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Designing for Student Success: A learning design method, building online and blended programmes at GMIT

Dr Carina Ginty
iNOTE Project Leader, Teaching and Learning Office (GMIT)

In 2018, I introduced an alternative workshop approach to curriculum design in GMIT called the ABC Learning Design Method, which is based on the established theory, Conversational Framework (Laurillard, 2012), JISC UK (2014) blended learning strategies and the University College London and DCU Erasmus+ higher education development project. This method is a 90-minute high-energy, hands-on curriculum development workshop where teaching teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ of a module. In GMIT, the method was further enhanced with the inclusion of a programme assessment and learning outcomes design resource, plus a rubric for designing an effective virtual learning environment.

Colleagues in GMIT have found this method particularly useful for designing or re-designing programmes that are moving to an online or blended format. The method uses a game-based format where teams work together to create a visual storyboard outlining the type and sequence of learning activities, choosing from a range of conventional methods and digital technologies under six categories (including Acquisition, Collaboration, Discussion, Investigation, Practice and Production). The participants also agree on an assessment strategy aligned to the module learning outcomes, create an action plan to revise a module/programme descriptor, review a quality design rubric and plan for the implementation on the virtual learning environment. Rollout and evaluation of this learning design method in GMIT, has led to the development of a four-step framework for designing for online and blended learning with the GMIT Teaching and Learning Office (see Figure 1).


Figure 1


A snapshot of the resources and experiences from the learning design workshops is showcased in Figure 2.


Figure 2


To sign up for a Learning Design workshop with GMIT T&L Office visit the ‘Book a Workshop’ link on or contact


Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. London Routledge.

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