X Close



ABC Learning design


ABC Learning Design @ UCL

storyboard of student journey

This is the UCL site for ABC Learning Design. The Erasmus+ project site (2018-2020) and the latest version of ABC Toolkit can be found at Erasmus+ ABC to VLE: beyond curriculum design .


The ABC model has been widely used across UCL (and the sector) in the format of the ABC workshop, developed by UCL Digital EducationDuring the ‘classic’ high-energy 90 minute ABC workshop, academic teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ showing the type and sequence learning activities required to meet the module’s learning outcomes, and how these will be assessed. Over a thousand UCL colleagues participated in live ABC workshops since we started in 2015, finding the format to be particularly useful for new programmes or those moving to an online or more blended format.

In early 2022, ABC was integrated into UCL’s institutional approach to programme development and review. The new Programme Development team in the Arena Centre (UCL Education and Student Experience) assists in the development of new programmes and the design of modules, as well as the review and redesign of current ones. Through custom workshops and guidance, the team supports the development of initial concepts and preparation for UCL’s Programme and Module Approval Process (PMAP). The team’s approach throughout focuses on providing a rich and cohesive student experience across programmes, and prior to PMAP Student Quality Reviews can be arranged to ensure the student viewpoint is included prior to submission. These short sessions have proved to be both effective and timely. After approval, our familiar ABC workshops take the designs to the next level. Programme teams storyboard the sequence and combination of activities across modules and build in assessment and feedback. The UCL Programme Development team blog is here.

Online ABC

During the pandemic, live workshops were suspended, so an online version of ABC was developed in 2021 that can be run though MS Teams and the online whiteboard tool Jamboard. Live workshops can now be booked again, but the online version remains a very useful alternative. Here is an introduction to the overall approach (8 minutes).

UCL colleagues, if you wish to arrange an online or face-to-face ABC session for your programme, please use this form.

More background about ABC

1. A short video introducing the live workshop (4 minutes).

2. A longer introduction from one of our live workshops (18 minutes)

3. More about the learning types, and how they link to UCL tools.

4. And some papers to read.

  1. Young, C. and Perović, N. (2016) Rapid and Creative Course Design: As Easy as ABC? Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 228, 390-395
  2. Hasenknopf, B., Michou, V., Milani, M., Perović, N. and Young, C. (2019). Sharing the ABC approach to learning design across three European Universities. European University Association (EUA), 2019 European Learning & Teaching Forum, Warsaw. ISSN: 2593-7448
  3. Young, C.P.L. and Perović, N. (2020). ABC LD – A new toolkit for rapid learning design. European Distance Education Network (EDEN) Conference 2020, Timisoara, Romania.

Clive Young and Nataša Perović, Digital Education, UCL, 2022

All ABC resources are released under Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license