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Design activities of the Basic DD process

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From Nedermeijer (2023): Evidence-Based Blended and Online Learning – Design Blended Learning and Online education (

Design activity 1: Prepare and discuss the design brief (design assignment and DD process)

  1. Prepare a ‘design brief’ to explain your course design task;
  2. Prepare the pDD process you like to follow to finish the design task.

When you start redesigning your course, you first need to think about how you tackle your course design task. There is no standard course design and development process that you can follow step by step. The difficulty and complexity of the design task and your experience as a teacher designer determine your course redesign and development process. The consequence is that the teacher designer should make its version of the Basic DD process.


Design activity 2: Collect, analyse and structure the information needed in your design task

  1. Make a systematic description of the learning environment (Figure 10), including the diamond diagram or the spider diagram (Figures 10 and 11);
  2. Formulate the pedagogical concept of your course with the existing and new pedagogical measures;
  3. Formulate the quality criteria you and the management decided for the new course more precisely;
  4. Explain the other considerations you consider necessary.

A design process is also a learning process. The teacher designer tries to grasp the relevant knowledge, conventions, assumptions, examples, best practices and theories suitable for the design task. You need a certain amount of expertise to find new ideas. Use sources with authority regarding scientific evidence and the experiences of trusted colleagues or educational experts.


Design activity 3: Design the route map for the course programme

  1. Elaborate on the learning trajectory by building on the structured information prepared in design activity 2 (diamond diagram, pedagogical concept, the learning environment and the blueprint).
  2. Use the possibilities offered by design activity 2 to arrive at appropriate concept ideas and design concepts;
  3. Select the structure, learning activities and materials you want to use in your course;
  4. Think of possible ideas for your route maps. Select three to five meaningful ideas for your route maps. Evaluate these ideas using your list of qualities. Select the final route map concept to elaborate on the blueprint.


Design activity 4: Develop the best route map in the blueprint format

  1. Introduce all topics of the course, following the selected structure, as described in the route map:
    • The necessary learning activities for the students;
    • The expected learning results;
    • The teaching activities;
    • The use of IT and practical exercises.
  2. Check the blueprint with the four implementation questions from paragraph 3.5. Prepare the IT activities.


Design activity 5: Deliver the redesigned blended or online learning course

  1. Develop the final lesson plan, teaching activities and materials for the course;
  2. Develop new assignments and materials;
  3. Prepare yourself for your work as a teacher.


Design activity 6 Evaluate and assess the quality of the design results and decide on consequences for the DD process

  1. After each design activity, evaluate whether you are still on the right track with your course design;
  2. Do you still meet your selected quality criteria?
  3. Assess whether the design and development results fit the official institutes’ requirements for the learning environment, like study hours, classrooms, pedagogical concepts and test format.
  4. Decide what adjustments and additional design activities are needed;
  5. Prepare the evaluation activities and materials for minor try-outs for new teaching or learning activities;
  6. Prepare an evaluation of the implementation of your newly redesigned course.

The order in which you conduct the design activities is not fixed. Sometimes, you begin by collecting additional information. Sometimes, you already have so many ideas that you start devising a new course programme. But when you are ready with your program, you should finish the previous steps and check whether the intermediate products in the pDD process are well connected and fit logically with your design task and the final course design. Sometimes this means you need to start collecting additional information and apply these insights in your other design activities.

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