Program design and implementation (CAS HEiE)

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Program design and implementation (CAS HEiE)
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This wiki contains teaching and learning materials for course module 3 of the Certificate of Advances Studies in Higher Education in Emergencies. Course activities and other materials are available in Moodle of UniGE (closed to the public).

This module develops know-how about the design and the implementation of higher education programs with a focus on emergency contexts.

  • Participants will acquire knowledge and skills in user-centered instructional design models, taking into account innovation and change management principles, educational development, participatory quality approaches, interculturality, and last but not least: educational technology.
  • Participants will be invited to design project proposals that include major dimensions and challenges of educational program development in difficult contexts, such as needs evaluation, curricula/program design, course design, learner evaluation, design of course materials, program coordination, certification, learner support and student management, and choice and use of technology.
  • Proposals will include prototyping elements of an online course with the Moodle platform.
  • In coordination with module 2 we will discuss how to select and apply appropriate technology-enhanced instructional principles to design learning activities that provide a good learning experience.
  • Participants will address constraints of emergency contexts, formulate requirements, and ultimately help to implement sustainable solutions for the human and technical program delivery infrastructure.

You are allowed to build on top of prior work in modules 1 and 2.

Course structure

Overall, the module is based on some kind of project-oriented design. Participants will elaborate work on the design of an educational program though several steps. Each week looks at an important facet. In weeks 1-3 students will carry out mini-projects and engage in peer-commenting activities. Mini-project prepare for the project and its outputs can be re-used for the project.

Throughout all activities, keep in mind the constraints of the emergency context. Options for design and development methods, learning and educational theory, technology remain mostly the same in all contexts. Context and solutions differ !


The course is divided in four weekly topics:


The project assignment includes two parts: the project itself and exchange around the project. Mini projects prepare for the project.

Present a short prototype for a program design. It will include among other elements (to be specified in week 4):

  • a short introduction,
  • a competency framework
  • a description of the program infrastructure
  • an overall learning design that includes: overall pedagogic strategy adopted, course modules, student work, student support, student evaluation, provisions for program evaluation
  • a short sample learning design for an activity of your choice
  • some implemented elements in a Moodle class where you are the teacher/course designer

You fill have to turn in the project design form (online or document). The form should contain links to elements of the class you designed in Moodle.

Course module III policies

Use of the course infrastructure

  • Please refrain from using email. In principle (except for "private" problems), please do use the required Moodle tools, e.g. Forums, databases and Wiki (to be confirmed). Short and simple questions can be asked on Whatsapp.
  • Create online texts if possible (as opposed to word processing documents that must be deposited and upgraded)

Grading principles and attendance

Course policies with respect to grading scales and attendance are defined globally at the CAS level. Let us recall 2-3 items: Assessments shall result in the award of a mark on a scale of 0 (zero) to 6 (excellent). The scale of marking shall progress by quarter points. The mark 0 shall be reserved for non‐justified absences and instances of fraud and plagiarism. Where the assessment covers several pieces of work, one sole mark shall be awarded for all such exercises taken together.

  1. The student must obtain a minimum mark or average of 4 for each assessment.
  2. Students must pass all individual assessments and participate actively in the modules to be awarded the relevant ECTS credits.
  3. Students’ active and regular attendance shall be required for at least 80% of each program module; said attendance constitutes part of the assessment procedure.

Group work

  • Participants are allowed to submit group work (except for peer commenting and discussion which has to be carried out individually).
  • Maximum size is 3.
  • Individual projects and groups of 2 will get a bonus. That means that groups of 3 and 4 have to make an extra effort.
  • All group members have to participate and be able to explain all student productions (the instructor may check if they can).


  • Final project: 50%
  • Week 1 mini-project: 15% (10% project and 5% discussion)
  • Week 2 mini-project: 15% (10% project and 5% discussion)
  • Week 3 mini-project: 15% (10% project and 5% discussion)
  • Attendance: 5% (presence in the 8 mandatory classes, unless excused)
  • Participation (active participation in collective activities): evaluated within mini-projects and the project.

Main text books and articles

Bates, A.W. (Tony). (2022). Teaching in a Digital Age: Third Edition, Vancouver, B.C.: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from You also can download this book in various formats, e.g. PDF, Print PDF, EPUB, HTMLBook.

McCowan, T., Omingo, M., Schendel, R., Adu-Yeboah, C., & Tabulawa, R. (2022). Enablers of pedagogical change within universities: Evidence from Kenya, Ghana and Botswana. International Journal of Educational Development, 90, 102558.

Morris, Emily and Yvette Tan (2021) Toolkit for Designing a Comprehensive Distance Learning Strategy. Washington DC: USAID, Retrieved october 18 from INEE.

O’Neill, G. (2015). Curriculum Design in Higher Education: Theory to Practice. In University College Dublin. Teaching and Learning (Vol. 9, Issue 2). University College Dublin. Teaching and Learning.

Zaharias, P. (2004). Usability and e-learning. ELearn, 2004(6), 4.

Zawacki-Richter, O., & Jung, I. (Eds.). (2022). Handbook of Open, Distance and Digital Education. Handbook of Open, Distance and Digital Education. Springer Nature Singapore. Of particular interest are the chapters The Rise and Development of Digital Education, Designing Online Learning in Higher Education. History and Development of Instructional Design and Technology, Evolving Learner Support Systems, Online Infrastructures for Open Educational Resources, Open Schools in Developing Countries and Open, Distance, and Digital Non-formal Education in Developing Countries