We at NovoEd have had the pleasure to offer several sessions of our Foundations of Learning Experience Design course for free to participants from all over the world who are looking to create great learning experiences. We selected five learners who successfully completed the latest course (August, 2017) to highlight here. We interviewed them to get their thoughts on the course, and had them talk about the learning modules they designed as part of the course. Enjoy their stories!

Learner 1: Christina Nghien

Christina Nghien instructional design

Company: Slalom Consulting  /\  Title: Learning Specialist and Designer  /\  Location: Seattle  /\  Final Module Assignment Topic: Effective Speaking

Please describe your background with online learning.

I work on an internal team as a learning designer and specialist at a consulting firm in Seattle. Our motto is to help our learners love their work and life, and we want them to feel personally supported. I see my work in instructional design as an opportunity to create community spaces where my colleagues can grow and develop together.  I’m hoping to venture deeper into instructional design and combine it with my previous experience in UX as I continue to grow professionally.

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

I had an amazing experience in LXD. Coming from a UX perspective, I was curious about implementing online learning on a modern platform – what do bite-sized modules look like these days, for instance?

A couple things about the course stood out to me in particular. First, I loved how thoughtfully the NovoEd team curated and developed the content. I also loved that I never had to spend more than three hours a week going through the modules and building my assignments.

Most of all, I loved that I was learning within a community. Even if I didn’t post every week, it was comforting to know that other learners were working and collaborating even when I wasn’t online. I always felt as if I could reach out to other learners for help. And I have to say, this was the first time I’ve ever felt comfortable building personal relationships within an online learning experience. In fact, I had such a great experience that I’ve encouraged the rest of my team to register for the current iteration of the course.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

My topic was about effective presence in meetings, and was driven by the question: how can we learn to be present, in the moment, and an active listener at the same time? This was a topic of personal interest for me, and I struggled a lot with it before joining my current workplace. Amy Cuddy’s Presence was a particular source of inspiration as I developed my module. The result, I think, is something that is useful for someone who is just starting their career and is hoping to develop their soft skills.

Learner 2: Natasha Mujgule

Natasha Mujgule instructional design

Company: Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore /\ Title: Instructional Design Consultant /\ Location: Bangalore, India /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: Bullying and Harassment at Work

Please describe your background with online learning.

I’ve worked and consulted with eLearning design firms as an Instructional Designer in creating customized computer-based courses for corporates. In my present role, I’m working with a Higher Education institute to create MOOCs with a diverse learner-base. The content design strategy of this role requires that I meet the differentiated needs and objectives of learners who sign up for MOOCs.

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

One of things I found really interesting was how the learning content was integrated into the discussion forums. My best learning experiences have come out of exploring different perspectives, thought processes, and assignments; the LXD discussion forums only accelerated these experiences. The content was concise, accommodated different learning styles, and gave focus to real-world implications.

As I engaged in the course, I came to recognize the positive impact of peer and collaborative learning, and I appreciated how NovoEd harnessed this on its online platform.  I was also impressed with how the LXD team navigated their learners towards successfully achieving this goal.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

Having worked on many compliance courses, I have developed a certain level of expertise surrounding best practices with employee workplace policies. My objective was to create a module that would present content as well as assess learning by placing the learner in a simulated environment that closely mirrored the real world. In order to achieve this, I focused on developing assignments that were scenario-driven. My content involved awareness, sensitivity, and decision-making. Learners participating in my module would be guided through feedback on their responses to hypothetical situations.  

Learner 3: Carole Feuvrier

Carole Feuvrier instructional design

Company: JT International SA /\ Title: Learning and Development Coordinator /\ Location: Geneva, Switzerland /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: Time Management

Please describe your background with online learning.

I used to work for a company that used online learning for certified training but the program really operated more like an LMS (a Learning Management System). As a result, we only used the program to store documents.

Online learning is so much more than simply reading content from a webpage, and it is especially important when lots of stakeholders are involved. I wanted to learn more about andragogy and continue to explore how the NovoEd platform can train employees in a way that is both lucid and professional.

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

I am very happy to have had the chance to attend LXD. Sometimes people think that online learning is not serious, but when a training program is well-designed and encourages learners, you realize that the work involved can be as challenging as classroom learning. In this respect, engaging with the Learning Coach team was a particular highlight – the feedback that they and my peers gave absolutely elevated the learning experience. I learned so much in five weeks! Thank you to the teaching team and the learning coaches.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

Time management is among some of the most highly valued skills in any given company. This includes how to efficiently book time in your agenda, SMART objectives, and the 7 habits of highly effective people; the challenge as an instructional designer is to help the employee integrate these concepts into their lives.

In my module assignment topic, I wanted to explore time management from its foundations and concentrate on the employee’s needs first. If your employees know how to manage their work environments, they’ll know to to identify both their strengths and their stretch zones. After all, the key to effective employee training is to recognize them first and foremost as human beings.

Learner 4: Roxann Riskin

Roxann Riskin instructional design

Company: Immersive Education Consulting /\ Title: Learning Designer /Ed Technology Specialist /\ Location: Orange, Connecticut /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: Mindfulness Using Apps

Please describe your background with online learning.

I have experience as a university and library educational technology specialist. The benefit of exploring instructional design with NovoEd stems primarily from the fact that the course provides rich and guided learning opportunities to further enhance and broaden my skills set.  As I became more engaged with the course, I began to recognize that I was engaged in a program designed to bring modern online instructional design to both educational and business learning environments.  

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

As an educator, this course was a great refresher on some fundamental learning theories, including Bloom’s Taxonomy. I was able to revisit these ideas and create a learning framework of my own rooted in learning objectives. The course presented a wide array of digital resources, including bite-sized instructional videos, short informational podcasts, and resource guides. These resources were charmingly presented by the “Drews,” members of the course’s teaching team, Drew and Andrew.

