From the traditional click next style of learning where the texts and multimedia graphics was squeezed for your desktop screens, e-learning has come across a long way to provide an amazing learning experience to the learners. Thanks to the growing importance of UI and UX in creating and delivering design experiences.
But as we continue to evolve, there is a visible shift in the approach of designing the learner experience. From the concept of focusing only on the tasks to achieve by the learners, the learning environment witnesses the shift to focus on the experiences of the learners. And this popularly called as Learner Experience Design
The term learning experience design was coined by Niels Floor, a Dutch LX Design pioneer.
What is learner experience design?
“Learning experience design is the process of creating a learning experience that enables the learner to achieve the desired learning outcome in a human-centered and goal-oriented way.”(http://www.learningexperiencedesign.com)
Is User experience and Learning experience design different?
Yes, while there are no much of a change, the LXD considers or keeps the user at the center and all the other cognitive elements are designed to enhance the learners’ retention and application of the concepts.
So what is the importance of the learner experience design in e-learning?
Beyond the contents and high-end multimedia graphics in your e-learning module, the effectiveness of any learning program is ultimately only as good as how the learner experience it finally. When a learner progresses through an e-learning course only for the sake of clicking the checkbox of completion or submit button, you can say that the module has failed to achieve the objectives.
But on the other hand, if the learner finds an e-learning course to be genuinely engaging and easy to use and most importantly if the learners are able to retain and recall the contents then e-learning modules have done their part to achieve the learning objectives.
1.Create An LXD Plan
To implement a learner experience design, one needs to understand the objectives and understand the needs of the learners.
The goal or objectives of a learning experience is to acquire a new set of skills, update or gain knowledge and most importantly to change an existing behavior and even create a new one.
A learning experience designer should focus on identifying the gaps that exist between the learner and his/her desired outcome.
For example, identify the role of the employees and the skills that the role requires and demands to perform and create learning experiences which help the learner to perform their roles better.
2. Don’t Push…..But Motivate them
Learning becomes more effective when the learners are motivated. Hence the learning experience design should focus on the intrinsic motivational factors of the learners.
For example, build your learning content over a creative story that can hook the learners. Real life case studies and stories are some of the popular strategies that are used. Use e-learning games that brings the thrill of winning and competing.
3. Check the Constraints
While designing the learner experience design, one should understand the constraints that can affect it.
An instructional designer is hence recommended to be well aware of all the possible constraints.For example, while you planned to include high-quality 3D animations and using virtual reality etc to ensure the best learning experience. the budget, time and even technology can be the constraints preventing you from doing it. While it is a compromise, I am sure that a good instructional designer can find a way out to tackle the constraints effectively.
4. Don’t spend on fully working models
Experts advise that it’s not recommended to invest time and money to design fully immersive UI experience simply in the first instance instead, the designers can develop low fidelity wireframes as it can help in customizing at later stages by accommodating the required changes.
5. Consistency is the key
While designing the learning experience, consistency is the key. The e-learning module throughout should maintain the consistency in the design, else it can create confusion to the learners. For example, the inconsistency in the design schemes, course navigation can disengage the learners
6.Test it out
Once you finish designing the learning experience, it is highly recommended to test it out in the real environment. While I say real environment, I don’t recommend to test it on a large scale instead, choose a section of learners from your target group and collect proper feedback at every stage.