Aligning Activities and Assignments With Course Outcomes

1c: Aligning Activities and Assignments With Course Outcomes

In this module, faculty learn how to select activities and assignments that are aligned to the cognitive levels of their learning outcomes, prepare for in- and out-of-class time, and design transparent assignments.
To satisfy the module requirements, faculty must develop or revise a course activity or assignment aligned to course outcomes and designed to help students better attain those outcomes. This module is one of five modules under ACUE’s unit on Designing an Effective Course and Class.



Advising Subject Matter Expert(s)

Featured Faculty

Module References

Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2017). Digital learning compass: Distance education enrollment report 2017. Retrieved from 

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: 7 research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Angelo, T. A. (2012). Designing subjects for learning: Practical, research-based principles and guidelines. In L. Hunt & D. Chalmers (Eds.), University teaching in focus: A learning-centred approach (pp. 93–111). Melbourne, Australia: ACER Press.

Biggs, J. B., & Tang, C. S-k. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university (3rd ed.). Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Biggs, J. B., & Tang, C. S-k. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does (4th ed.). Maidenhead, England: McGraw-Hill/Society for Research into Higher Education/Open University Press.

Bok, D. C. (2006). Our underachieving colleges: A candid look at how much students learn and why they should be learning more. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Chase, B., Germundsen, R., Cady Brownstein, J., & Schaak Distad, L. (2001). Making the connection between increased student learning and reflective practice. Educational Horizons, 79, 143–147.

Head, A., & Hostetler, K. (2015, September 2). Mary-Ann Winkelmes: Transparency in teaching and learning. Retrieved from 

Intentional Futures. (2017). High-tech, high-touch: Serving student needs at scale. Retrieved from 

Jones, E. A., et al. (1995). National assessment of college student learning: Identifying college graduates; essential skills in writing, speech and listening, and critical thinking (ED383255). Retrieved from 

Lowenthal, P. R., Wilson, B. G., & Parrish, P. (2009). Context matters: A description and typology of the online learning landscape. Proceedings of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 2. Retrieved from 

Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Staley, C. C. (2003). 50 ways to leave your lectern: Active learning strategies to engage first-year students. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Svinicki, M. D., & McKeachie, W. J. (2014). McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (14th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Twigg, C. A. (2003). Improving learning and reducing costs: New models for online learning. EDUCAUSE Review, 38(5), 28–38.

Walvoord, B. E., & Anderson, V. J. (2009). Effective grading: A tool for learning and assessment in college (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Wieman, C. (2016). Observation guide for active-learning classroom. Retrieved from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia website: 

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (expanded 2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Winkelmes, M.-A. (2013). Transparent assignment template. Retrieved from 

Winkelmes, M.-A., Copeland, D., Jorgensen, E., Sloat, A., Smedley, A., Pizor, P., . . . Jalene, S. (2015, May). Benefits (some unexpected) of transparently designed assignments. The National Teaching and Learning Forum, 24(4), 4–6.

Join Our Newsletter