Design Studio

What is Design Studio?

What is Design Studio?

Design Studio is a four week online course created to assist teaching staff at UCT who are designing or redesigning their courses for blended and online contexts. The move to online or blended teaching can be a daunting process, this course provides a guided structure to tackling your own course redesign. 

The Design Studio covers core topics related to blended and online course design and requires about 20 hours of work - much of that time being spent on producing elements for your course. The course objectives are to produce a well-structured, high-level plan for your course, with details fleshed out for the first weeks, a few learning materials and activities you choose to work on and a restructured Vula course site. 

For each topic, there is content provided, with activities and templates for you to start applying. It includes an introduction to the ABC design method; discusses tools and approaches to encourage student learning engagement; options for assessments as well as practice in creating digital content.

Participants work in Vula and through institutionally supported tools, which provides experience and opportunity to use various tools and design options. You will be offered help to build and create the kind of learning you want in the course. Much of the material and activity is self-paced with live meet-ups and workshops to allow colleagues to interact and share experiences.
You can earn a UCT short course certificate for Design Studio, if you complete the course and the key outputs. 

Next course begins on 17 January 2022

Sign up here

Weekly commitment required: approximately 5 hours per week, over 4 weeks. You will need to:

  • Log onto the Vula course site and work through the self paced material for the module (approximately 3 hours, flexible during the week)
  • Attend an online session once a week to work on an aspect of your course (1.5 hours)

UCT short course certificates available upon completion.

Other scheduled dates for 2022: 

7 March – 1 April 

4 July – 29 July

Participant feedback

Created in response to the urgent need to redesign courses for Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) due to Covid lockdowns, the Design Studio ran three cohorts between June 2020 and July 2021. There was positive feedback from participants:

The CILT Design Studio is a guided and structured course taking one through the process of creating an excellent course map including assessment strategy. I would recommend it for anyone preparing to teach a course in the ERT space.
-- Chris von Klemperer, Mechanical Engineering

It covers anything and everything in a structured way, but has really opened my mind to so much more than I thought to teaching.
-- Nadia Ahmed

CILT’s Design Studio course was amazing! One of the best things is the fact that it’s not just aimed at online lecturing, but also lecturing in general with excellent ways of improving participation and effective learning. Before, I thought my Vula sites were quite impressive, but the Design Studio course really helped me to up my game. Now, my sites are more interactive and contain improved content that will make both teaching and learning easier. This is by far the best course I have done since starting in academia in 2008 and I strongly recommend it to everyone!

-- Lindie Du Plessis

"A really comprehensive course that covers all the aspect of teaching in higher education. Fundamental aspects such as designing learning activities based on course learning outcomes, providing multiple means of accessing resources and activities, and strategies to improve assessments are well presented in this course. While the course was tailored for a specific LMS (Sakai), it was easy to grasp the concepts and I managed to implement them in my LMS (Moodle)."

--Mafuza Maya (University of Mpumalanga)


Self-paced course

Are you designing, reviewing or looking to redevelop an existing blended or online course, and you don’t want to be part of a scheduled course? Then come join the Design Studio self-paced, self-study course at any time that suits you for a step-by-step guided process to design and review a blended or online course. In this course, we focus on 4 aspects of course design: Context; course mapping; assessment and course content creation. You can either work through all four topics that have been organised as modules or identify sections to complete to best suit your requirements. It should take approximately 20 hours of asynchronous learning to work through all the learning materials. In each module, you will be able to produce a small part of your course and gain skills in content creation, Vula site set up and assessment design. Short course certificates are only available for the facilitated course.

How can I join the self-paced Design Studio course?

If you are a UCT staff member, you can join the Design Studio self-paced Vula course site 
If you are an organisation or another university and would like to join the self paced course, please email: