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Quality v1. Dave Carroll, Damian Gordon, Deirdre Lawless, Matt Hussey, Ciarán O’Leary, Fred Mtenzi, Michael Collins. School of Computing, Dublin Institute of Technology. Wednesday, March 7th 2007. Emersion Project.

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Quality v1

Quality v1

Dave Carroll, Damian Gordon, Deirdre Lawless, Matt Hussey, Ciarán O’Leary, Fred Mtenzi, Michael Collins

School of Computing,

Dublin Institute of Technology

Wednesday, March 7th 2007

Emersion project
Emersion Project

  • Education to MEet the Requirements of the Software Industry and BeyONd – Establishing and Implementing and Evaluating and Industry-Oriented Education Model in China

  • Support sustainable industry-oriented IT education in China

  • 2003 – 2006

  • EU Asia-Link funding

Dave Carroll

Asia link

Asia-Link Partnership Areas

Institutional and Systems Development

Curriculum Development

Human Resource Development

Dave Carroll

Asia link emersion mapping


Human Resource Development area

Curriculum Development area

Institutional and Systems Development area


Lecturing Team with Industry-Oriented Ethos

Curriculum for Industry-Oriented IT Education 3D Aligned

Quality Assurance System supporting the Industry-Oriented Model

Asia-Link - Emersion Mapping

Dave Carroll

3d alignment
3D Alignment

  • Constructive alignment

    • Module teaching, learning and assessment strategies aligned with module learning outcomes.

  • Horizontal alignment

    • Curriculum elements arranged so that the student transfers problem solving knowledge between domains at the same stage of the programme.

  • Vertical alignment

    • Curriculum elements arranged to build on foundational knowledge and provide a platform for future elements.

Dave Carroll

3d aligned curriculum
3D Aligned Curriculum

Vertical Alignment

3D Alignment Space

Horizontal Alignment

Constructive Alignment

(Source: O’Leary et al, 2006)

Dave Carroll

3d alignment space
3D Alignment Space

  • All curricula fit into 3D alignment space

  • Horizontal-Vertical-Constructive dimensions

  • Successful curricula positioned away from the origin

  • Distance from origin to position in 3D alignment space provides a ‘measure’ of effectiveness of curriculum

Dave Carroll

Alignment drift
Alignment Drift

  • Curriculum is a dynamic entity

  • May get misaligned along any three dimensions or along a combination any of the three

  • Position in 3D alignment space changes signaling misalignment

  • Such misalignment is a quality issue and needs to be monitored

  • Quality assurance system is main monitoring mechanism of an academic programme

Dave Carroll

Annual monitoring report
Annual Monitoring Report

Syllabus Changes

Quality Evaluation


Staff/Student Feedback

Key alignment messages?

Prepared by Programme Team

Annual Monitoring Report

External’s Comments

Evaluation of current implementation

Summary or Exam Results

Recent modifications

Dave Carroll

3d aligned quality assurance main actors roles
3D Aligned Quality Assurance Main Actors & Roles

Quality is never an accident?

Dave Carroll

Lecturer constructive alignment
Lecturer - Constructive alignment

  • Monitor how successfully the module was constructively aligned

    • Misalignment

      • Between module LOs & teaching, learning & assessment process

    • Annual Monitoring Report

      • Look at Teaching & Assessment

    • Emergent learning outcomes?

      • improve future programme cycles.

Dave Carroll

Year mentor horizontal alignment
Year Mentor - Horizontal alignment

  • Identify potential linkages between modules in a stage

  • Make module lecturers are aware of such linkages & how they aid transfer of problem solving knowledge.

  • Explicit linkages built through co-requisite modules

  • Implicit linkages depend on the co-operation between individual lecturers

  • Annual Monitoring Report

    • Look at student and staff feedback on the teaching process Look for evidence of staff cooperation - enhances horizontal alignment.

Dave Carroll

Stream leader vertical alignment
Stream Leader - Vertical alignment

  • Identify potential linkages between similar modules in different stages

  • Make lecturers are aware of such linkages.

  • Explicit linkages built through pre-requisite modules

  • Co-operation between lecturers needed to operationalise implicit linkages.

    • Ensures the learning outcomes of individual modules and of the overall programme are achieved.

  • Annual Monitoring Report

    • Look for evidence of successful co-operation necessary for vertical alignment.

Dave Carroll

Programme co ordinator 3d alignment
Programme Co-ordinator – 3D alignment

  • Determine the degree of 3D Alignment existing in a given course

  • Generate a complete picture such alignment

  • Annual Monitoring Report

    • alignment information provided by the Lecturer, Year Mentor and Stream Leader – 3D alignment.

Dave Carroll

Effect of modularisation on 3d alignment
Effect of Modularisation on 3D alignment

  • Non-modularised programme

    • All the modules in each stage to be passed before progression

  • Significant degree of 3D alignment possible

    • Horizontal alignment e.g. a module in the first stage may be aligned with all or many of the other modules in that stage

      • High horizontal alignment

    • Vertical alignment e.g. modules align in successive stages (a “stream”)

      • High vertical alignment

    • Constructive alignment e.g. module learning outcomes match assessment and learning and teaching for the constructive alignment,

      • High constructive alignment

Dave Carroll

Effect of modularisation on 3d alignment1
Effect of Modularisation on 3D alignment

  • Modularised programme

    • Modules done independently, in any order

  • Low vertical & horizontal alignment

    • Changes however with pre-requisites & co-requisites

  • High degree of constructive alignment important

Dave Carroll

Effect of modularisation on 3d alignment2
Effect of Modularisation on 3D alignment

  • Non-modularised vs. modularised

    • Ideal situation = Highly degree of alignment

    • Incremental improvements until a threshold reached where further alignment not desirable

    • Aim = get to an optimum position in 3D alignment space.

Dave Carroll

Integration of 3d model with quality assurance system
Integration of 3D Model with Quality Assurance System

  • Staff Education

    • Requirements of the 3D model

    • Seminars, Reports, workshops

    • Range of uses for the data including program revalidation

Dave Carroll


  • 3D Aligned curriculum

  • 3D Alignment Space

  • Alignment Drift

  • Annual Monitoring Report

  • Main Actors & Roles

  • Effect of Modularisation

  • Integration of 3D model QA

Dave Carroll

Further information
Further Information

  • Paper

  • Webhttp://software.hit.edu.cn/emersion/index.html

  • Book An Industry-Oriented Model for Software Education in China: Adapting and Irish Model to Chinese Conditions Lawless, Deirdre; Wu, Bing; Carroll, Dave, Gordon, Damian; Hussey, Matt; O'Leary, Ciarán; O'Shea, Brendan; Xiaofei, Xu (Eds.)Blackhall Publishing, 2007

  • EmailDave.Carroll@dit.ie

Dave Carroll


  • O'LEARY, Ciarán., LAWLESS, Deirdre, GORDON, Damian, CARROLL, Dave, MTENZI, Fred and COLLINS, Michael, 3D Alignment in the Adaptive Software Engineering Curriculum, 36th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, October 28 – 31, 2006, San Diego, CA.

Dave Carroll

Thank you
Thank You!

  • Go Raibh Maith Agat

  • Xie Xie

Dave Carroll