Difficult Conversations                                    e-learning Course

What Are The Benefits of Having an Alignment Chart?
The sample alignment chart below answers the following questions about one of the modules of this course:

  1. What performance can we expect from the learner at the completion of this module? The answer is provided by the Terminal Learning Objectives (TLO). Each TLO is specific, observable, and measurable.
  2. What steps should the learner follow in order to learn to perform as expected? The answer is provided by the Enabling Learning Objectives (ELO). Each T:O is split into small chunks that are sequenced appropriately to ensure learning occurs in a logical way. Each chunk is called an Enabling Learning Objective (EO). The enabling objectives cover all of the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills learners need to master to meet the TLO.
  3. How will we confirm the learner is performing as expected?How will we know learning has accomplished its objective? This is answered by the Assessment Ideas (AI). They describe how will the learner be assessed. They are in close alignment with the objectives, so in most cases, the alignment chart shows one AI for each EO, but not always—sometimes, for instance, a case study is used to assess the accomplishment of several EO’s. A well-designed course includes a variety of AI’s to make training engaging.Well-designed assessments are paramount for two reasons: (1) They provide additional learning opportunities by eliciting retrieval and application of knowledge and by providing effective feedback, and (2) because they will be used to evaluate the training and judge its effectiveness in solving the problem it was meant to solve.
  4. What activities will provide the learner the knowledge and experience necessary to complete the assessment correctly and timely? The answer is in the Absorb, Do, and Connect activities aligned with each assessment.Absorb activities provide information to learners (Horton, p. 127), do activities turn information into knowledge, and are the path between explanations and skills (p. 161), and connect activities ensure people can apply what they’ve learned (p. 213)

Horton, W. (2011). E-Learning by Design (2nd Edition).

 Front End Analysis

What Is an Alignment Chart?

  • An alignment chart shows the interconnection between objectives, assessments, and activities for a unit of learning(module, class, section, etc.).
  • An alignment chart allows all interested parties (the sponsor, instructor, learners, learner's supervisor, etc.) to see how the learning activities and assessment strategies are well matched with the learning objectives. In other words, an alignment chart ensures that all components of training are aligned, and all the people involved are aligned too.
  • What would happen to this stool if the three legs were not in alignment?

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