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How to use (five) curriculum design principles that align authentic learning environments, assessment, students' approaches to thinking, and learning outcomes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-26, 15:33 authored by Meyers, NM, Nulty, DD
In this article, we articulate five principles of curriculum design and illustrate their application in a third year undergraduate course for environmental and ecological scientists. In this way we provide a practical framework for others wishing to enhance their students' learning. To apply the five principles, we created a learning environment consisting of a broad range of learning resources and activities which were structured and sequenced with an integrated assessment strategy. The combined effect of this ensured alignment between the learning environment we created, the thinking approaches students used and the learning outcomes they achieved. More specifically, the assessment activities guided students by requiring them to recognise when their understanding was limited ‚Äö- and then to engage them in thinking approaches that would develop that understanding further. By providing a framework of thoughts, ideas and information, we sought to progressively enhance the sophistication of our learners' thinking. Thus, the assessment required students to integrate, synthesise and construct their understandings in ways consistent with the discipline and the professional pathways on which they had embarked. We intend that this illustration will act as a guide to other academics to adopt the same principles in their teaching.


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Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education



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