Carpe Diem: give us two days of your time and get your course online

Carpe Diem (‘seize the day’) is a highly practical and interactive face-to-face learning design workshop for a course team comprising a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 15 participants. All team members design, re-design or revamp an existing online course, or the online components of a ‘blended learning’ course.
The Carpe Diem process comprises:
  • A pre-workshop meeting for motivation and preparation. Our facilitator meets with core members of the course team to clarify the aims of the course they intend to design for, explore what material already exists, ideas the course team have agreed on and the challenges they may encounter. This can be done by desktop videoconferencing.
  • The two-day Carpe Diem workshop: This hands-on workshop takes place on two consecutive days, normally from 10 to 4.30. All team members must attend on both days in full. The workshop is run in a computer lab (or in a room with laptops and wireless access). Ample desk and wall space is also needed, as significant effort is spent on the course storyboard - the most creative part of the design.
  • Follow-up meeting to review the latest state of the online course with the course team, and fine-tune the work done at and since the workshop. This normally takes between half a day and one day if conducted face to face. It occurs some 4 weeks after the main workshop.
Outcomes: By the end of the second day, the course team has:
  1. a blueprint and storyboard for their course, 
  2. a set of peer-reviewed online learning activities (or e-tivities) running online (usually their own virtual learning environment), 
  3. a transferable model for e-tivity design and
  4. a practical action plan.
The Carpe Diem workshop planner is available as an open educational resource at:

Links to extended descriptions

A good source of information is the Carpe Diem website (
Published research into Carpe Diem-related areas includes the peer-reviewed journal articles listed below.
Armellini, A., & Aiyegbayo, O. (2010). Learning design and assessment with e-tivities. British Journal of Educational Technology 41(6), 922-935.
Armellini, A., Salmon, G., & Hawkridge, D. (2009). The Carpe Diem journey: Designing for learning transformation. In T. Mayes, D. Morrison, H. Mellar, P. Bullen and M. Oliver (Eds.), Transforming higher education through technology-enhanced learning (pp. 135-148). York: The Higher Education Academy.
Armellini, A., & Jones, S. (2008). Carpe Diem: Seizing each day to foster change in e-learning design. Reflecting Education, 4(1), 17-29. Available from
Salmon, G., Jones, S., & Armellini, A. (2008). Building institutional capability in e-learning design. ALT-J, Research in Learning Technology, 16(2), 95-109."



Dr Alejandro Armellini, 

Senior Learning Designer

Beyond Distance Research Alliance

University of Leicester 

103-105 Princess Road East

Leicester, LE1 7LG, UK

T: 0116 252 3675


Twitter: alejandroa