Focusing on learning through constructive alignment with task-oriented portfolio assessment

A. Cain, J. Grundy, C. J. Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Approaches to learning have been shown to have a significant impact on student success in technical units. This paper reports on an action research study that applied the principles of constructive alignment to improve student learning outcomes in programming units. The proposed model uses frequent formative feedback to engage students with unit material, and encourage them to adopt deep approaches to learning. Our results provide a set of guiding principles and a structured teaching approach that focuses students on meeting unit learning objectives, the goal of constructive alignment. The results are demonstrated via descriptions of the resulting teaching and learning environment, student results, and staff and student reflections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-584
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment of learning outcomes
  • Constructive alignment
  • formative feedback
  • portfolio assessment

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