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Assessment in a constructively aligned system

Presentation slides

Speakers: Prof. John Biggs, Former Professor of Education, University of Hong Kong
Date : THU 14 MAY 2015
Time : 09:30 – 10:30
Venue : Large Moot Court, 2/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower


The fact students learn what they perceive will be in the assessment, rather than what is in the curriculum, has long been perceived as a problem. However, if we ensure that students are assessed on what we want them to learn, that problem becomes the solution. In a constructively aligned system of teaching, the intended learning outcomes of a course are defined in terms of what students are to do with the content learned. Teaching involves students in learning activities appropriate to achieving those outcomes, and assessment tells us how well students do so. It is important then to define upfront the outcomes intended in teaching a course and to align teaching and assessment accordingly. In this address, I will discuss how teaching and assessment can be designed in a constructively designed system, and how traditional models of assessment deflected attention from issues of teaching and learning to required standards.

About the Speaker:

Prof. John Biggs, Former Professor of Education, University of Hong Kong

John Biggs has held Chairs in Education in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong. He has published extensively on student learning and the implications of his research for teaching. His concept of constructive alignment, a form of outcomes-based education, was developed when he was at HKU and is outlined in Teaching for Quality Learning in University (McGraw-Hill/Open University Press). The fourth edition, co-authored with Catherine Tang, is based on their experience in implementing constructive alignment in several universities in Hong Kong and elsewhere.

Also see John Biggs’ Changing universities: A memoir about academe in different places and times