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How to use (five) curriculum design principles that align authentic learning environments, assessment, students’ approaches to thinking, and learning outcomes

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Meyers, NM and Nulty, DD (2008) How to use (five) curriculum design principles that align authentic learning environments, assessment, students’ approaches to thinking, and learning outcomes. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 34 (5). pp. 565-577. ISSN 0260-2938

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Abstract

In this article, we articulate five principles of curriculum design and illustrate their application in a third year undergraduate course for environmental and ecological scientists. In this way we provide a practical framework for others wishing to enhance their students’ learning. To apply the five principles, we created a learning environment consisting of a broad range of learning resources and activities which were structured and sequenced with an integrated assessment strategy. The combined effect of this ensured alignment between the learning environment we created, the thinking approaches students used and the learning outcomes they achieved. More specifically, the assessment activities guided students by requiring them to recognise when their understanding was limited – and then to engage them in thinking approaches that would develop that understanding further. By providing a framework of thoughts, ideas and information, we sought to progressively enhance the sophistication of our learners’ thinking. Thus, the assessment required students to integrate, synthesise and construct their understandings in ways consistent with the discipline and the professional pathways on which they had embarked. We intend that this illustration will act as a guide to other academics to adopt the same principles in their teaching.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: curriculum design, assessment, authentic learning, learning outcomes, constructive alignment, case-based learning, ecology, science
Journal or Publication Title: Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Page Range: pp. 565-577
ISSN: 0260-2938
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/02602930802226502
Additional Information: The definitive published version is available online at: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Date Deposited: 30 May 2008 01:22
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:41
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/6526
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