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ABC Learning Design

Learning design module storyboard

ABC Learning Design is an effective and engaging hands-on 90-minute workshop where academic teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ outlining the type and sequence of learning activities (both online and offline) required to meet a course’s learning outcomes.

The ABC method was developed by staff at University College London (UCL) and builds on work by Dianne Laurillard and the JISC Viewpoints project based at the University of Ulster.

We have been using elements of the ABC approach at QMUL for some time now, starting with introducing it on our Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) teaching. We were looking for a way to help staff think about how to design their modules, and in particular how to blend in their use of technology. ABC proved a useful way to do this and so we looked to extend its use beyond the PGCAP.

On this page you will find information about ABC Learning Design, including the resources that we have developed especially for use at QMUL.

If you are interested in us running an ABC workshop for you, please get in touch with us on

Why did we choose ABC?

There are a very large number of learning design methods and frameworks out there, why have we chosen ABC in particular?

  • It is simple, flexible and light touch
  • It has a wide and growing practitioner network – this means it has been used successfully by a wide variety of people in a wide variety of contexts. Most people will make adaptations to the method, and in particular, the resources to suit their particular context however the core of the method remains the same.
  • While the heart of the approach is the 90 minute workshop ABC can be used in many ways. You can use the approach on your own to quickly visualise an idea that you have for your teaching.
  • It provided an effective method for helping staff to understand the range of technologies that we provide at QMUL to support different learning types.

Background information

If you’d like to know a bit more about where the ABC method comes from, the best place to look is the UCL website. There is a thriving international community of ABC practitioners if you’d like to get involved.

ABC resources for QMUL

Here you will find versions of the ABC resources which we have adapted for QMUL. ABC resources are shared under a Creative Commons license so if you’d like to adapt them for your own context, please feel free to do so.

ABC Online

We have created a version of the ABC storyboard in Padlet.

Please feel free to copy and use as you wish.

Padlet is a tool which QMUL has an institutional license for. To make full use of this, go to and then select Login with Microsoft and log in with your standard QMUL credentials. This will give you access to the premium version of Padlet.

ABC Storyboard Sheet

These are usually printed on A1 sheets:

ABC Learning Type Cards

These are usually printed double-sided on A6 size paper:

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