Designing Transformational Blended Learning from First Principles

The course is structured around a real work task, in which each participant designs their own blended learning course they are planning to offer in the forthcoming semester.

To (re)design their course, participants go through a systematic process, grounded in the first principles of instruction synthesized from the contemporary theories of learning and instruction.

Participants study key academic texts and real-world examples from higher education and workplace learning settings in order to familiarise themselves with relevant theory whilst working on their own practical task of designing a transformational, effective, and instructionally-sound course.       

Participants are offered regular individual, personalized guidance and formative feedback by the instructor, as well as peer advice from other participants, at all steps through (re)designing their course.

This course is grounded in an innovative conceptualization of blended learning that has been implemented in higher education and corporate learning settings internationally. In contrast to simplistic conceptualizations of blended learning as a mixture of face-to-face and online learning, the approach underpinning this course is based on a multi-dimensional definition including blends of different types of learning activities (with a focus on real-world problems); blends of different types of learning resources (with emphasis on authentic content reused from real-world work settings); blends of different times and places for learning activities, integrating formal and informal contexts in which students learn; blends of different ways in which people learn and work together, including individual learning, collaboration, reflection, knowledge building; blends of different modes of assessment with a focus on real-world workplace relevance; and blends of different tools and environments people use to learn.  Developed by Professor Anoush Margaryan, this blended learning framework has been published and highly cited in impact-rated academic journals as well as receiving an Excellence in Research to Practice award from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

The course includes 4 seminars, each seminar lasting up to 2 hours.

The seminars are held online, via Zoom. The seminars consist of a mixture of presentations by the instructor, the course participants and guest speakers and round-table discussions. The seminars are video-recorded and the recordings are made available on Canvas. 

Between the seminars participants work on a four-part assignment which consists in designing their own blended learning course from first principles, drawing on the readings and examples provided.   

The participants undertake, after each seminar, to carry out an assignment and to submit the assignment output to the course website within one week of the seminar. In the subsequent week, the instructor and in some instances other participants give formative feedback on submissions.  

There are four interrelated assignments in the course. Each assignment can be resubmitted once, following a round of formative feedback.      

There are no grades. To complete the course, participants are expected to attend and contribute to all seminar discussions and complete 100% of all assignments in a timely manner, in line with the guidance and to high academic and professional standard.

On completion of the course participants will receive a formal certificate and, if requested, APP credit (4 APP days).

Expected time investment for participants

The estimated time investment is approximately 40 hours across the entire 8-week course. Due to the course being based on a real work task – designing an actual blended learning course – the participants’ time investment in the course would be expected to be part of their teaching workload.    


Participants who complete the course will be able to:

  • Design transformational blended learning courses from first principles grounded in contemporary theories of learning and instruction
  • Produce a full design of their actual blended learning course incorporating the first principles
  • Evaluate the instructional quality of any course from first principles, using a systematic, theory-based and practical instrument

Target group

Academics at any career stage who teach at any level in higher education

 Testimonials from previous participants

“Thank you for a great course. I have really learned a lot from having to redesign my own course and not least from hearing and seeing how other teachers are designing and conducting their courses. I think the combination of your in-depth suggestions and guidance and the cross-course interaction between CBS teachers is the biggest strength of the course. I really hope that more teachers are able to follow the course in the years to come.” – Dr Jonas Felbo-Kolding, Postdoctoral Fellow, EGB

“Thank you for an inspirational course. I have learnt a lot and already managed to incorporate some of the learnings into the course I am teaching, but also into my ‘normal day-job’ as Learning Lead. Your feedback and insight into the adult learning requirements, combined with relevant theory have given me a much better (improved) understanding of how we as adults learn. Also, interaction with other teachers at CBS, including this peer review exercise, both have been great experiences, providing relevant insight – and personal reflections. Highly appreciated.” Dr Dorthe Hahr Dupont, External Lecturer, IOA and Learning Lead, Nordea. 

“Thank you VERY much for a mind-changing course. I am absolutely excited about this course, and it inspires my assistant professorship program assignment too. I really appreciate your professionalism and empathetic style of teaching.” – Dr Mia Koss Hartmann, Assistant Professor, MSC

Dates and times

Seminar 1: 24 October, 2022, 14:00-16:00
Seminar 2: 07 November, 2022, 14:00-16:00
Seminar 3: 21 November 2022, 14:00-16:00
Seminar 4: 05 December 2022, 14:00-16:00


Anoush Margaryen