The Course and Unit Builder

About the project


The Course and Unit Builder application has been developed in incremental releases throughout 2019 and 2020.The first release was focussed on supporting the curriculum design components of units. Following releases allowed added functionality, and progressive improvements in response to user testing and feedback. The focus of the release three is the beta release of the course design workspace, available to interested staff members prior to a wider release. There is a vision to seek further support towards the development of a fourth release, developing an integration between the Course and Unit Builder (the University's curriculum design tool) an Akari (the University's curriculum management system).

four releases


Update December 2021: Course Builder Beta full release

All people accessing the Course and Unit Builder app now have access to a beta version course bulder! You can try it out by toggling from "UNITS" to "COURSES (BETA)" on the top of the Designs page and creating a new design. Get in touch with the UX Team if you would like an introductory demo, or have feedback to provide.

Update March 2021: Join the users' Zoom channel

There is now a Zoom channel that you can join: CUB feedback & announcements. This is a chat space where you can quickly and easily let the team know about bugs, and get notified about new releases.

A couple of tips:

Update December 2020: Course Builder Beta preview

A beta version of the course builder is now available for interested users. If you are interested in early access to this functionality, please let us know through the Testing and feedback page. All staff will be given access to the course builder in a future release in early 2021, following further testing.

Update February 2020: Release 2 Live

Release Two relates to unit delivery, while also extending the functionality currently available in the first release of the application. The newly created delivery planner provides a single ‘gantt chart-like’ representation of the entire unit delivery design, enabling unit designers to utilise drag and drop functionality to modify the sequence and alignment of assessment tasks, learning activities, feedback and instruction. Additionally, Release Two includes the ability to share with colleagues for collaborative design, and to invite feedback from curriculum stakeholders through a simple to use interface.

Update October 2019: Curriculum (re)design workshops available

A series of four 1.5 hr learning design workshops have been developed to leverage the use of the CUB. Register or find out more on the Curriculum (Re)Design Workshops webpage.

Update September 2019: The CUB application is live!

All staff can use the CUB application to design a unit. Please take a look at the CUB Support page if you have any questions.

August 2019: upcoming go-live

Piloting of the Course and Unit Builder first release will commence in late August 2019. The application will be available to all University staff from 10 September 2019. Any staff designing or amending a unit from 10 September onwards are encouraged to use the Course and Unit Builder to design or amend their unit ahead of entering the unit into Akari for formal approval.

June 2019: Information sessions

In June 2019, all University staff were invited to attend an information session on the Course and Unit Builder (CUB) project. The information sessions covered:

  • An overview of what the Course and Unit Builder is, and why it is being developed
  • Outcomes and benefits being delivered by the Course and Unit Builder
  • How the Course and Unit Builder will improve people’s work
  • Information on upcoming events
  • Access to further information
  • Opportunity for questions and discussion
  • One of these sessions has been recorded for anyone unable to attend in person:

Contributors throughout the process

The approach to delivering the Course and Unit Builder Project has included the following key components:

  • A Design Forum consisting of Academic Developers (who developed the paper-based learning design process), a Software Architect and User Experience Designer developing design artefacts for the Course and Unit Builder application.
  • A Project Working Group with membership from all Colleges providing feedback and input into the Course and Unit Builder design.
  • A team of system developers building a working application based on the Course and Unit Builder design.
  • A team of people completing usability testing on the working application.
  • Access to the Course and Unit Builder application for a group of Pilot Users before release to broader user groups.
  • The Course and Unit Builder Project Board provided high level governance and direction throughout the official project period.

Current team

Leonie Ellis

Assoc. Prof. Leonie Ellis


Has overall responsibility for the project outcomes. Ensures that the agreed budget for the project is secured and represents the project at internal and external meetings and forums.

Tony Carew

Tony Carew

Software architect

Designs the system solution, ensures the overall application architecture is meeting specification, implements the web application, and designs the data model.

Beale Gurney

Beale Gurney

User experience and user interface designer

Defines the user journey through through application of usability principles and user testing. Responsible for the navigation, visual and interaction design of the application.

Colin Kirk

Colin Kirk

API developer

Develops and enhances the API and database implementation towards a contemporary architectural standard to ensure data persistence is performed optimally.

Additional contributors

Kevin Lyall

Kevin Lyall

Front-end developer

Implemented the user interface for the web application using client-side technologies. Contributed to other development work.

Ryan Brunton

Ryan Brunton

Learning designer

In partnership with teaching staff, Ryan leads users through the CUB, with the intention of embedding design-led decision making across the curriculum lifecycle. Insights gained through these academic development activities inform future development of the product.

Mark Trischuk

Mark Trischuk

Learning designer

In co-facilitating curriculum design workshops, Mark employs learning design techniques aided by the Course and Unit Builder software to help teaching teams shape and enhance courses and units. Gathering feedback from these sessions, Mark refines the learning design process and contribute back to the continued development of the CUB.


Dr Steve Linquist

Steve was responsible for ensuring the efficacy of the learning design processes encompassed within the CUB, in relation to the institutional objectives of relevant quality curriculum, rapid collaborative curriculum development and considered teaching efficiency.

Rachael Phegan

Rachael played a key role in facilitating design and implementation discussion with college-based stakeholders. Was also responsible for advising the project on iterative conceptual and technical design discussions, problems and solutions.