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Technology Enhanced Learning


Based on the outputs from the previous two phases of analysis and design, the development phase elaborates on the instructional content and activities that will assist learners achieving the learning outcomes. This phase primarily involves putting the learning design into action by creating learning materials and developing activities and assessments and presenting them as a module to learners.

At this stage you should consider how you can develop your blended/online module, by enabling learner interaction and collaboration, delivering technology-enabled assessment and feedback and presenting your module in Brightspace. 

  1. Learner interaction and collaboration 
  2. Online Assessment 
  3. Guidelines for presenting your module in Brightspace


1. Learner Interaction and Collaboration

In blended/online modules it is recommended to establish a community of learners, which creates a sense of connection between learners and an environment that promotes interaction and collaboration. 

Three types of interaction have been identified (Moore, Kearsely, 1996) as important in any educational context and these are equally applicable in effective blended and online learning offerings. They are; 

  1. Interaction between learner and content/learning materials (provision of  these in various formats i.e. video (pre-recorded lectures), audio (podcasts), interactive presentations/lectures and linked materials that offer authentic (real world) examples e.g. case studies, data sets, reports, news articles, research papers etc. 
  2. Interaction between learner and lecturer/tutor (role of the online lecturer, support of online learners) 
  3. Interaction between learner and other learners i.e. their peers (through collaborative learning/group work activities). Learner/peer interaction, if well structured, can be a positive experience for students and can offer opportunities for students to learn and to get to know each other. Types of activities that provide opportunities for learners to engage with each other might include: group-work, engagement in learning communities, discussion forums, problem-based learning activities,  peer review, project work (using collaborative writing tools/sharing of files), reflective writing using journals, blogs or eportfolio tools. The ability of the online environment to monitor student activity also gives faculty an opportunity to see group interaction, this is something that is more difficult to monitor in the face-to-face group work equivalent.  See Group Work and Its Assessment

Opportunities for all types of interaction need to be incorporated into the blended/online module design, developed and facilitated within Brightspace through learning and assessment activities. 


2. Online Assessment

We define 'online assessment' as approaches that are enabled by a variety of digital technologies to include online exams, online assignments and activities, online submissions and technology-enabled feedback. It may be appropriate to consider these in the context of your blended and online module to provide some, or all, of the following benefits (JISC 2010 & Y1Feedback 2016):

  • Greater variety and authenticity in the design of assessments
  • Choice in the timing and location of assessments;  A Practitioner's Guide to Choice of Assessment Methods within a Module
  • Capture of wider skills and attributes not easily assessed by other means, for example through simulations, e-portfolios and interactive games
  • Efficient submission, marking, moderation and data storage processes
  • Consistent, accurate results with opportunities to combine human and computer marking

(Adapted from JISC 2010 & Y1Feedback 2016)

The online environment allows opportunities for both:

  • Summative assessment (assessment of learning primarily for grading purposes);
  • Formative assessment (assessment for learning opportunities as ungraded or low-weighted assessments for feedback purposes).

For more information, see our page on ‘Why do I assess students’.

Technology-based provision of feedback can support a number of key affordances (JISC 2010 & Y1Feedback 2016) which include:

  • Improved learner understanding and engagement;
  • Immediate feedback and the provision of a greater volume of timely feedback;
  • Innovative approaches based around the use of creative media and online peer and self-assessment;
  • Greater flexibility and accessibility of feedback;
  • The provision of opportunities for dialogic feedback;
  • A greater variety of feedback approaches and formats.

Good feedback should include staff giving feedback, but more importantly it should allow student opportunities to self-monitor.  Our resource on Six Approaches to Technology Enhanced Feedback highlights feedback strategies on students’ assessment, many of which will be applicable in blended and online learning contexts. This resource overviews the types of technologies and corresponding tools which can support the various feedback strategies, with reference to functionalities in Brightspace.

In Brightspace there are multiple assessment and feedback functionalities allowing you to set up various assessment types and enabling online assignment setup and submission with plagiarism/originality checking software as is appropriate. It is recommended that the module coordinator should decide on the assessment and feedback strategies at module design stage and then develop and implement them utilising Brightspace functionalities as per the module requirements. 

Learn More

3. Guidelines for presenting your module in Brightspace

Brightspace, the virtual learning environment will be core to delivering and supporting both blended and face-to-face learning experiences. It has the potential to enable interactive and contextualised presentation of learning materials and assessments. The collaborative affordances of the learning environment can enable a move towards interactive rather than didactic teaching approaches. The platform provides a distinct opportunity to motivate students to engage at a deeper level with module learning materials and assessments and to reflectively participate in the learning experience. When presenting Brightspace modules to students at a minimum the UCD’s VLE Module Standards Framework should be adhered to. For more specific guidance on structuring Brightspace in a format that is applicable for blended and online learning delivery, refer to our resource pages on; Brightspace Module Design.

Guidelines for Presenting Learning Materials and Activities in UCD Virtual Learning Environment

These good practice guidelines are adapted from the UCD Teaching and Learning Blended Learning Initiative and are informed by the current literature, these are applicable for designing all modes of TEL (i.e. web-enhanced, blended and online learning). 


  • Ensure the purpose of learning materials and assessment activities are clearly presented

    Provide clear narratives within Brightspace for students, outlining module expectations, making explicit the purpose of learning materials and how learning activities map to the overall assessment of the module. In the case of online scheduled activities, provide clear guidance for students on when to do the activity and how long they require to complete it. 


  • Check to see that materials and activities are grouped into manageable segments to assist students in navigating and engaging fully with the learning

    Provide students with a learning pathway, ensuring that module materials and activities flow in a logical progression and navigation is intuitive while naming conventions that are relevant for students. Ensure students are guided through scaffolded activities, discussions and opportunities for reflection as required. In the case of blended learning delivery, your Brightspace module should provide an efficient sequence which coherently links the face-to-face delivery to the out of class online learning activities and assessments.  

  • Incorporate learning materials and activities that maximise opportunities for learning through interaction with self and peers and the instructor

    Consider activity-led and collaborative opportunities for students to engage with peers as well as with the instructor that supports and scaffolds learning. In addition, consider creating self monitoring learning opportunities within Brightspace which allow students to gauge their own progress and learn through interaction with self (for example through reflection utilising the ePortfolio). 

  • Make the module information and learning materials accessible to all students

    An agreed universal design standard across a programme should be considered to ensure equitable treatment of all students regardless of ability or disability.  All module information, learning materials and assessments should be presented in a consistent manner and in accessible formats across Brightspace modules including on mobile devices that students may use.