Aligning for learning: Including feedback in the Constructive Alignment model

Gerry Gallagher


Constructive Alignment is an approach to curriculum design and delivery in which learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities and assessment are integrated to create the conditions for high-level learning.  Increasingly, research acknowledges the critical role that feedback plays in learning.  This feedback, if it is to be effective, needs to be based on and consistent with learning outcomes, assessment criteria and learning and teaching activities. This paper proposes that, although it may be implicit in the Constructive Alignment model, the potential of feedback to significantly impact on student learning warrants its explicit inclusion as a key element of the model.  Moreover, feedback, and in particular formative feedback, provides ongoing opportunities for teachers and students to monitor the extent of the alignment of the existing three elements of the constructive alignment model. In this way, feedback can deepen the shared understanding of the learning design for both students and teachers and sustain its coherence.


Constructive alignment; feedback; dialogic feedback; learning outcomes; learning design; coherence

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