Topic outline

  • Course introduction

    Designing for 21st Century Learning

    Designing for 21st Century learning is an 30-credit, master’s level module, taught at The University of Northampton, UK. The module forms part of the PGCAP (Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice), but can also be studied as part of the MA Education within the Faculty of Education and Humanities, the University of Northampton.

    Target audience

    The module is aimed at educators, including lecturers, tutors, facilitators, learning designers and technologists in HE or FE sector, also aimed at primary and secondary school teachers considering a possible career in higher education.


    Designing for 21st Century learning module offers a state-of-the-art review of the field of Technology-enhanced Learning (TEL), reviews theoretical underpinnings and offers hands-on applications of various learning technologies in different contexts. The module focuses on topical aspects of online and blended learning, such as learning innovation, effective learning design, assessment activities, and the use of open educational resources (OERs) in teaching and course development. On completing this module, participants will be able to evaluate how different pedagogical approaches can be supported and promoted by the affordances of learning technologies, and apply a range of approaches to the design of effective learning interventions across different modes of study.

    The assessment of the module is context specific and relevant to each participant’s learning and teaching environment. The themes of the assessment include a case study of an innovative approach, and the planning of a full intervention (design, storyboard, delivery, assessment).

    This module is delivered in blended learning mode: there is a weekly face-to-face seminar of between 60 and 120 minutes over 12 weeks, and a significant component of online work (individual and group-based asynchronous online learning activities, plus independent study). 

    What's on Wolearn?

    Here on Wolearn we share three topics of the Designing for 21st Century Learning module: 

    1. Learning design
    2. Activity design
    3. Assessment and feedback

  • Learning Design

    Learning Design

    Image courtesy of Denise Krebs | Flickr


    This topic will provide you with an overview of the frameworks and approaches of learning design. You will look into your own experiences as designer, teacher or student to identify good and bad practices in course design and reflect on your own design practices.

    Learning outcomes

    By the end of this topic you will have:

    • Obtained an overview of frameworks of learning design
    • Applied the frameworks of learning design to the design of your own blended learning course
    • Developed the learning outcome statements for your blended learning course
    • Developed the storyboard for your blended learning course
    What to do:

    1. Read about 'what is learning design'
    2. Read about the 7Cs Learning Design Framework
    3. Read about the CAIeRO Learning Design process
    4. Read about storyboard
    5. Read about how to develop learning outcomes
    6. Complete E-tivity 1: Develop your learning outcomes
    7. Contribute to E-tivity 1 related discussion in the course discussion forum
    8. Complete E-tivity 2: Create your storyboard
    9. Contribute to E-tivity 2 related discussion in the course discussion forum

  • Activity Design

    Student group activities on campus


    This topic will introduce you to the theories and models related to the design of online interactive activities.

    Learning outcomes

    By the end of the topic, you will have:

    • Obtained an overview of the theories, models and pedagogic approaches for designing online activities.

    • Applied the 5-stage model to the design of at least one e-tivity for your selected course.

    What to do
    As a learner, you're expected to complete the following readings and tasks to complete this topic:

  • Assessment and Feedback

    Assessment & Feedback

    We’ll focus on assessment and feedback which is such a key driver for learning. We'll look at different types of assessment, and a range of ways in which technology can support the assessment and feedback processes.

    Learning outcomes

    By the end of the topic, you will have:

    • obtained an overview of current developments and innovation in assessment in higher education.
    • considered aspects of the student experience with feedback, the implications for students and staff and strategies for implementing good feedback practice.
    What to do:

    1. Read about 'Assessment'.
    2. Read about 'E-assessment'.
    3. Complete E-tivity 4: Identify good assessment practice
    4. Read about 'Feedback'.
    5. Complete E-tivity 5: Identify good feedback practice