At UWL we have adapted the 3E Framework developed by the TESEP (Transforming and Enhancing the Student Experience through Pedagogy) project (2007). This work was subsequently developed at Edinburgh Napier University (1). Our toolkit has drawn on material made available by both Edinburgh Napier and Your St John(2) under Creative Common Licences.

Our curriculum is underpinned by Laurillard’s Conversational Theory and is based on active, scaffolded learning. This means that we use learning technology to support student learning both during and between face-to-face sessions. The 3E framework is based around this set of illustrative examples. Please contact us if you’d like to contribute an example.

Need advice?

Attend one of our  curriculum design workshops or Blackboard Ultra training events if you want to discuss implementing any of the examples.

See the Learning Technology support for help with specific tools.




Adopting technology in simple & effective ways to support active learning and enhance students online engagement. Extended use of technology to scaffold learning & assessment through increasing students’ choice & participation. Empower student through technology use which requires higher order thinking, individually and collaboratively 


Create a series of short weekly announcements that tell students where you expect them to be in the assessment process by the end of that week. Provide exemplars online of past work demonstrating how they meet the assessment criteria

Provide online spaces for formative review of drafts by peers and tutors. 

Provide online discussion opportunities for students and tutors to discuss the meaning of the assessment criteria and the assessment process

Require students to engage critically with the public knowledge base in their area by producing accurate scholarly pieces for online resources professional blogs.

Provide opportunities for students to design and discuss their own assessments and assessment criteria in relation to the level learning outcomes.

Face to Face sessions

Provide skeleton notes, short articles etc online for students to explore ahead of the next class.  Encourage them to bring questions from their reading. Have students work individually or in small groups to prepare a mini presentation for the next taught session. During a session they could present on what they see as the key concepts.  Provide skeleton lecture slides for small groups of more advanced students to research and complete as the basis for a face to face session they facilitate or co-facilitate for students at earlier stages.

Group work

Have groups of students with each one having to post an update on progress that week to a private discussion board visible to the group and tutor. Encourage the use of group authoring tools for projects or activities to aid version control, provide a space for formative feedback and to see the pattern of individual contributions. Use online spaces to allow peer review and assessment of group reports.


Provide links to online case studies for students to explore ahead of discussion in class. Have students work individually or in pairs to source case studies to be shared online prior to a tutorial. Have students work in small groups to produce an online case study to be presented and discussed in class or online.

Seminar participation

Provide a discussion board for students to post follow-up comments, queries, and issues that are still not clear to be picked up during first part of the next week’s lecture. Encourage more equal engagement in seminars by having students take turns, in pairs or small groups, to produce a summary of that week’s seminar to be posted online, perhaps with a follow-up question to be tackled. Have students work in pairs or small groups to design and lead online seminars for particular units, with guidance from the tutor on their proposed topic and approach.

Making teaching more interactive

Use Poll Everywhere to run polls in class to check for understanding and elicit feedback. Students’ responses can be instantly displayed on the screen and provide an understanding for the tutor of the students progress.  Introduce peer instruction through the use of Poll Everywhere. Students respond to a question individually and then discuss conflicting responses in small groups before re-polling the question. Have groups of students take it in turns to prepare and run classroom polls. This could be to check understanding of previous material or for use within their own presentations.

Supporting large cohorts

Direct students to use ‘problems forums’ to handle any general questions about the subject matter or coursework, so that the tutors answers to common questions are there for all to see and to encourage peer support in large groups. Online spaces are used to bring more experienced peers into the cohort as part of a student mentoring arrangement. Give students responsibility for managing and monitoring the ‘problem forums’. Get students to develop a set of FAQs based on the discussion forum which can be used with future cohorts.


Use short online multiple-choice self-tests to allow students to gauge their understanding of key terms and concepts. Link self-tests to the release of different sections of material including model answers or the ‘tutors view’ on complex or contentious issues. Have students collaborate in designing online self-tests that can be reused with future cohorts.

Engagement with key concepts

Provide online resources such as links to readings. Create short video summaries of key concepts (using UWL Replay). Have students take turns in defining one or two key terms or concepts for each week for inclusion in an online class glossary. Have students work in pairs to create an online guide to a particular topic, for example a ‘scavenger hunt’ of places on the web for their peers to explore.

Engagement with professional communities

Provide links to the websites of relevant professional groups and the private websites or blogs of noted experts in the field for exploration online and as part of class activities. Invite guest experts to online sessions and get students to collectively determine questions to be asked and discussed through a discussion forum. Students find, engage in, and report back on relevant online supported professional communities. Students create an online directory of groups and communities.

Work-based learning

Provide online work-based learning tips and guidance for those new out on placement, including a discussion board where general questions can be handled. Hold weekly or fortnightly work-based learning meet-up sessions via Collaborate Consider students taking turns to share their work and lessons learned from their placements. Consider technology-supported forms of assessment (e.g. a reflective blog) that will allow students to engage with the academic side of their work placement as an integrated part of the experience.

Supporting transition

Provide incoming students with links to pre-arrival information and resources about the institution and the course. Feature wherever possible the voices of students who have successfully made the transition. Allow students to have online access (pre-arrival and/or on arrival) to readings and simple activities e.g. self-tests that introduce the course and/or studying in HE. Provide new students with pre-entry access, via online social network groups, to the peers they will be studying alongside and to returning students.

Contributing knowledge

Establish the means for students to take content and contribute it to the public domain in an informed way. This might include introducing them to intellectual property and copyright, as well as appropriate tools for developing and publishing in the public domain. Have students critique Wikipedia articles you know have omissions and inaccuracies, and undertake further research to help them prepare more current and accurate articles to post online. Students establish a discipline-specific blog that shares and comments on resources sourced by the students. 

Engaging undergraduates in the research community

Identify researchers with an active online presence (e.g. those using social media or who put articles online) for students to follow.

Introduce students to Research Gate or Research Professional and encourage them to follow those working in areas in which they are particularly interested

Have students report back, via a discussion board, on the latest research activity in the discipline based on the researchers they are following. Encourage students to engage with the researchers e.g. by asking questions. Get students to interview leading researchers in their field and produce a podcast/video of the interview along with an analysis of the work and its relelvance to the field of study. 

Providing globalised learning opportunities

Encourage students to find links for online news feeds, podcasts, professional groups, blogs and twitter accounts that are good sources of regular international news and information in their discipline area. Make a point of using news and updates from these sources yourself in the classroom and online activities. Encourage your students to regularly share what they have discovered from these sources as part of discussion and debate. Consider using web conferencing technology to hold seminars involving your students and the tutors and students from similar courses running in other countries (perhaps partner institutions) or to bring in guest experts who can help your students explore their discipline area from different cultural and geographic perspectives. Think how you can work with partners to provide joint modules or courses that bring together cross-cultural cohorts from different countries in exploring, comparing, critiquing and producing joint coursework relating to their discipline within a globalised context.
  1. Smyth, K. et al (2011) Benchmark for the use of technology in modules, Edinburgh Napier University. Available at:
  2. York St John University (2012) Technology Enhanced Learning Quality Framework 2012-15, Available at: