Sunday, August 12, 2007

Constructive alignment

An interesting didactical short movie (20 min) by a team at the University of Aarhus, about teaching at the university level (link to the google video). The subject is built around the "constructive alignment" paradigm of John Biggs. Recommended both to university lecturers (and, with some caveats, also highschool teachers) and students. The movie can be rather slow at times (especially for those that know something about the topic...), but be patient until the end, the idea is -- eventually-- well addressed :-).

Here's the statement of the jury that awarded the "Golden Ratio" prize to this movie, last year:

The production conveys substantial insights from the area of didactics (university studies in education). It is a basis for a discussion about three perspectives on higher education; the students' activities, the teachers' activities, and the subject matter to be taught and learned.

It is intended for teachers and students at higher educational institutions. It is an exemplary basis for reflection with good identificational opportunities for the target audience.
In about twenty minutes it manages to convey a complicated message in a very well-structured and thought-provoking way.

One of the mechanisms used is humour; another, images and graphics. It is not just a double portrayal, where images and spoken words elicit the same information in two different ways. On the contrary, sound, image, and graphic elements are brought together elegantly forming one united expression.

PS. Susan, the "good student" in the movie, is very likely played by a Romanian: her name is Doina Bucur. Probably there are more Romanian students/researchers at the University of Aarhus than I imagined.

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