Constructive alignment

Constructive alignment is the practice of ensuring that intended learning outcomes for a course of study are effective, clear and purposeful and that learning activities, and assessment tasks are developed in alignment with these outcomes. At Federation University it is policy to ensure that intended learning outcomes are written, and assessments are developed, and learning activities are designed in accordance with the principles of constructive alignment.

There are two basic concepts behind constructive alignment:

  • Learners construct meaning from what they do to learn.
  • The teacher makes a deliberate alignment between the planned learning activities and the learning outcomes and how to measure the achievement of those outcomes.

The award-winning short-films below demonstrate the foundation for understanding what a teacher needs to do in order to make sure all types of students are able learn what the teacher intends – constructive alignment.

Teaching Teaching and Understanding Understanding (Part 1) [8:12m]

Teaching Teaching and Understanding Understanding (Part 2) [6:18m]

Teaching Teaching and Understanding Understanding (Part 3) [5:59m]

Need resources, strategies or assistance?


  • Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011) Teaching for Quality Learning at University. (4th ed.) Open University Press: New York

FedUni policies and guidelines

Need assistance?

Contact your Learning Designer to support your use of the constructive alignment framework within your course and learning design.