Course 2, Week 1: Designing for Learning

Over this two week period, we learnt about different methods to effectively plan a lesson in HE, allowing plenty of active learning opportunities to promote engagement.

In this blog post, I will be reflecting and discussing: constructive alignment, learning outcomes, and assessment and feedback.

Constructive alignment

Although it would appear from the diagram alone that constructive alignment is defined by learning outcomes, activities and assessment, the course is clear in communicating that this theory is more than just aligning the 3 elements. Constructive alignment has a role in creating a lesson design, with active engagement. If we were to look at all 3 together when developing a lesson, teachers and students may see a clearer pathway in the learning journey. For this reason, when lesson planning I used tables with clearly labelled columns, closely connected to the elements above: activity, details, outcomes (linked to LOs) and assessment. See my reflection below:

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes usually tend to be my starting place when I start planning a lesson, as they tend to help me structure a lesson’s content. The Learning Outcomes I create move up in levels of learning, using Bloom’s Taxonomy (2956), as mentioned later in the course. My first reflection on how I plan a lesson summarises well my approach to teaching and learning:

There was some debate over the use of verbs within LOs  and whether the use of LOs impeded creativity. Please see my take on this below:

After looking at the importance of LOs across a course, I believe I need to review and rethink my departments actions:


Following the first week of course 1, we were asked to complete an assignment, using our learning objectives, please see the full assignment below:

Assessment, as part of constructive aligngment

‘assessment is the most powerful lever teachers have to influence the way students respond to courses and behave as learners’ (Gibbs, 1999: 41)

Quick definitions:

  • Assessment of learning: measuring and making judgement on achievement
  • Assessment for learning: assessment being used for learning
  • Summative assessment: end assessment to measure and certificate learning
  • Formative assessment: continuous assessment, in order to develop using feedback and feed-forward.

Looking at the above definitions, it is clear that we would be in a better position using assessment for learning in education. Assessment of learning of course has a place, but we tend to see this more in summative assessments, as used in exams. Using assessment for learning in the classroom can promote engagement and provide time to reflect and develop.


Assessment tools and ideas:

  1. A-Z of Assessment Methods resource
  2. peer feedback guide
  3. Online tools:  SocrativeTop Hat and Kahoot


This week was very useful of reflecting on my own and the personal tutoring teams practice in preparing lessons. I am happy that a lot of our methods used were covered in the week, giving me a greater sense of confidence in what we do. When preparing future sessions, I will begin to look at harnessing more online tools for AfL, as well as to promote engagement.

Leave a Reply