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Designing and planning your online course with Airtable

A digital approach to the ABC Learning Design framework

In 2020, John Owen and I established a digital approach to the ABC Learning Design framework in response to the pandemic to enable the face-to-face sessions to take place online (you can read about the approach in this post and here is a link to the technical guide to get set up).

We have adopted this approach for the design and development of new undergraduate and postgraduate course units in the School of Health Sciences. Staff feedback has been positive, specifically as the output of the workshop is a visual, digital storyboard that also acts as a tool for managing the development of course learning materials and activities. However, some staff felt that the process seemed overly complicated with the different tools used and the setup pre-workshop required some technical know-how.

Therefore, John and I were asked to present a Masterclass to the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health on our approach, we took the opportunity to look again at what we had developed, what worked well and what didn't work so well, and to see whether we could simplify and streamline the process.

The result was a refined approach using only one free web-based tool, Airtable.

We have documented the process in this short open-access course, Digital Curriculum Design and have made the Airtable base available for you to use in your own context (CC BY NC SA 4.0). The course talks you through each stage of the setup and is accompanied by some instructional videos.

Initial feedback from the Masterclass suggests that the new process is easy to follow (average of 4.3/5) and 86% would use the process for a new project. This is encouraging early feedback. We will be looking to roll this out and evaluate it further over the coming months.

If you decide to adopt this approach, we would love to hear how it went and to learn from your experiences. Comment below or get in touch directly.




The i3HS Hub is a multidisciplinary project to promote teaching and research across disciplines for population health benefit through data sciences.

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Catherine Wasiuk

Catherine Wasiuk

Freelance Digital Learning Designer

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