UCL’s institutional approach to learning design

UCL’s recently established Programme Development team led by its Director, Prof. Simon Walker, works alongside colleagues in Arena to provide expert guidance on learning design for new and existing programmes. Dr. Clive Young, Head of PD, and three highly experienced advisors from Digital Education, Leo Havemann, Karen Shackleford-Cesare, and Natasa Perovic, joined Prof. Walker earlier this year. The team works closely with UCL’s faculties and departments to enhance the student experience via the design of resources and activities. We aim to provide programme teams with end-to-end support, from initial ideation through delivery and review.

We have already discovered that engaging with academic teams early on, before formal documentation is generated, has proven to be extremely beneficial. Focused workshops, tools, and structured discussion can help to improve and align the programme vision, learning outcomes, and assessment. The team continues the support the emerging programme teams post- PMAP approval. For many years, UCL has used the ABC collaborative rapid development method to design modules and their assessment, and this successful approach is being integrated into the whole design process. We are generating additional material especially around assessment and employability.  Most of the workshops are still online but we hope to return to ‘normal’ face-to face workshops soon.

The Programme Development team run 2-3 hour review workshops  for existing programmes and modules. These can be stand-alone events or take place as aper of an away-day. Academic colleagues across UCL have already discovered that this type of collective approach helps to refine the design of programmes and integrate learner outcomes, student activities and assessment strategies.


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