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The Course Alignment Manifesto

  • As learning professionals, we believe that learning technology offers the possibility for creating uniquely valuable learning experiences.
  • Using Course Alignment principles, the online learning experience optimizes use of the students’ time, individualizes the experience for full engagement, address their needs, and prepares for transfer of learning to performance proficiency.
  • Through our work in developing online learning experiences and helping others do the same, we believe that we need to go beyond typical elearning course design approaches, replacing them with the principles of Course Alignment.
Typical eLearning Course ApproachPrinciples of Course Alignment
Content focusedStudent outcomes focused: provide learning experiences that have long-term impact–well beyond the end of instructional events–to times when the learning is needed for performance and elaboration.
Efficient for instructorsMeaningful to students: provide learning experiences that are relevant to students’ current goals and/or that motivate them to engage deeply in the process of learning.
Fact testingAuthentic contexts: provide sufficient levels of realistic practice; simulations, scenario-based decision making, case-based evaluations, and authentic exercises.
Didactic feedbackPeer and faculty feedback: provide guidance and feedback to correct their misconceptions, reinforce their comprehension, and build effective skills
Passive navigationInteractive activities prompting deep engagement: provide opportunities for reflection, application, rehearsal, elaboration, contextualization, debate, evaluation, synthetization, etc. (not just in navigation, page turning, rollovers, and information search).
Student satisfaction surveyMeaningful student perceptions: measure students’ perceptions regarding their ability to apply what they’ve learned, their level of motivation, and the support received in implementing the learning.

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