Learning Design

Learning Design


The main area of focus of the Learning Design area of work relates to delivering Curriculum in an engaging, personalized and digitally enriched context of a Liberal Arts Education.


 This approach to Learning Design reflects the following five principles;

  • Learner experience is the foundation and the stimulus for all learning
  • Learners learn best when they are actively and interactively engaged
  • Learning activities and assessment are authentic in the sense of reflecting work place activities graduates will engage in
  • There is close alignment between intended learning outcomes, learning activities and assessment of actual learning outcomes
  • Learning activity design drives choices about the technology to support that activity



The objectives of this approach to Learning Design are to:

  • advance the design, development and implementation of Blended Learning curriculum
  • implement related assessment and curriculum resources to facilitate academics to embed outcome-based approach to teaching and learning (OBATL) approaches within the curriculum
  • enhance students’ flexible learning opportunities via curriculum and blended learning
  • implement a comprehensive curriculum approach to support the alignment and embedding of graduate attributes 
  • develop a community of practice that allows the student voice to be heard in relation to curriculum and blended learning


This section covers:

  1. A definition of constructive alignment
  2. General Information regarding learning outcomes
  3. Anatomy of a learning outcome
  4. Structure of a learning outcome
  5. How do I use learning outcomes to design a learning ecperience such as a course?
  6. General Considerations
  7. Resources / Further Reading

A definition of constructive alignment

Biggs (2003: 27) defines constructive alignment as: 
The ‘constructive’ aspect refers to what the learner does, which is to construct meaning through relevant learning activities. The ‘alignment’ aspect refers to what the teacher does, which is to set up a learning environment that supports  the learning activities appropriate to achieving the desired learning outcomes.
The key is that the components in the teaching system, especially the teaching methods used and the assessment tasks are  aligned to the learning activities assumed in the intended outcomes. The learner is ‘trapped’, and cannot escape without learning what is intended.
(reference - https://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/groupwork/docs/ConstructiveAlignment.pdf )

General Information regarding learning outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) are single - sentence statements  that  clearly  articulate the key elements of what students are expected to know, understand, and/or be able to do on successful completion of their studies for a defined period of learning, at a specified level (e.g. course, programme, project, unit).


Anatomy of a learning outcome

Each learning outcome statement answers 3 questions about the student’s experience:
Do what? (verb)
With what? (content)
For what? (this is what you will assess)

Structure of a learning outcome

learning outcome


How do I use learning outcomes to design a learning experience such as a course?

The following three questions are typical of “backward design,” where you determine the outcome, then
the assessment and then the learning activities:

  1. What will students learn? learning outcomes
  2. How will outcomes be measured? appropriate assessments
  3. What will students do to achieve these outcomes? appropriate learning activities to develop the required knowledge, skills or attitudes.
General Considerations

General Considerations

  • Where courses are “clustered” (eg Economics I…. Economics IV) it should be clear how the course and its LOs/Assessment components differ and how the difference in the QF Levels reflect these outcomes.
  • LOs needs to be more specific and measurable - and align to the appropriate QF level / GLD indicated on the syllabus
  •  “Continuous Assessment” component within courses should be clear regarding how this will be assessed and manageable within student workload
  • LOs of these Continuous Assessments should usually be different to the Courses’ LOs.
  • The Learning Outcomes should not describe the course content, but rather define what the student will learn
  • The assessment criteria should be different to the Learning Outcomes
  • There should be clear evidence of progression between the courses at different QF levels
  • There should be clear evidence of constructive alignment between learning outcomes, the
    learning activities and the assessment tasks and criteria
  • Learning resources should be current (can include old references IF they are definitive texts)
  • The degree of the action students take? Depth and Breath should be clear
  • Avoid the use of the verb “Understand” in LO’s

Resources / Further Reading

Online OBE Self-Paced Couse for Staff (Link to), for now just write (Coming Soon)

Outcomes-Based Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Lingnan University Course Syllabus

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy [external link]

Assessment Toolkit (Coming soon)

OBE Health Check

General Enquiries

Phone Phone: (852) 2616-7117
E-mail E-mail: [email protected]
Address 2/F, B Y Lam Building,
Lingnan University,
Tuen Mun, The New
Territories, Hong Kong.