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Learning experience design is a process focused on understanding and empowering the learner.

What is learning experience design?

Could it be succinctly defined, wrapped in a small package and set on a shelf for future reference?

That’s no simple task.

Because those three words encapsulate a colossal, multi-layered variety of skill sets, theories, and actions all rolled up into one idea.

But peeling off the layers of that onion down to its core yields one elementary concept: a process

Learning experience design is a process.

It is the process of bridging the gap between knowledge and performance.

Does that process involve presenting information in the form of an online course, instructor led training, handout or other medium? Sure.

Graphic design, audio production, creative writing, project management, needs analysis, prototyping; all vital aspects of the process. 

But those aspects exist to serve one individual, the learner.

The process bridges the gaps between knowledge presentation, assimilation and implementation for the learner.

That’s why learning experience design must first look deeply at the learner. Understanding how they apply information, the environment in which they do so, circumstances that hinder them, their mindset when they are called upon to act, their motivation for action—leads to a process that designs relevant and meaningful experiences for the learner.

Learning experience design shouldn’t limit itself to presenting information learners ‘need to hear’ or organizing a training event that learners ‘need’ nor creating the course everyone ‘likes’.

Rather, it’s about ensuring the entirety of the project is squarely focused on creating real, measurable outcomes for the learner. Outcomes that benefit them and enable them to reach real accomplishments. 

Acknowledging that learning experience design is a process implies that no one has all of the answers at the beginning.

Because it is a process of discovery.

Needs analyses, environmental scans, research, conversations with learners, prototyping—these uncover real gaps and further the design of relevant solutions that empower learners to take actions that put those solutions into practice.

So does that wrap everything up?

Of course not.

Learning experience design is much, much more.

But ensuring the design process remains focused on serving the learner strikes at the core of creating learning experiences that get real results.

Further Reading:

Motivating Chickens To Cross Your Road With Learner Focused Goals: What is the foundation of motivating and engaging learning experiences?

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Brian Harris

Brian Harris is the Chief of Design and Development with Brilliant Educational Services. He specializes in producing learning experiences and educational materials that are engaging, entertaining, and effective.