Designing a new or redeveloping an existing surgical training programme or course can be challenging. A lot of elements need to be considered to make the offer learner centric, interactive and impactful.

Originally developed by Clive Young and Nataša Perović (2015), University College London (UCL), their Activity Blended Curriculum (ABC) workshop builds on the theory of six learning types created by Diana Laurillard (2012). The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) is the first Royal College to use and fully adapt their ABC workshop to work with our volunteer based surgical faculty.

Using a game format, teams work together to create a visual 'storyboard' outlining the type and sequence of learning activities (both online and offline) required to meet learning outcomes in just 90 minutes. The RCS Learning Design workshop is particularly useful for new courses or programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format.

What does our surgical faculty say about the workshop?

A very useful method to quickly put together an interactive course and action plan of what needs to be done and how it can be done

I very much enjoyed the visual elements of the workshops, it makes the learners' journey more visible and helps maximise learning opportunities.

The facilitator was very engaging and help us navigate the process

I would definitely recommend this method, it's simple and effective.

For more information or if you would like to get in touch to share your learning development workshop success stories, please contact:

What do you need for the RCS Learning Design workshop?

  • Members of current faculty, past or future participants
  • An experienced RCS Learning Design workshop facilitator
  • Learning technologist / digital learning advisor who can consult on the options and possibilities
  • A project manager to support the group and manage the development process and
  • Learner profiles
  • Key requirements/descriptors/ learning outcomes of the course / programme under development
  • A cabaret style room setup with table and chairs enough space to allow people to interact and observe
  • Workshop materials 

The structure of a workshop:

  1. Introduction of the workshop, materials and agreed requirements
  2. Agree a module title (Vision statement) in tweet format
  3. Summarise existing pedagogical approach and proportion of face-to-face and online learning
  4. Storyboard pedagogical approach for the new student journey
  5. Select learning activity types (Foregrounded in the pedagogical approach) and online or face-to-face approach
  6. Identify formative and summative assessments
  7. Summarise new pedagogical approach and proportion of face-to-face and online learning (Module shape)
  8. Optional: If there is more than one group of experts and students, compare and discuss differences between existing and new module
  9. Create action plan
  10. Create the course/ programme of courses

RCS Development Team

  • Elise Omfalos, RCS Educator
  • Alastair Simpson, RCS Faculty and Surgical Consultant Nottingham
  • Michael Ford, RCS Learning Technologist
  • Stephan Waibel, RCS Research and Innovation Manager
  • Curran Folkers, RCS Project Officer





RCS Learning Workshop is an ‘Affiliate Partner’ and part of the of the Erasmus+ Project : ABC to VLE.



Creative Commons Licence Activities updated by RCS (2018), licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, a derivate of ABC Learning Design method by Clive Young and Nataša Perović, UCL (2015). Learning types, Laurillard, D. (2012).

Last modified: Thursday, 19 December 2019, 3:16 PM