J ohn BIGGS graduated in Psychology (Honours) from the University of Tasmania in 1957, obtaining his PhD from the University of London. He has held chairs in Education in Canada, Australia and Hong Kong. His main focus throughout his career has been on improving teaching and learning through the application of psychological principles to education. He has published extensively on student learning and the implications of this research for teaching.
Professor BIGGS work on student approaches to learning, and on the structure of the observed learning outcome (SOLO), was important in developing his concept of constructive alignment (CA). In CA, the intended learning outcomes we want students to achieve are defined (often with graduate attributes in mind), teaching is geared to what students have to do in order to achieve those outcomes, while assessment tasks are set to enable one to judge how well they have been achieved. Constructive alignment is outlined in Teaching for Quality Learning in University (McGraw-Hill/Open University Press), currently in its fourth edition with Catherine Tang as co-author. He has published over 150 articles and co/authored and edited 23 books. He is an Honorary Associate, School of Psychology, University of Tasmania and Honorary Professor of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, and is an occasional consultant in teaching in higher education.