Aligning Objectives, Assessments, and Activities

This article provides tips and examples of how learning outcomes are met through objectives, assessments, and activities as well as how to evaluate student learning.


The alignment of learning activities and assessments with the learning objectives is a necessary component to meeting course quality standards. When learning activities and assessment methods are in alignment with the learning objectives:

  • Students are guided to meet intended learning outcomes

  • Instructors are provided with information to evaluate how well students are learning the content

How to Align Assessment and Activities

Course learning outcomes and the learning objectives for the modules (or units) within the course should be established in order to analyze alignment with assessments and activities. 

Aligned assessments and activities will:

  • Provide evidence of learning

  • Provide a measurement of the level of competence for the targeted learning objective

  • Prepare students with knowledge and skills to progress in the course or to higher levels of mastery

  • Reflect the measurement identified in the learning objective. For example, the ability to “explain” demonstrated through a written essay versus a multiple choice test.


  • A recorded video presentation or discussion shows learners can "explain" or "describe" something.

  • A multiple-choice quiz verifies that learners can "define" or "identify" vocabulary.

  • A writing assignment shows that learners can "write" or "compose" their plans or ”explain” their ideas.

  • Comprehension questions after a video in a foreign language shows that learners can "derive accurate meaning" or "translate" a foreign language.

  • Participation in peer review of a final project reveals learners can "analyze" and "evaluate" complex factors.

Related Information

Consider these external resources for more information:

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