Curriculum design

Please also check our online learning and teaching FAQ

Effective online learning results from careful instructional design and planning, using a systematic model for design and development.

Online learning does not mean trying to replicate face-to-face teaching.

One way to review your course for online delivery is to think about the activities that you would like students to carry out each week.  The use of Diana Laurillard’s six  ‘learning types’ has proved a practical and quick framework to help academic teams consider how to move learning activities online.  The ABC curriculum design framework requires teams to map out the learning types in a visual overview of the module – this can be done online via Teams Planner or if you would like to take it even further you can use the Learning Designer tool.

It is important to build in interactivity and activities for students to engage with the content.  Using a template or content to structure your course can help with this.

A similar structure each week can make it easier for students to organise themselves and their workload.

For example, splitting up content and activities using the Present, Apply and Review structure below.

Template present apply review

Template present apply review

As per the University level good practice principles for online learning, teaching and assessment in 2020/21 learning, teaching and assessment should be designed for maximum flexibility in terms of access.  Focusing on asynchronous delivery particularly for large group teaching, designing synchronous activities where appropriate, such as community building, student engagement and small group teaching.

Some examples of how the present, apply and review structure could be applied with the learning types and activities for students is detailed below.

Template learning types

Template learning types

Some examples of the different learning activities for each section are shown below

Template learning activities

Template learning activities

More information and examples for each section can be found on the Present, Apply, Review pages.

See below for an example of the sequence for one week of teaching.

Example 1
An example week on a course: Present represents the Online mini lectures, Apply represents the Online learner activity and Review represents the the online seminar.

Weekly topic sequence

Weekly topic sequence

Example week topic sequence A

Example week topic sequence 2


How this would look for the whole course

1: learner activities (asynchronous, 1 hour); mini lectures (asynchronous, 1 hour); webinar (synchronous, 1 hour). 2: mini lectures (asynchronous, 1 hour); learner activities (asynchronous, 1 hour); webinar (synchronous, 1 hour); 3: learner activities, mini lectures, webinar (same as before). 4: mini lectures, learner activities, webinar (same as before). And do on until the end of term.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email