Journal Article

Embedding constructive alignment of reading lists in course design


Introduction. Reading list practices are long-standing but cause confusion and misunderstanding between module leaders and students. Constructive alignment (Biggs and Tang, 2011), although widely applied in course design across the UK Higher Education sector, has not previously been applied to the practice of reading lists but offers a practical and pedagogically sound method for reinventing reading list practice and bridging the gap of understanding between the intentions of module leaders and the interpretation of students. Objectives. To embed the practice of constructive alignment of reading lists in Oxford Brookes University modules. Method. The module leaders of seven modules were offered the support of a project led by Oxford Brookes Library to redesign their modules so that the reading lists were constructively aligned with the learning outcomes of the modules. After an initial run of the redesigned modules the module leaders were asked whether they would embed the practice of constructively aligned reading lists in their modules. Result. Five of the modules were redesigned and continued with the redesign past the initial instance, one of the modules exited the project before it was redesigned, and one of the modules returned to the pre-project module design and reading list practice. Conclusion. The project was successful in embedding constructively aligned reading list practice in Oxford Brookes University modules past the first run of the module, but several barriers to effective learning and teaching were identified with the most significant being a lack of student engagement with the redesigned reading lists. The implication for practice is that constructively aligned reading lists should include an element of summative assessment to increase the chances of student engagement and the successful embedding of constructively aligned reading lists in the design of modules.

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Croft, Daniel

Oxford Brookes departments

Directorate of Learning Resources\Library


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-09-10

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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