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Course Design Blueprint

Scheduling activities within blocks 

While four weeks delivery time alongside a week for assessment sounds fairly inflexible, there are a great many ways in which the learning for a module could be scheduled, each with particular benefits for students and their learning.  Using the tabs below we illustrate some possibilities to inspire your ideas and imaginations. 

Different models

Standard Four Plus One


Standard four week schedule with each week focussing on an area of content and a single assessment piece due in at the end of the block that covers all learning outcomes 


Single Days


Delivery focussed on single day of intense contact each week. After an introductory two days (using on-line activities and pre-reading) the first session (1) feeds off the introductory content, and provides a base for the first phase of learning materials. Sessions (2) and (3) provides a review of the previous week of learning (possibly including student presentations, posters, … and even a TCA) and then introduces and sets up the next phase. Session (4) draws the course together and provides support for students to complete their assessment work. The contact day in the fifth week could provide tutorial support or could be used for summative presentations, TCAs, assessed practicals, exhibitions with peer reviews, …


Weekly TCAs


Students are expected to engage with tutor structured learning in three day blocks each week with a time constrained assessment held on the Friday of each week. The structured learning days would be a blend of contact, non-contact guided, independent and practical sessions as appropriate to the subject area. As indicated, the fifth week could alternatively be dedicated to bringing the separate parts together and revision rather than the introduction of new material, and thus the final TCA would assess all the module’s learning outcomes. Some or all of the earlier TCAs could be formative, but to encourage engagement probably better as either pass/fail components or non-core summative assessments of a relatively small weighting (10% each) or gradually increasing weightings (5%, 10%, 15%, 20%).


Standard Plus Learning Hub


Standard four week schedule with each week focussing on an area of content and a single assessment piece due in at the end of the block that covers all learning outcomes. However, within each week a day is set aside for learning hub activity that supports the block’s learning and/or assessment activity. The hub days could be of a number of formats, and need not have the same form every week.


Four Day Block


Contact delivery provided in a four day block in the second week, supported by two days of supports and review in the fourth week. Students are expected to engage with on-line activities and reading in preparation for the contact sessions in week 2, and with further guided and independent study activity through weeks three and four leading into their completion of their assessment in week five.


Problem Based Learning Block


Where a block is modelled around the students being set to explore a significant project, problem or case study scenario as the driver for their learning (as occurs within one model of problem based learning), a block could be scheduled such that contact and peer learning is distributed across the module. One day a week (Tuesday in the diagram) is an on-campus day with negotiated tutor led and student led sessions along with opportunities for group learning and discussion of progress. The rest of each week is set aside for independent and group activity, with OLE support for peer activity throughout. The contact day in the fifth week can be used for presentations or similar summary activities (probably group based, possibly summative assessed) with the final three days set aside for students to curate their final submission employing materials generated through their engagement with the block’s activities, possibly supported by a brief reflective commentary.