Quality Matters

What does Quality Matters mean by Alignment in an online course?

Alignment is one of the basic principles of course design.

The stated course and unit objectives need to align with the course materials, activities, assignments, and assessment to ensure student success. Alignment aids the student in identifying what they are to learn and how the activities, materials, assignments, and assessments align with the objectives.

For example:

If the course objective is:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to run a greater distance from the benchmark determined in the course pre-evaluation.

The unit objective is:

At the conclusion of this unit, the student will be able to run 5 yards further than the benchmark distance.

The course and unit materials, activities and assignments could include reading about how to run more efficiently, watching videos of famous runners,and  practice running every day for 45 minutes.

To this point the course and unit objectives are aligned with the course materials, activities, and assignments.

For the assessment to be aligned with the objectives, materials, activities and assignments, having the student run to measure the improvement in distance run is needed.

If the only assessment was a multiple choice test over the content of the reading and videos, the assessment would not be aligned with the objectives

If the assessment is a multiple choice test and a demonstration of running ability, then the objectives, materials, assignments and assessment are aligned.

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