ABC Learning Design workshops in Trinity term 2019

Learning Design approaches curriculum planning from an activity perspective. Our workshops allow you to review the balance and sequencing of different types of learning activity and to explore the potential of Canvas to support students' learning.

What are ABC Learning Design workshops?

Developed for anyone in the University with a teaching role, Learning Design workshops provide an opportunity to step back and ask

  • “What do I want my students to achieve?”
  • “How do I want them to learn?”

They offer a safe and supportive space in which to review the balance and sequencing of the different types of learning activities that currently comprise your paper, module or short course.

Hands-on techniques, including card-sorting and storyboarding, enable you to explore possible alternatives and their potential implications for both you and your students. What could be gained? Might anything be lost? Where, and how, could Canvas and other digital technologies enhance students’ learning – and your teaching?

…a really good way of getting you think more strategically about what the course should achieve, how I might get the students to learn the things that I want them to learn.


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By the end of the two-hour workshop, you will have produced a high-level storyboard for your chosen paper, module or short course, together with an action plan for developing the learning activities further.

An A1 sheet of paper and the cards kept the exercise simple. It was actually a great deal of fun.

By deconstructing our course it’s emphasised which parts are missing and also allowed us to visualise where and how to fill these sections in.

Who runs the workshops?

Each workshop is facilitated by experienced learning technologists from the TEL team with a sound understanding of teaching and learning at Oxford. The format is based on the acclaimed ‘ABC’ model developed by University College London; you can watch an introductory video (4 min.) on their blog.

    Who should come?

    The workshops are intended primarily for course directors, module leaders and other members of academic staff with responsibility for planning and designing whole programmes of study or individual modules, papers or short courses. They may also be relevant to teaching assistants and administrative staff who support academics in developing their teaching materials.

    To gain the maximum benefit from a workshop, we recommend that you come in teams of 2–4 people.

    If people are from the same field it’s beneficial to share, and ideas really grow out of that.

    Ideally, your team will also include a previous student on your course who can give the added dimension of a learner’s perspective.

    I think that [working with a student] was one of the most valuable things.

    What should we bring?

    You will need to come with the outline or plan of a paper, module or course from which you wish to develop your storyboard. The paper, module or course can be either a new one or an existing one that you are looking to revise: for example, as part of the migration to Canvas. The outline or plan should include the learning outcomes, topics and some indication of the expected formative and summative assessments.

    The workshops last two hours and are free of charge. All materials are provided.

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