FIG Peer Review Journal


Constructive Alignment of an Introductory University Geographic Information Systems Course (4872)

Siddique Motala (South Africa)
Mr. Siddique Motala
University of Cape Town
Department of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics
Menzies Building, University Avenue, Upper Campus
Cape Town
South Africa
Corresponding author Mr. Siddique Motala (email: siddique.motala[at], tel.: + 27 21 6503574)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2011-03-16
Received 2010-11-22 / Accepted 2011-02-10
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2011 in Marrakech, Morocco and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2011
ISBN 978-87-90907-92-1 ISSN 2307-4086


John Biggs’ concept of ‘constructive alignment’, as applied to an introductory Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course at the University of Cape Town is reported on. A brief explanation of the principles of constructive alignment is given, and the reason for its use in the intervention is discussed, together with a contextualization of GIS education in South Africa. Constructive alignment is a holistic framework, which assists in the design of the teaching/learning activities, curriculum objectives and assessment tasks. A constructive alignment model was developed for the GIS course and is described here. The preliminary findings of this action research are reported on. It was found to be a useful tool in GIS course design, and can be used on an ongoing basis to refine the total learning experience of students.
Keywords: Education; Curricula; Geoinformation/GI; Geographic Information Systems; constructive alignment; SOLO taxonomy; curriculum objectives; teaching and learning activities; assessment