Learning Design

NOTE: Material on this page relates primarily to pre-COVID ETS activities. For details on the migration to online during 2020, please visit our Teaching Online page.

ETS provides a range of services and resources which support the design of great student learning experiences. Want to learn more about Learning Design in practice? Are you developing or revising an online course? Want to embed technology in your face to face class?
To learn more about Learning Design and the services we offer, see the sections below.

What is Learning Design?

“Learning Design refers to ways in which educators can document, model, implement, store, share, adapt and reuse pedagogical ideas” (Bennett, Agostinho, & Lockyer, 2016). This includes the process of creating student learning experiences based on identified learning outcomes and empirically supported learning theories. Similar to Instructional Design, which focuses on designing instruction, learning design is an emerging area of practice that speaks more to learner-centred approaches of teaching and learning. Using an established instructional design model as a framework, the interactions involved in teaching and learning along with work completed and artefacts created, are mapped out and eventually implemented to ensure learning has occurred.

Bennett, S., Agostinho, S., & Lockyer, L. (2016). Investigating University Educators’ Design Thinking and the Implications for Design Support Tools. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2016(1), 1–10. http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.404

Designing for Learning

While we cannot design learning itself, we can design FOR learning. This series of resources provide guidances on major aspects of designing for learning, including writing learning outcomes, constructive alignment and designing assessments, formative activities and learning materials.

Read more about Designing for Learning.

Models of Instructional Design

Models of Instructional / Learning / Educational design can guide the work involved in creating great learning experiences. At ETS, we use an expanded version of the ADDIE model, which includes the basic aspects of Backwards Design.

Backwards Design »


Learning Modalities

Courses can be offered in many different ways, on a spectrum from face-to-face to blended to fully online, with a variety of tools and teaching strategies used to support each learning experience.

Read more about different course modalities here.

Scarfe Teaching and Learning Studios

The Faculty of Education has a couple of new learning spaces which can facilitate both online and in-person collaborative experiences.

Read more about the space.

Course Development: A Team-based Approach

ETS supports the development of new online courses, and revisions of existing online courses through a team-based approach intended to support course developers in their work. Drawing upon expertise in ETS around practices in online learning that enhance student success, as well as the best and most innovative use of learning technologies, we work with course developers and subject matter experts to ensure our courses are designed to be exceptional learning experiences for every student.

Course Developer: Instructor, faculty member or subject matter expert (SME) undertaking the course revision or development.
Learning Designer: ETS staff member tasked with supporting and guiding the course revision or development process with a focus on sound online pedagogies.
Learning Technology Specialist: ETS staff member tasked with supporting innovative use and application of learning technologies in the service of meeting learning objectives.

*Please note that the faculty is developing a revised process for course development, so this page will be updated to reflect this new process soon.

Relevant forms and guidelines:

Information for Academic Reviewers:

If you are reviewing a course from an academic perspective for any department within the Faculty of Education, please use the form above. This document contains fillable forms to respond to specific prompts about the course you’re reviewing.

Information for External Academic Reviewers:

If you are reviewing a course for a department within the Faculty of Education, but you do not have a UBC login, we’ll ask you to create one so that we can provide access the course. Once access has been granted, you can use the Academic Review Form listed above to complete your review. Upon completion, this form can be sent to the Department Head you’ve been in contact with.

To access the course you’ll be reviewing, please follow these steps:

  1. You’ll first need a CWL (Campus Wide Login) to access UBC systems. To create one, please visit https://activate.id.ubc.ca/iamweb/
  2. Once your CWL has been created, please send an email to ets.educ@ubc.ca, noting both your CWL login name and the course you’ll be reviewing. ETS staff will be in touch with you to provide instructions on how to access the course.


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Education

Through ongoing support, ETS provides academic staff within the Faculty of Education, the opportunity to share their practice with hosted events, showcasing innovations in learning. ETS also provides services related to data collection, ethics, privacy and other issues relating to working with human participants and the use of technology in education.

TEC Expo

The Technology Enhanced Classroom (TEC) Expo is an annual event designed to showcase and celebrate creative and innovative uses of technology in face-to-face, blended, and online classrooms within the Faculty of Education. A portion of the TEC Expo event is dedicated to Makerspaces. The Makerspaces provide opportunities to share hands-on making, and coding activities with the audience.

TEC Expo 2019 »

SOTL Community of Practice

UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) supports a vibrant SOTL Community of Practice, which supports SoTL practices at UBC through meetings, workshops and networking opportunities.

SoTL Community of Practice »