Principles of Programme Design

All taught programmes and modules at the University of Northampton are designed using the principles of constructive alignment. Very simply, this means that:

  1. your learning outcomes should clearly inform the students what they will be expected to know and be able to do by the end of the unit of study;
  2. your teaching and learning activities should be designed to support the achievement of those outcomes; and
  3. your assessment tasks are designed to enable your students to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes.

All of the rules that govern how programmes and modules at Northampton are designed, can be found in the University Modular Framework (UMF), which is contained in the University of Northampton Staff Handbook. The UMF is a continuous framework governing levels 4-8. It provides a framework for the design, structure, and assessment of courses. It also covers the relevant regulations (including supplementary regulations).

What does an active, blended learning programme look like?

The programme is taught through student-centred activities that support the development of subject knowledge and understanding, independent learning and digital fluency. Our face-to-face teaching is facilitated in a practical and collaborative manner, clearly linked to learning activity outside the classroom. Opportunities are provided for students to develop autonomy, graduate attributes and employability skills.

Active blended learning is therefore a pedagogical approach that combines sense-making activities with focused student interactions (with content, peers and tutors) in appropriate learning settings – in and outside the classroom. ABL focuses on engaging students in knowledge construction, reflection and critique, on the development of learner autonomy and of course, on the achievement of learning outcomes.

Useful Guidance

The links below provide guidance on a range of learning design areas such as the construction of effective learning outcomes which you can do using our award-winning COGS (Constructing Outcomes for Graduate Success) Learning Outcomes Toolkit. You can also find out more about designing effective group assessments, the maximum limits on assessment volume and an overview of how we mark student work. You will also find a paper based on research into student perceptions of Active Blended Learning which provides guidance on how to effectively overcome barriers to ABL.