Alignment of Course Contents and Student Assessment with Course and Programme Outcomes – A Mathematical Approach

Shanableh, A.
July 2014
Engineering Education;Jul2014, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p48
Academic Journal
Successful course design and delivery relies on aligning course contents and student assessment with course and programme outcomes (CO and PO). In practice however, emphasis of CO and PO in delivered course content units (CCU) and student assessment units (SAU) may significantly deviate from the emphasis intended by course design. In this article, a mathematical approach was used to generate indicators of alignment of CCU and SAU with CO and PO. The indicators include: emphasis of CO and PO in delivered CCU (ICCU-CO and ICCU-PO); emphasis of CO and PO in SAU (ISAU-CO and ISAU-PO); alignment of SAU with CCU (ISAU-CO/ICCU-PO and ISAU-PO/ICCU-PO), and achievement of CO and PO based on student performance (ISP-CO and ISP-PO). Estimation of the various indicators was based on linking CCU and SAU with CO, linking CO to PO, and assigning weights, on an appropriate scale, to the different links. The mathematical approach requires data that are either readily available to instructors or that can be generated easily. The various indicators provide rational bases for aligning CCU and SAU with CO and PO, as well as for revising CO and re-aligning CO with PO. A spreadsheet can be used to automate estimation of the various indicators, compare the results with limits set by users, and generate a summary report, including tables and figures. The approach was demonstrated using a realistic course example in which the results were used as bases for re-aligning the CCU and SAU with CO and PO the second time the course was offered.


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