Learning Experience Design - Introduction (Part 1)

Learning Experience Design (LXD): Introduction

Digitalization is revolutionizing our expectations from learning technology. Our learners and employees are looking for an all-around experience across various touch-points in their journey through an organization's/institution's digital infrastructure. They want the same experience as they do when they shop online and/or connect on social networking sites. They want to use the technology for fulfilling their goals. These goals could be collecting information, earning a degree/certification, and collaborating with communities of practice or their interests. A successful learning experience design is responsible for managing the overall learner journey and experience across channels and multiple platforms.

When organization leaders look at the Learning Experience Design (LXD) they think of disrupting innovations; however, it is about offering an ecosystem that aligns with the learner's goals. The goal of LXD is to improve the learning outcomes and the quality of experiences across different digital learning journeys.

In this series of articles, I will share some experiences and guidelines for an effective Learning Experience Design to create an engaging learning experience.

Landscape Of The Digital Learning Experience

Today, learning happens in different digital environments, technology, and platforms. Some examples are:

1. Learning Management Systems

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses or training programs. Some of the common examples are Totara Learn, Moodle LMS, OpenEdx, Canvas, Sakai, D2L, Blackboard, etc. These platforms are adopted by many of the organizations and institutions as their learning delivery platforms.

2. Social Learning Platforms

Many of the LMSs are capable of creating discussion forums and groups allowing learners to collaborate with other learners/employees. Many organizations choose to use dedicated social platform for collaboration among their employees. Some platforms are Yammer, Slack, Totara Social, OpenSocial, and many others.

3. MOOCs & Open Courseware

MOOCs have disrupted the education space and there are many providers who offer open courses. Some big names are Coursera, OpenEdx, Udemy, and Udacity. These platforms provide different learning programs and nano-degrees allowing learners to be at pace with industry trends and learning needs. Many of these platforms have started offering corporate learning solutions with customized/personalized learning catalog for their employees.

4. Student Information Systems / CRM / ERP

Many would argue that SIS / CRM / ERP are administration platforms however many aspects of the learning experience is sometimes governed using the frameworks in these applications. Some leaders are Banner by Ellucian, PeopleSoft by Oracle, and HEDA by Salesforce.

5. Portfolio & Accreditation Platforms

A lot of organizations have an accreditation or ePortfolio tools such as Mahara, Accredible, and Mozilla Backpack which collect and showcase learner certifications, assessments, and badges to a prospective employer when needed.

6. Learning Content Management Systems

There are various platforms which host the learning content. Different organizations use different platforms for variety of content such as YouTube / Vimeo / Kaltura for videos, and Sharepoint / Google Drive / Box / DropBox for files. There are other solutions such as Azure Blobs and AWS S3 repository for storing content.

7. Rapid Content Authoring Platforms

While many of the organizations prefer a content vendor some choose to go with in-house content authoring platforms. Some leading content creation platforms are Evolve authoring, Gomo, Articulate, iSpring, and Office Mix, which can enable rapid content authoring in HTML5 or SCORM courses. There are other open source alternatives too such as H5P and Adapt framework.

8. Social & Professional Networking Platforms

Learners are not limited to internal platforms and like to share information on social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and Facebook.

An Integrated Ecosystem Approach For Success

Learners come in different shape and sizes, and are driven with a wide variety of personal and professional goals. Keeping them engaged while they pass through different platforms in their journey is very important. An integrated ecosystem approach helps organization design and successful learning experiences.

Learning Experience Design must follow a holistic approach, covering principles from user-experience design, interaction design, and Instructional Design allowing learning to happen seamlessly irrespective of the platform.

In the next article, I will talk about the guidelines, user-experience strategies, interaction and Instructional Design strategies, as well as digital transformation strategies for building a flexible and adaptable Learning Experience.

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