Peers, learning coaches, and members of the teaching team provided timely feedback that proved instrumental as I began to refine my module assignment. The LXD community truly excelled in creating an environment in which feedback was both constructive and friendly.

What I liked most about the course was the fact that it gave me an immersive, media enriched structure with week by week scaffolding that resulted in learners creating their own learning modules. The course also provided an opportunity to work closely with an international team of peers – this played a central role in characterizing my LXD experience with NovoEd!

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?   

In this day and age, learning opportunities are available at anyone’s fingertips. My module focused on helping learners navigate a variety of mobile apps designed to reduce stress and consequently enhance their personal learning experiences. I had already been creating this module for a university, and LXD gave me to opportunity to refine something that I had already built for my professional life within a supportive and structured environment.

Learner 5: Steven Medrow

Steven Medrow instructional design

Company: Missouri Department of Corrections /\ Title: Curriculum Design Manager /\ Location: Jefferson City, Missouri /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: Religious Inclusivity

Please describe your background with online learning.

I have been working in online learning for a little over six years, and would consider myself very experienced in the field.

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

As a Curriculum Design Manager, it truly was a privilege to participate in such a unique learning experience, and I had an opportunity to engage with a new perspective on instructional design. The NovoEd platform is quite a bit different from what I encounter in my day-to-day work, and as a result, I was given fresh insight into the topic of Learning Experience Design. I particularly appreciated the diversity of mediums through which content was presented.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

For my Module Assignment Topic, I chose to continue to develop material I had created in my workplace. My learners live in environments where an understanding of religious inclusivity has a direct impact on their quality of life. Through LXD, I was given an opportunity to further my research on World Religions and give focus to the “how” of inclusivity.

Learner 6: Larry Enohnyaket

Company: Nchang Ventures Limited /\ Title: CEO /\ Location: Nigeria /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: Running an Advocacy Campaign

Please describe your background with online learning.

Learning online has been a very convenient way of gaining new skills without disrupting my normal daily routine, especially working at my own pace. As someone who has taken a number of courses on the NovoEd platform, I again approached NovoEd to search for more interesting courses that are in tune with what I plan to do in future.

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

One of my biggest surprises in the course is that even someone like myself who does not have a teaching background is able to actually package and deliver instructional material at the end of the course due to the logical presentation of the course content in a very simple manner.

What I like most about the course is the richness of content, simplicity of presentation and above all, the feedback I got from other learners which greatly assisted me to correct my mistakes where I went wrong.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

I was inspired to design a module around running an advocacy campaign as a result of my belief that for any meaningful change to take place, there must be proper and adequate sensitization and enlightenment of the public to garner support to ease the expected outcome. Moreover, as change agents, social impact leaders and non-profits including social entrepreneurs need to develop the skill of advocacy as it would seriously impact on their mission.

Learner 7: Daniel Lock

Company: WDR Learning Technologies /\ Title: Senior eLearning Designer /\ Location: Brighton, England /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: Common Food Hazards

Please describe your background with online learning.

I’m very new to the e-learning industry. I’ve taken similar courses with the basics of instructional design and viewed some video tutorials.

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

The framing and role-play videos were a really nice informal way of starting off each week. The content was very concise, and you knew exactly what you were going to be learning.

As a result of this course, I’m going to help my clients be more clear about their learning objectives. When I ask about certain content they’ve chosen, I can ask, “Why is this necessary?” If it is clear they haven’t thought about it, it will be quite an interesting conversation to have.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

I don’t get to do much instructional design, mostly development work. So I mostly needed content for a course, and my mother is a food hygene inspector and she does training for a restaurant. I started with just an exercise, but I want to take the whole booklet [that she uses] and turn it into an online program. She doesn’t believe this sort of thing can be taught online, but I wanted to convince her that it can.

Learner 8: Angela Branum

Company: Western Wisconsin Health /\ Title: Learning and Development Coordinator /\ Location: River Falls, Wisconsin, United States /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: SMART Goals

Please describe your background with online learning.

I was in nursing for seven years, then worked in clinical IT, then training. I’ve been a mentor with nursing students and I love education. I’ve been in it for a year and a half.

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

The balance was so well done between theory and application. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with people all over the world.

The best part was the scope of the project. It was so doable. We focused on just one thing: one module. This made it very simply to apply the principles. You actually put something together in this course bit by bit. There is something real at the end of the experience.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

I’m working on manager education in our facility and created e-learning modules on tactical management skills, how to interview, and financial basics. We’re strongly pushing SMART goals with our managers and employees.

Learner 9: Ana Mazariego Priego

Company: KPMG Firm /\ Title: Junior HR Consultant /\ Location: Mexico City, Mexico /\ Final Module Assignment Topic: Communication Strategy for Change Management

How would you characterize your experience in the LXD course?

I love this way of learning and hope that most companies use these types of tools. I took a course on NovoEd with +Acument and Ideo.org. I love the platform and the courses were free.

The course was oriented towards project based learning, so all the assignments are aligned to a specific goal. I know it is difficult to follow up with assignments, but the learning you can absorb is amazing. It’s really significant.

This is a subject that all consultants use, so I plan to show this course to people on the change team.

What was your Module Assignment Topic, and what inspired you to design it in this course?

I have some expertise in the subject of communication, and I was trying to do something not too difficult for me. I thought a lot about my experience when I have to do a communication strategy plan.

If you have been inspired by these learners and would like to learn more about Instructional Design or try out the NovoEd platform for yourself. Register for the Learning Experience Design course. Also, find out what makes NovoEd stand out from other training providers and consulting firms.

Also, be sure to check out our additional posts on Instructional Design Best PracticesDecision-Making Simulation and how to build an Online Learning Community.