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DeakinDesign principles and practices – contemporary learning experiences, transformational education

The DeakinDesign principles and practices underpin learning design at Deakin, supporting our ambition to be Australia’s most progressive University. DeakinDesign will advance the frontier of online learning, blending our digital capabilities with our unique campus offering to create contemporary learning experiences and transformational education.

Learning experiences at Deakin aim to build learning communities that support students to develop the knowledge, skills and capabilities they need to be lifelong learners who thrive in a rapidly changing world.

The DeakinDesign principles and practices guide the creation of learning experiences that harness digital, physical and human connections. DeakinDesign will revitalise our approach to education, establishing our distinctive model for digital education fit for a post-digital, COVID-normal world.

DeakinDesign represents a practice-led and evidence-informed approach to the design and delivery of teaching, learning, assessment and feedback activities. The principles build on Deakin’s long history of excellence in education and were developed through extensive consultation with staff and students, a review of scholarly literature and a scan of the higher education horizon in 2021.

DeakinDesign principles

Learning experiences at Deakin are created using the following DeakinDesign principles:


Learning experiences build on and connect to students’ existing knowledges and skills; they foster wellbeing, self-determination and the development of capabilities that transform students into graduates who can achieve their goals.


Learning experiences are reflective of our digitised lives and world of work; students use ideas, theories and tools relevant to contemporary contexts to solve meaningful problems and make an impact in a rapidly changing world.

Active and collaborative

Learning experiences are interactive, active and collaborative; students develop skills and knowledge through application activities that support the achievement of learning outcomes.


Learning experiences are tailored to the discipline and study mode; digital and physical affordances complement each other and are sequenced across time, space and place to form an integrated whole that prepares students for the contemporary world.


Learning experiences are digital by design; digital technologies are leveraged as core design elements to enable access and participation, and support student success.


Learning experiences are designed to be constructively aligned and coherent across a course; a narrative clearly articulates the relationship between activities, assessment and outcomes to support student journeys from transition to graduation.


Learning experiences are inclusive, accessible and equitable; providing flexibility and choice in mode of study that is balanced with structure to support the development of a learning community.

Feedback focused

Learning experiences are underpinned by feedback designed to support students to achieve and evidence learning outcomes; feedback fosters dialogue that enables students to see their learning progress and make evaluative judgements.


Learning experiences promote relationships, connecting students to their discipline, others, space and place, strengthening communities and fostering belonging.

DeakinDesign practices

The DeakinDesign principles are underpinned by the following practices:


Staff are key to student success; we build teaching capability to deliver high-quality contemporary learning experiences.


Staff engage in scholarly teaching through reflecting on experiences, using evidence and theory to inform teaching practice and innovation, and through sharing practice.


We work in partnership with students, alumni, industry, and community to co-create meaningful learning experiences.


Learning experiences are designed by multidisciplinary collaborative teaching teams that combine subject matter expertise with expertise in learning design and delivery, student support and resource production.


Staff are enabled through a culture of innovation that is celebrated and built on to enhance Deakin’s reputation as a leader in digital education.


Learning resources, assessment and teaching practices are sustainable; they are systematically reviewed, updated, and improved to maintain currency and manageability within appropriate workloads.

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