New Voices in L&D – Alok Dubey

As we start the last week in the series of New Voices in L&D, Alok Dubey takes us into the interesting new world of Learning Experience Design. I say new world, because to many this ‘title’ or ‘phrase’ isn’t common L&D language, and there is a difference in being a traditional learning designer and an instructional designer. Read on to hear Alok’s views.

I don’t edit or amend the pieces being written for me. I’m not an editor, and that’s not something that matters for the purposes of this series. Each piece is submitted in the author’s own writing style.

You can connect with Alok on LinkedIn.

Day in life of a Learning Experience Designer

The learning industry is rapidly changing. In my 8 yrs. of being in L&D, I have seen many shifts i.e. rise of eLearning, emergence of digital learning as a phrase, AI & VI, the death of the LMS, rise of LXP and emergence of Learning Experience Design discipline.

You may have been hearing lot about the new words being used to describe the field of practice that earlier was defined by the term-Instructional Design(ID) – Learning architect, Learning Engineer, and Learning Experience Designer( LXD).

These are not just fancy shiny titles, but a new discipline and a signal to change our approach to learning, keeping learner experience at the center of the learning design. There is still be a place for Instructional Design (ID), but these new roles mean something slightly different.

When I started my journey as Learning Experience Designer few months back, I had these obvious questions –

  • How is this different from an ID role?
  • Opportunities and challenges ahead?
  • What does the role entails?
  • How to set up for success?
  • Next steps?

Did bit of research to find out the answers, I am sharing my research and journey, it might be useful for fellow LXDs who are embarking on this journey.

Difference between the LXD and ID?

Before the difference, why this move? I wanted to move from the approach …”In this course, you will learn about xyz….” to a new approach that provides a learning journey for the users with  an affective context employing various learning modalities.

There are various definitions available for LXD, this one quite well resonated with me-

“Learning experience design is the process of creating learning experience that enable the learner to achieve the desired learning outcome in a human centered and goal-oriented way.” (learningexperiencedesign.com)

The focus of experience design is not on training , teaching or instructions; experience designer focuses on ‘learner’ and the how and why of people learn. It’s a multidisciplinary approach combining ID principles, pedagogy, neuroscience, design thinking, social science and principles of UI and UX.

Understanding and analyzing the available data, understanding the performance problem by connecting with the users, then working to create the experiences that will help address the issue and making sure you are not delivering your agenda ,keeping the users at the center of design, always.

Opportunities and challenges ahead?

I see there is huge opportunity for this discipline. Learning experience designer looks like a fancy and modern title however this very well focuses on the basic concept – ‘We all learn from our experiences’.

The challenge is – How do we create the experiences for the learners (oops) users so that they retain the knowledge as a consequence of that experience .

There is a strong debate, what should we call people we design learning for? Read more here and here.

In the era of rapid change, we need to transform the way we deliver the training and aim at enhancing the learner experience.

That’s where the LXD discipline comes into play .

Skill set:

This list might look overwhelming list, it’s a journey and one can hone the skills along the journey. I learnt many of them on the job.

The key skill is to deliver to the user’s needs, aligning content and technology in a manner that creates powerful and contextualized learning experience.

An LXD shall have deep understanding of-

  • Design skills
  • User Experience (User research, personas)
  • Understand – How we learn
  • Learning Technologies
  • Prototyping
  • Stakeholder management
  • Data Analytics

All this underpinned by a strong foundation of performance consultation approach as that sets the direction for success.

The Kit:

This is not an exhaustive list, some of them are free tools.

I was lucky enough to get into a structured capability development program facilitated by industry experts. It was a rewarding experience and had all elements of an effective learning design.

Besides Content and collaboration, we worked on the real business projects to apply the learnt skills and got mentoring and feedback from the colleagues and experts.

In particular, what has worked for me – Being curious with an attitude to experiment and fail, focus on the user needs and challenges they face, involving the users early in the process, and creating experiences that help them win at workplace using human design approach.

How has been your journey as an Learning Experience Designer? I look forward to learning from you.

Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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