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Visualising curriculum alignment (BGL SAFFIRE)

When designing unit level curriculum I rely on John Biggs' work on Constructive Alignment much like a orienteer would rely on a compass. Whatever you are doing with your curriculum you can use Biggs' work to help make sure the outcomes are well designed and that everything works towards those outcomes.

The other day I was working with colleagues on a workshop model for an Accounting for Managers unit. I used the following visualisation to show how the design should align content and activities with outcomes and assessment. By putting most of the activities and content into the sphere of (aligning with) the outcomes and assessment, students would be more likely to engage with those activities and content. The outcomes and assessment would themselves be aligned. However the diagram also shows the extension content and activities that may to a degree fall outside the outcomes/assessment scope. These are essentially pointers to further information/tasks for those students who can and want to go beyond the learning aims of the unit, aka extension activities.


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