John B. Biggs

John Burville Biggs AM (born 25 October 1934, in Hobart, Tasmania) is an Australian educational psychologist and novelist who developed the SOLO taxonomy for assessing the quality of learning outcomes, and the model of constructive alignment for designing teaching and assessment.[1][2]

John Biggs

John Burville Biggs

(1934-10-25) 25 October 1934 (age 86)
Alma materUniversity of Tasmania (BA)
University of London (PhD)
Known forStructure of observed learning outcomes
Constructive alignment
Scientific career
FieldsEducational psychology
InstitutionsUniversity of Hong Kong
ThesisThe psychological relationship between cognitive and affective factors in arithmetical performance (1962)


After studying psychology at the University of Tasmania (BA, 1957),[citation needed] he moved to the UK for doctoral studies at the University of London where he was awarded a PhD in 1962.[3]

Career and researchEdit

Biggs has held university faculty positions in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. His final institutional affiliation is as Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Hong Kong. His most influential work is his concept of constructive alignment, which is an outcomes-based framework for university teaching as described in Teaching for Quality Learning at University published in its fourth edition with Catherine Tang as co-author in 2011.[4] Changing Universities [5] is an academic memoir covering nearly 60 years of involvement with universities in several countries, and in that time universities themselves have changed drastically.

Awards and honoursEdit

Biggs was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Since retiring from academic life, Biggs has published short stories and four novels, The Girl in the Golden House,[7] Project Integrens,[8] Disguises[9] and Tin Dragons.[10] Tasmania Over Five Generations [11] is a social-political history of Tasmania as seen through the eyes of five generations of his own family. Towards Forgiveness: Sino-Tasmanian stories from two islands [12] is a collection of short stories. His 2013 novel was From Ashes to Ashes.[13]


  1. ^ Constructive Alignment at the Higher Education Academy
  2. ^ Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding (short-film about constructive alignment)
  3. ^ Biggs, John Burville (1962). The psychological relationship between cognitive and affective factors in arithmetical performance. (PhD thesis). University of London. OCLC 1006277297.
  4. ^ Biggs, J. B. and Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university. Open University Press/Mc Graw-Hill Education.[ISBN missing]
  5. ^ Biggs, John. (2013) Changing Universities Strictly Literary[ISBN missing]
  6. ^ "BIGGS, John Burville". Australian Honours Search Facility, Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  7. ^ Biggs, J. B. (2003). The Girl in the Golden House. Pandanus Books.[ISBN missing]
  8. ^ Biggs, J. B. (2006) Project Integrens Sid Harta.[ISBN missing]
  9. ^ Biggs, J. B. (2007) Disguises. Burville Books[ISBN missing]
  10. ^ Biggs, J.B. (2008). Tin Dragons Maygog Publishing[ISBN missing]
  11. ^ Biggs, John (2011). Tasmania Over Five Generations: Return to Van Diemen's Land? Forty Degrees South.
  12. ^ Biggs, J.B. (2012) Towards Forgiveness: Sino-Tasmanian Stories from Two Islands Ginninderra Press[ISBN missing]
  13. ^ Biggs, John. (2013) From Ashes to Ashes Interactive Publications[ISBN missing]