Constructive alignment   - Fleksibel utdanning Norge

Important questions to be answered during the planning work are:

  • How can learning activities and forms of assessment be planned to ensure they are aligned with the learning outcome descriptors and competence aims, and thus enable students to achieve the intended learning outcomes?
  • How should students work on developing skills that ensure they ‘can reflect over their own vocational practice and adjust it under supervision’, and how can we ensure that a candidate on completion of the programme ‘can find and refer to information and vocational material and assess its relevance to a vocational issue’?
  • What are good and relevant methods for assessing whether the student has achieved the knowledge, skills and general competence described in the programme description?

Not all programmes and courses fall under the NQF. This applies, for example, to education and training that does not confer credits, training in basic skills in the workplace or personal skills development courses. The principles relating to quality are nevertheless the same, and it may be useful to incorporate descriptions of learning outcomes, work methods and possible forms of assessment in the course descriptions.

In the following, we will take a closer look at pedagogical and didactic considerations that we believe are important for facilitating learning processes, organising content, building up teaching and choosing assessment, work and teaching methods, all with a particular focus on expedient use of digital technology.

Inspired by John Biggs and Catherine Tang, we can illustrate the relationship between learning outcomes, final assessment and learning activities in the following way (10):

Figure 2 Learning outcomes, assessment and learning activities are linked together in a constructive alignment approach.

Useful to consider:

  • Are the learning outcome descriptors relevant to and aligned with the objectives and content of the programme or course?
  • Is it realistic for the described learning outcomes to be achieved within the framework of the programme?
  • Are the learning outcome descriptors in line with the relevant level in the NQF?
  • How can teaching activities be planned to enable students to achieve the different learning outcomes described in the programme description?


  1. 10

    Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011). EBOOK: Teaching for Quality Learning at University. McGraw-hill education (UK).

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