How to Make Your Classes Better/Exercise 2

Now let’s look at the class considered in Exercise 1 in the light of the theory of constructive alignment. If you are not familiar with this theory please explore the section on Bigg's Model of Constructive Alignment [[1]] before continuing on with exercise 2.

Action 1

Record Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) below:

Action 2

List content directly relevant to the ILOs:


Action 4

List possible unintended Learning Outcomes that can be inferred from the list that resulted from Action 3.

Action 3

List Content not relevant to ILOs:


Action 5

Can you suggest the major consequences of the class for (a) the students (b) the teacher:

Submit your answers

What we hope you have learned from Exercises 1 and 2 include:

  • That all classes have intended and unintended consequences
  • Unintended consequences are not, necessarily, bad or dysfunctional (indeed, occasionally they turn out to be the most useful aspect of a class) BUT they should never overwhelm the intended consequences
  • That there needs to be a clear alignment between class content and intended learning outcomes
  • That the aligned curriculum model enables you to streamline your teaching (i.e. make it more efficient / focused)

You will note that in Exercises 1 & 2 we just looked at the alignment between content and intended outcomes. There should, of course, also be alignment between these aspects and any assessment the students face whether in the class itself or at a later time. This is addressed further in the section on assessment. If you have not already done so, you would find it useful to take a quick look at the section on assessing for learning before proceeding with this section.

It is also important, at this point to be aware of the research into human learning that suggests the importance of students being engaged and active in classes. Again, if you have not already do so you would find it useful to take a quick look at the section on getting students to engage in the class before proceeding with this section.

Bearing all this in mind, the next step in making your classes better is to learn how to plan them more effectively.

Back to Exercise 1 Continue to Exercise 3

Page tools