Alignment in the context of instructional design refers to the idea of verifying that the activities and assessments address the stated objectives.  In other words, it is essential that the evaluations and resources reflect the desired outcomes.

In the example shown in the table below the activities and assessments clearly line up well with the objective, illustrating alignment.

The Objective:

  • Illustrate an understanding of the Cell Cycle and how its alteration may engender Cancer

The Activities:

  • Read about the Cell Cycle/Mitosis in the textbook
  • Complete a learning game on the Cell Cycle
  • Watch Presentations on Cancer Biology

The Assessments:

  • Provide screenshots with explanations from Cell Cycle game
  • Create a mindmap illustrating the Cell Cycle and how alterations can lead to Cancer


An adaptation of form 6 (See below) was utilized in our work on alignment, which qualified activities and assessments into Do, Absorb, and Connect categories.  These categories are based on the work of William Horton in his E-Learning by Design book and website.

Download the PDF file .



Maria Guillily, PhD