What is DDI?

As universities seek to refresh their courses in order to deliver a curriculum that is responsive to the evolving nature and needs of the community, the process of curriculum renewal itself has become an increasingly researched topic.  

One such methodology for curriculum renewal – Design, Develop, Implement (or ‘DDI’) – was developed at Macquarie University at the Learning and Teaching Centre in 2014, by Associate Professor Panos Vlachopoulos (the current Associate Dean of Quality and Standards at the Faculty of Arts), and Deidre Seeto (University of Queensland). 

DDI is based on aspects of the Carpe Diem model (Salmon, Jones, & Armellini, 2008), technology-enabled communities of practices (Wenger, White & Smith, 2009) and tools such as the 3E Framework (Smyth, Bruce, Fotheringham & Mainka, 2011). It is a process of team-based learning design ‘that is activity based, iterative, forward looking, and grounded in everyday educational practices’ (Seeto & Vlachopoulos, 2015). Typically, curriculum design is a task undertaken by academics in isolation from their colleagues, for example, in many instances, ‘…course directors will decide on major and minor changes in the course [while unit convenors] contribute their ideas at the unit level’ (Vlachopoulos, 2018, p. 587). 

In contrast, the design stage of DDI is a collaborative exercise undertaken by teams consisting of academics, learning designers, students and representatives from industry. This diversity enables multiple perspectives and idea from pertinent stakeholders to be included in the design of new units and courses. When executed at the course or program level, DDI can promote constructive alignment between the various units of a course in terms of learning outcomes, activities and assessments.  

The DDI process begins with consultation with relevant stakeholders (also referred to as ‘Preselection’) to identify unit or course needs and priorities. At subsequent DDI workshops, participants then collaborate to create the blueprint and storyboard for the proposed unit or course. Once these artefacts are developed, learning designers will work with academics to build their unit prototypes within the Learning Management System.

DDI at the Faculty of Arts  

DDI is currently being utilised by the Faculty of Arts to implement the new 2020 curriculum developed under the framework of the Macquarie Curriculum Architecture project. The DDI process began with a ‘Preselection’ stage in February of 2019, to clarify the purpose and scope of the process and identify priorities. Consultations were carried out with representatives from each department. A Pre-consultation Report was provided to and endorsed by Faculty Executive. This report included a ‘Needs Analysis’ that serves to inform the design of subsequent DDI workshops and the curation of resources according to the needs of the workshop, as well as, general resources to support learning and teaching.

The Project Managers will update Heads of Department when actions from the Needs Analysis are completed, including when relevant resources are made available. An iLearn project space, Design Develop Implement (DDI) Workshops 2019 – 2020, has been created to share project information. This site provides information on the DDI methodology; a flow-chart to determine if the DDI process will suit academics’ needs; a sample agenda for a DDI workshop; information to consider before attending a DDI workshop, and the current schedule of DDI workshops for the Faculty.

Next month in Teche, the project team will report on the ARTS1000 DDI workshops, which are the first workshops to be run this year as part of the broader Curriculum Architecture project.  Stay tuned!


Seeto, D., & Vlachopoulos, P. (2015). ‘Design Develop Implement (DDI)—A Team-Based Approach to Learning Design’. Paper presented at the THETA 2015 Conference, Gold Coast, Australia. Read the article here.

Vlachopoulos, P. (2018). ‘Curriculum Digital Transformation through learning design: The Design, Develop, Implementation Methodology’. In K. Ntalianis, A. Andrea (Eds.), Proceeding of the 17th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL) (pp. 585-591). Athens: Greece. 

Article written by Faculty of Arts DDI project managers: Sonia Saddiqui (Senior Learning Designer) and Dr Jayde Cahir (Project Officer), Faculty of Arts.

Posted by Sonia Saddiqui

One Comment

  1. […] the Teche archives, here is a summary of the Design, Develop, Implement methodology and an exemplar of […]


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