Learning Design Toolkit

The following tools will help you visualise and develop your design project.

Course Mapping: Supports curriculum design team collaboration and constructive alignment.

User Personas: Creating a user persona for the students and staff in a course sets the stage for learner centred course design.

Project Planning: There are a range of tools that can help you plan and manage projects to develop new activities, resources or courses.


    Course maps involve taking an in-depth look at a course—who studies it, who teaches it, what it’s about, and how it’s delivered and assessed. It is a more visual, comprehensive way of presenting the course guide, and enables collaboration with multidisciplinary curriculum design teams. In keeping with the idea of constructive alignment (Biggs, 1996), the map draws together the course-level outcomes, assessments, activities and resources required to create “an environment that maximizes the likelihood that students will engage in the activities designed to achieve the intended outcomes” (Biggs, 2003).


    When developing, refreshing or overhauling a course, this process enables a multidisciplinary team—including teaching staff, academic developers, educational technologists, and students—to see the course outline at a glance. From this they can develop a pedagogical approach and supporting course structure (or understand the one already in place), and then examine the details of the activities, resource types, delivery mode, etc., that are required to make this design work.

    An effective and engaging course requires the careful alignment of outcomes, assessments, student activities, learning resources, and lecturer support and involvement. Course mapping highlights each of these areas, so that they can considered separately and together.

    Tip: Consider completing user personas before starting the course mapping to first identify your user groups and their needs.


    Get a week-by-week outline of your course, identifying key areas to work on.

    13 weeks template:

    16 weeks template:

    If you need assistance thinking of learning activities to support the course design in the online space, see the Activity Cards for some ideas.


    Post & References


    Biggs, J. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32: 347-364. Available online.

    Biggs, J. (2003). Aligning teaching and assessing to course objectives. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: New Trends and Innovations. University of Aveiro, 13-17. Available online.