Learning Design at the University of Northampton

Quality Teaching | Meaningful Learning

Learning Design

Learning Design at the University of Northampton uses a blend of approaches and activities to support academic staff in designing their curriculum, and integrating institutional initiatives and pedagogic approaches to deliver effective learning experiences for our students.

The Learning Design Team 

The Learning Designers at University of Northampton support colleagues primarily through the CAIERO (Creating Aligned Interactive Educational Resource Opportunities) process, including synchronous and asynchronous activities and workshops delivered in active blended learning format. Working with individuals and subject/programme teams on specific curriculum development projects, the Learning Designers tailor support to the requirements of the development teams, whether for new validations or changes to existing programmes/modules. 

Along with facilitating CAIEROs, the Learning Designers also run workshop covering specific. targeted, interventions depending on the area of focus for the participants, along with other learning and teaching related areas. The Learning Designers also contribute to a range range of committees and panels (such as the Change of Approval Panels) giving Learning, Teaching and Assessment insights to the panels and integrating various initiatives within the support they provide. 

The Learning Designers work across the faculties rather than aligned to specific subject areas, so please email LD@northampton.ac.uk with any specific requirements or enquiries. 

The links to the right provide access to a variety of tools, techniques, definitions and guidance which are broadly categorised under the key Learning Design themes.


For any guidance and support needed in relation to the Key Learning Design themes

Active Blended Learning

Active Blended Learning

Introducing Active Blended Learning (ABL) The aim of our teaching and learning at the University Of Northampton (UON) is to transform lives and inspire change. We want our students to achieve their ambitions and to improve society for the better through the…

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Defining 'Student Contact Time'

What does ‘student contact time’ mean? ‘Student contact time’ refers to the tutor-mediated time allocated to teaching, provision of guidance and feedback to students. This time includes activities that take place in face-to-face contexts such as on-campus…

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Designing Learning

Programme Design at University of Northampton

Principles of Programme Design All taught programmes and modules at the University of Northampton are designed using the principles of constructive alignment. Very simply, this means that: your learning outcomes should clearly inform the students what they will…

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Module level design

In the same way that our programmes follow the principles of constructive alignment, the design of our modules at the University of Northampton ensures that students are provided with the appropriate learning and teaching activities, experiences and support to develop the skills and knowledge needed to meet the requirements of the assessments.

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Creating Aligned Interactive educational Resources Opportunities (CAIeRO)

The CAIeRO process The primary mechanism for course (re)design at Northampton is the CAIeRO process. If you would like help with any aspect of course (re)design – from a 1:1 session looking at a particular aspect of your module or programme…

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COGS - Changemaker Outcomes for Graduate Success toolkit

COGS (Changemaker Outcomes for Graduate Success) is a toolkit to help staff write programme and module learning outcomes (LOs) that are appropriate to the academic level of study and clarify for students what is expected of them across the different stages of their study. It is not a prescriptive list of learning outcomes, but rather a toolkit that provides a starting point for discussion.  There is neither an expectation nor a requirement to use everything listed….

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Learning Design Resources

Follow the links below to access a range of learning design tools and prompts used in learning design workshops. Contact Learning Design at LD@northampton.ac.uk for any guidance and support needed. CAIeRO planner…

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Planning Learning

Storyboarding your programme

Storyboarding your programme A storyboard is a visual plan of your programme from beginning to end​, using the programme learning outcomes (PLOs) and module specifications to map how learning develops as students progress…

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Storyboarding your module

Visualing constructive alignment through module storyboards A storyboard is a visual plan of your module from beginning to end​, showing a logical sequence of activity that allows the learner to acquire and…

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Session level design

Planning for Active Blended Learning sessions Planning for ABL at a session level requires a structured approach so that session activities and pre-/post-session tasks are meaningful, constructively aligned, and integrated into one blended…

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Quality assurance and enhancement

The Programme Design Process at Northampton All programmes that are validated and taught at the University of Northampton follow a development and review cycle as detailedd below and there is support available for you at each and every stage. …

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Assessing Learning

Assessment at the programme level

Assessment design cannot be separated from the design of the learning outcomes and the learning and teaching approaches. Identifying what students need to achieve is the starting point for a course design approach referred to as ‘backwards design’ (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005).

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Assessment at module level

Module learning outcomes specify what the learner should know and be able to do by the end of the module, and the assessment tasks should be selected to enable effective demonstration of the specified knowledge and skills.

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Summative assessment word count guidance

Following the UMF 2017 review of assessment, word counts for written work used a calculation based on 20 credit modules having a maximum wordcount of 4,000 words based on to 25% of the module Teaching and Learning hours, so 50 hours of student effort being dedicated to student effort in preparing the required evidence used to successfully complete the assessment. The table in the next resource is a quick lookup guide to work out different percentages allocated within a range of different credit value-bearing modules.

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Assessment information on the Learning and Teaching Toolkit

For more information on Assessment, please access the Learning and Teaching Toolkit Assessment resources.