Select Page

Learning Design Tools

What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.

Steve Jobs

Innovator & Entrepreneur

 Process  |  Discover  |  Define  |  Develop  |  Document  |  Collaboration  |  Community


Browse our repository of resources, guides and links that provide the tools for leaders, teachers and students to use the Learning Design Process in Rocky View Schools to design engaging learning experiences for students that foster design & innovation, literacy & numeracy, indigenous learning, inclusion & wellbeing, and creative confidence.


The Learning Design Process

The Learning Design Process in Rocky View Schools has the following phases: Discover insights and user needs; Define opportunities on which to focus; Develop and Test possible solutions; and, Document and Share stories. This process is used at all levels of Rocky View Schools to guide Learning Design. 




Learning Design Infographic

Here are some questions that come up when teachers & leaders design of powerful interdisciplinary learning using these frameworks & workflows.

Learning Design in RVS infographic

Learning Design Guidebook

This Guidebook shares a workflow for using the RVS Learning Design Process. Print the Guidebook double sided and fold into the booklet. 

Learning Design Guidebook

Learning Design Workbook

Download this Workbook to practice the workflow for using the RVS Learning Design Process with teachers.


Learning Design Placemat

Print this placemat for using the RVS Learning Design Process in your lesson planning or jotting down quick design ideas.

design process one pager

Learning Design Exemplar

See what the Design Process looks like in this resource from the Innovators Are Artists project. 




Transdiciplinary Tiles

Collaborative brainstorm activity used to explore real world connections to community resources, potential partners, local and global issues to help develop the focus for the inquiry.


Authenticity Brainstorm

Collaborative brainstorm activity used to explore real world connections to community resources, potential partners, local and global issues to help develop the focus for the inquiry.


Site Visits for Inspiration

Visiting another context to inspire reflection, conversation and ideation in design thinking.

Empathy Interview

A protocol for conducting an interview to develop a better understanding of a potential issue or problem that could be processed through design thinking.

Rapid Idea Generation (RIG)

A RIG developed by TELUS Spark helps teams be creative together, generate new ideas, and look at a problem from different perspectives.


Ideation Speed Dating Protocol

A protocol where every participant has an opportunity to receive feedback from, and provide feedback to, every other project.


Who are you designing for? The best way to understand who you are designing for is to talk with them directly. Immerse yourself in their environment, observe as much as you can by spending time in their context.

Ethnographer's Field Notes

A tool used to collect and record observations about things you heard and saw. Generate insights based on your observations.

Quote Curation

Participants find and share quotes that are meaningful to a theme. “For people open to their message, well-structured messages that use strong imagery and appeal to our aspirational nature can be meaningful and powerful in changing our thinking and helping us see something in ourselves that we want to change or overcome.” (Jonathan Fader)

Celebrating a Pedagogical Rainforest

Sharing the myriad of learning models, processes, placemats and more to filter the noise and build a shared vocabulary of Learning Design. How might we honour the different teacher practices, models, or experiences while building a reflective Learning Design culture?

Equalizer Tool

Teaching is not a set of binary practices that we flip on or off, nor is it a pendulum that swings between different extremes. We use this tool as a provocation for building a discussion around the different elements in all of our practice that we tweak, amplify or ‘turn down’ as we work with our learners to meet their needs.

Virtual Learning Walks

A process of reflection on student learning and instructional design that takes place through the viewing of these stories on our YouTube channel.




Learning Design Questions

A common vocabulary and the elements to consider when uncovering curriculum through an inquiry or project. The RVS Learning Design Process is the backbone of curriculum implementation in Rocky View Schools.


I Wish Collaborative Brainstorm

Who are you designing for? The best way to understand who you are designing for is to talk with them directly. Immerse yourself in their environment, observe as much as you can by spending time in their context.

Walk and Talk Protocol

Research shows that walking will boost creativity and open up the conversation to the free flow of ideas.

iSearch Research Tool

This gets you to plan your research strategy ahead of diving into it and serves as a tool for documenting not only what you find, but your process in finding it.

Staff Collaborative Brainstorm

This collaborative brainstorm is a useful tool for engaging staff, grade teams, or departments in charting professional learning or school improvement direction.  Individuals can place stickies (or write on the squares) identifying areas they would like to pursue around professional learning and school improvement. The pages are then passed around amongst colleagues and suggestions can be made for resources that would support those themes.

Stakeholder Mapping

Stakeholder Mapping helps identify key people or groups of people who impact and/ or are impacted by your design challenge. By understanding the different parties that are involved, you can more readily analyze stakeholder needs and develop strategies to address them.

Math Inquiry Generator Tool

This tool is a launching point for designing an inquiry arc in Math. It asks you to consider 4 key questions in planning your strategy. Includes links to other math inquiry resources.

Video Storyboarding Tool

A tool for planning your video, visualizing your scenes and receiving feedback.

Video Scripting Tool

A tool to help with the initial planning for creating and capturing a video.

Mash Ups

Innovation happens at the intersection of ideas. This process encourages participants to investigate the possibilities when 2 or more divergent ideas collide in a planning prototype.




Professional Learning Planner

A graphic organizer to guide PL Designers and facilitators in the development of learning with intent and impact. 


