Short courses


Blended and Online Learning Design

  • 4 hours per week
  • 3 weeks


Online learning is the future of teaching. This three-week teaching course aims to support teachers’ own innovations in teaching and learning online, whether you teach in a school, college or university.

  • You’ll understand the nature of learning design in the context of both blended and wholly online learning, and will explore the Conversational Framework concept; the notion that the teaching-learning process is an interactive exchange of concepts and practice, using the ideas of social construction and collaborative learning.
  • You’ll explore a range of digital tools and resources, including the Learning Designer tool, a free online tool to help teachers and lecturers design teaching and learning activities and share their learning designs with one another across all subjects.
  • Through using this tool, you’ll learn how to optimise synchronous and asynchronous learning, and will explore how to implement videos, screencasts, forums, shared learning designs, polls, quizzes and to bring a selection of digital tools into your teaching techniques.
  • You’ll assess a wide range of learning designs and formative assessment methods for both blended and online learning in order to achieve specific types of learning outcomes.

This course is run by the UCL Institute of Education

Who this course is for

This course is best suited for teachers in all sectors of formal education, primarily within the UK. This includes primary and secondary school teachers and further education and higher education teachers and lecturers across all subject areas.

Course content

The course will cover the following topics:

  • The nature of learning design in the context of blended and online learning
  • The Conversational Framework as a tool for thinking about learning design and assessment
  • Digital tools and resources, and how to optimise your learning management system for your students
  • The Learning Designer tool and its uses for borrowing, planning, creating and sharing design ideas with other teachers, across and within subject areas
  • Learning designs and types of formative assessment for blended and online learning to achieve different types of learning outcome
  • Implementing online learning across your institution

Teaching and structure

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.


The course is free to join for its duration. If you wish to receive a certificate of achievement and indefinite access to the course, you can upgrade your access for £59.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Develop your teaching as active learning designs for blended and online teaching for different learning outcomes
  • Collaborate with other participants in a teacher community of practice
  • Apply your learning through and about online pedagogies and digital tools

Software and tools

All the tools we use are free and open to all, or are optional for participants to explore if they wish. In particular we’ll be using the UCL Learning Designer tool.

Course team

Prof Diana Laurillard

Prof Diana Laurillard

Chair of Learning with Digital Technology, Knowledge Lab, UCL IOE. Developing a global community of teachers around the Learning Designer

Dr Eileen Kennedy

Dr Eileen Kennedy

Eileen is a Principal Research Fellow in Online Learning Pedagogies and Future Education at UCL Knowledge Lab, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, and leads the MA in Education and Technology.

Learner reviews

"This was a great add-on after completing my postgraduate studies in higher education. Particularly addressing the online needs of students and learning designers, this was practical, community-led and hands-on which encouraged deep learning in a short timeframe. I would definitely recommend this course!" 

Course information last modified: 16 Aug 2023, 14:33