives, course alignment maps, and outcome alignment matrix to put these principles into practice.
Vaishali Chaubal, Ph.D. | Lecturer, Biology