Background: Constructive alignment (CA) is a pedagogical approach that emphasizes the alignment between the intended learning outcomes (ILOs), teaching and learning activities (TLAs) and assessment tasks (ATs) as well as creation of a teaching/learning environment where students will be able to actively create their knowledge.
Objectives: This paper aims at investigating the extent of constructively-aligned courses in Computer Engineering and Informatics department at Dalarna University, Sweden. This study is based on empirical observations of teacher’s perceptions of implementation of CA in their courses.
Methods: Ten teachers (5 from each department) were asked to fill a paper-based questionnaire, which included a number of questions related to issues of implementing CA in courses.
Results: Responses to the items of the questionnaire were mixed. Teachers clearly state the ILOs in their courses and try to align the TLAs and ATs to the ILOs. Computer Engineering teachers do not explicitly communicate the ILOs to the students as compared to Informatics teachers. In addition, Computer Engineering teachers stated that their students are less active in learning activities as compared to Informatics teachers. When asked about their subjective ratings of teaching methods all teachers stated that their current teaching is teacher-centered but they try to shift the focus of activity from them to the students.
Conclusions: From teachers’ perspectives, the courses are partially constructively-aligned. Their courses are “aligned”, i.e. ILOs, TLAs and ATs are aligned to each other but they are not “constructive” since, according to them, there was a low student engagement in learning activities, especially in Computer Engineering department.
constructive alignment, active learning, learning outcomes, student-centered education