This is blog post I should have published ages ago…I intended to up date it but never got round to it,  so it’s a bit underdeveloped. Myself and Isobel Bowditch ran an ABC Design workshop for all staff in the School of Law and Social Science here at lSBU. Originally developed at UCL they have provided  a variety of great resources (with a Creative Commons licence).


Session outline

On your table you should l find a set of resources:
blue and red pen, module info and graph sheet, learning activity cards, storyboard sheet, dots/stars , blue tack and action plan

1. Module info and graphs sheet activity (15 mins)
Describe your module: tweet size description of your module
Module shape (Learning types activities graph): distribution of learning types.
Blend: (blended graph)

2. Storyboard part 1 (20 mins)
Storyboard – learning types sequences and activities
existing module design
Add/change any learning types to what you want

3. Storyboard part 2 (20 mins)
Digital: Flip activity cards over and suggest digital alternatives to ‘traditional’ methods.
Assessment: identify formative and summative activities using stars/dots
Finalise: stick all elements down with blue tack.

4. Break/ Circulate (10 mins)
Have a look at other storyboards.
How different are they from yours?
Are there any ideas you’d like to adopt?

5. Module info and graph sheet (15mins)
Review original graph– what has changed? Why?

6. Action plan (20mins)
what next for team?

Evaluation of ABC Design Workshop – 20.6.18

At the end of the workshop we asked participants to answer 4 questions about the session. We had 30 completed evaluation sheets. I have selected some of the comments and provided a brief summary of the responses for each question.

Q1. Which aspects of the workshop did you find particularly useful?

‘Opportunity to reflect and share’, ‘Stimulated discussion with colleagues on all modules’, ‘Opportunity to reflect on module delivery and share experiences’, ‘I found the cards very helpful and offered lots of interesting new suggestions for how I can deliver modules I the future’, ‘Time to plan with colleagues’., ‘A chance to talk about teaching with our colleagues’.

Summary: Overall what everyone appreciated was an opportunity to reflect on the modules that they teach on. They felt that the ABC Design tasks gave them the time and space to talk about the planning of their modules and their students learning activities.

Q2. Where there any aspects of the workshop that you did not find helpful or that we should change?

‘It was not very advanced and some academics are already doing these’, ‘Found it a bit long and low level’, ‘More specific focus on the needs of experienced teachers (Perhaps a bit low level for some staff?), ‘The structure/model did not work for us. The artificial divide into 6 ‘learning activities’ did not help us’., ‘It assumed that we were not already doing blended learning. No reflection on problems using DEL – not all DEL is good.’

Summary: Some of participants thought the session was not ‘advanced’ enough and that there should have been more discussion about the critical aspects of using DEL.

Q3. Is there anything we could include in a future workshop that was not covered in the session?

‘Pedagogy of blended learning – research to support this approach?’, ‘More on specific digital technology methods’ , ‘What and how can technology achieve desired outcomes’, ‘More innovative techniques’, ‘Needed to know how you put the techniques into moodle. How you actually use these techniques in practice’, ‘Input from student voice would enrich a future session’, ‘Digital tools that students actually might use’, ‘More examples of successful digital resources’, ‘Universal design for learning’.

Summary: The overwhelming response to this question was that lecturers wanted more input on how to use the different types of learning technologies that are available to them.

Q4. Do you have any recommendations for other Academic Development Workshops that would be helpful to you and your colleagues?

‘Programme development model’, ‘Assessment and feedback’ , ‘Need to see some student feedback on these techniques to see what they actually feel is useful rather than us just assuming all digital learning is good and useful’, ‘Perspectives on the student experience’, ‘The main focus for LSBU needs to be how to get students to engage with considerably more academic literature in the modules in general and in their assignments in particular – virtually everything needs to be geared towards that as at present that is a pressing issue’, ‘Making Moodle work better for us’, ‘More practiced engagement with teaching tools’, ‘Moodle quizzes, Nearpod, Padlet etc’, ‘More attendance to tackling attendance and, above all, engagement where there are large numbers’.

Summary: It’s hard to summarise this section as there were so many different responses. But one theme that emerged again was an interest in the digital tools that could help lecturers in their teaching and learning activities.