What is Learner-Enabling Design?

Learner Enabling Design involves ways to enhance our students’ capabilities to prepare them to be autonomous, productive, creative and critical civic agents in the complex world of work and society. This involves developing students’ abilities to: 


  • make judgements about the quality of their own work 
  • seek, receive, and give feedback 
  • critically inquire, learn, make decisions, and create actions towards solving a wide range of problems 
  • productively collaborate with others in the complex world of work and society 

Why is it important to design in Learner-Enabling ways?

Our learners start university with a broad continuum of capabilities and sense of efficacy. While their starting potential may be varied, they all have the potential to learn and grow.


Students in courses that are intentionally designed in learner-enabling ways are more likely to be more self-efficacious and are able to better manage their learning (as self-regulated learners).


To support our learners to be self-regulated, they need to be able to: (1) understand the what-how-why’s of the task. Having a deeper understanding of the learning tasks is the foundational start to help them monitor and self-assess the quality of their own work. Better understanding the task as aligned to course and program (or professional/ higher order) goals will help them (2) formulate their own plans and goals. They will subsequently be able to better (3) apply strategies and monitor their performance. Through better understanding of the task, and with feedback, they are better able to (4) reflect and adapt towards future tasks and learning.  

At an Enhanced level, students will experience a course where they have regular opportunities (through strategies such as Classroom Assessment Techniques) to express their current level of understanding. They will engage in reflection activities and use data and feedback tools to monitor their progress.


The course team takes a proactive, ethical approach to evidence informed practice. In doing so, the course team is open with the students about their intentions in using data generated within the course to improve the design and delivery of the course. Where the course has multiple members in the team, the course convenor encourages and scaffolds their course team’s capability to ethically and effectively use data and evidence to understand and support learners. 



What digital tools can be leveraged?

<Introduction statement>

<Insert tools and links>

  • Tools that facilitate reflective learning
  • Tools that enable seeking, giving or receiving feedback

Course Design Standards


We optimise our learning environments to build our students' capacity to confidently and capably manage their own learning and enable all of our students to succeed to the best of their ability.

What might a Learner-Enabled course look like?

At a Foundational level, students will experience a course that clearly aligns learning goals, tasks and assessment. The rationale, purpose, and relevance of learning tasks and assessment to graduate attributes and professional standards (where relevant) are made explicit.


Course goals and expected standards are clearly communicated and discussed. There are explicit processes and support at all stages of the assessment lifecycle. This includes:  


  • providing clear guidance on understanding the assessment task and criteria
  • building capabilities and metacognition about strategies for assessment (e.g., by scaffolding, or including resources and support to build academic and information literacies)
  • scaffolding students’ progressive understanding through design and use of formative and/or low stakes assessments
  • supporting self-regulated learning and growth through well-spaced forward-oriented feedback 


Course are designed using the principles of Universal Design for Learning, where students are provided with multiple means and options for Engagement (recruiting interest, sustaining effort and persistence, self-regulation), Representation (perception, language and symbols, comprehension) and Action and Expression (physical action, expression and communication, executive functions).

Where could I learn more?

Learning Futures offers a series of ‘getting started’ seminars and workshops that will help you to interpret the Standards for your learning context. You can find out more and sign up at… <link>,

You can also try the course design self-reflection tool <link>, which aims to assist you to analyse your course development needs using the Standards and will recommend targeted resources and opportunities to help. 


Fact sheets:

Active learning <link>

Collaborative learning <link>