DEVELOP your Learning Journey

Mapping the learning journey through a logical sequence of experience and reflections will help develop a scope and sequence for scaffolding for meaningful curriculum implementation, intentional reflection for growth, and inclusive practices so all students are successful. 

G.A.S.P. (Give, Ask, Steal Protocol)

A protocol that scaffolds crowdsourced feedback. Everyone is tasked with providing feedback and bringing new ideas back to improve their own work.

Critical Friends Protocol

A protocol for providing and receiving formative feedback during the ideation phase of an instructional design. Provides a structure for feedback that allows for democratic feedback where all members of the group have an opportunity to pitch and receive feedback.


Gallery Walk

A process used to present and share work to elicit focused feedback.


Flesh Out Your Prototype Tool

Choose one, or a few, idea/s from your brainstorm that you want to begin to flesh out.

Illustrated Learning Journey

We commonly use the IDEO visual for Design Thinking, what does your design look like? Illustrate the learning journey you have designed for your students.


Project Pitch Tool

A tool to brainstorm the key elements of a project including; big ideas, deliverables and exhibition. This tool can be cut and added to your IDF (Instructional Design Framework).

Instructional Inventory

Brainstorm through a variety of components of a learning design. Print this on 11×17 paper, and the “thinking spaces” are perfect for Post It Notes.

Essential and Driving Questions

A quick visual with prompts for users to share their feedback.

Placemat Prototyping

A pitch process using chart paper that is divided into 4 quadrants. Using the chart paper, participants will quickly develop a prototyped unit or project to pitch to the group.


Newsroom Protocol

Interviewing multiple sources to gather information and insights about a theme, and bringing those insights together with others in the ‘editors room’ to consolidate, share and build knowledge around the topic.

Ask and You Shall Receive

A gallery walk process of requesting and receiving specific feedback or help for your work.


I Wish, I Like... Reflection Tool

A quick visual with prompts for users to share their feedback.

Instructional Design Brief

A one-page summary document of the proposed learning. Designed to share the learning plan with multiple audiences including students, parents, colleagues and beyond.


Empathy Shopping Protocol

A feedback protocol for prototype pitches requiring participants to ‘shop’ from previously brainstormed post-it notes for ideas that could inform the next iteration of the proposed project.


Portrait PBL

Create a beautiful photograph and accompanying caption through Project Based Learning.

Tool Time

A protocol for collaborative rapid tool creation. Quickly develop graphic organizers, rubrics, thinking tools, and more.



The Writing Process
How To Take Pro Photos
How To Make a Learning Story
How To Publish with Your Students
How To Make Pro Videos on an iPad
How To Launch Your Digital Portfolio

Rocky View Studio

Foster written, spoken & visual language and literacy through the creation and sharing of storytelling with your students that have purpose and audience and demonstrate student agency. Practice storytelling in all grades and across all curricula in digital and print.



Science Visual Thinking Organizer

Developed by Master Teacher, Lynne Moore of Cochrane High School, this tool is a useful agent for launching investigations and inquiry around student observations. Lynne uses this tool on field trips, during class demos, while watching videos, and during labs to encourage students to crystallize their thinking, capture insights and questions, and consider what could be explored further.

Math Inquiry KWIN

Use this tool to encourage students to articulate what they Know, Wonder, Ideate, and Need (KWIN) for an inquiry session in Math. A useful tool for solving open ended problems that can be tackled in many different ways.

Small version (8.5″ x 11″)

Version française

iSearch Research Tool

This gets you to plan your research strategy ahead of diving into it and serves as a tool for documenting not only what you find, but your process in finding it.

School Playbook 1-Pager

This gets you to reflect on the previous year’s design cycle using the Discover, Define, Develop, Document phases on one side. On the reverse side is a one-page organizer to share your school How Might We questions, where these questions come from, what prototypes might be pursued and what artifact and evidence can be collected to share impact. 



Organizations & Schools

Here are links to some of the organizations and schools who inspire us:

Stanford d.School:
Virtual Crash Course in Design Thinking:
School Retool:
Design Thinking for Educators Videos:
D. Home 2015/16:
NSRF Protocols and Activities:
Stakeholder Mapping:
DEEP Design Thinking:
The Teachers Guild:
45 Design Thinking Resources:
HTH Graduate School of Education:



We’re big fans of They promote student-centre learning through exhibition, student-led conferences and presentations of learning. Visit their site for their toolkit and stories, and use their hashtag to connect to the global community.


Student Led Conference.

Presentation of Learning.

The PBL Design Kit

This PBL Design Kit from the HTH Graduate School of Education is a media-rich, comprehensive resource for processes and tools to transform teaching & learning and foster student agency through project-based learning, and its FREE online!


Making things that matter means designing learning experiences for your students in which they are makers, creators and doers. Do the project yourself and teach your kids. Make Learning Visible by documenting and sharing their journey to make things they are proud of.


If learning is reflection on experience, design opportunities for your students to set goals, reflect deeply and assess for growth. Make Learning Visible through journals, blogs, student-led conferences and presentations of learning.


Exhibit publicly to share and celebrate student learning with peers, parents and the world. Design exhibitions of high-quality student artifacts that Make Learning Visible. Create portfolios and storytelling as evidence of learning.