You’re an instructional designer who has invested lots of time and energy into creating beautiful online modules for a corporate course. You’ve followed your stakeholders’ wants and needs to a T. You’ve created animations and quizzes. However, once your course is live, you find the engagement from your actual learners is dismal and your completion rates are low. Does this sound familiar? No lasting learning occurred – what went wrong?
It’s not you, it’s Instructional Design
According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, organizations rank “changing the way employees learn” as the #1 challenge they are currently facing. The training we have been building as Instructional Designers isn’t cutting it anymore. It’s not enough to focus on creating “instruction,” but instead we must focus on developing engaging and collaborative experiences that extend outside the bounds of the course to elicit long-lasting change. For that to happen, we need a mindset shift.
Enter Learning Experience Design
Meet the next evolution of Instructional Design – Learning Experience Design (commonly referred to as LXD). It’s not just a trendy new name – it’s the answer to the problems of corporate learning.
Margaret Weigel, from Six Red Marbles, defines LXD as “a synthesis of Instructional Design, educational pedagogy, neuroscience, social sciences, design thinking, and User Experience Design.” It truly takes the best practices of each of these fields and combines them to create learning that is experiential, engaging, impactful, and designed with the learner (instead of the instructor) in mind.
This is exactly what employees want but are not getting in their training. Research coming out of Middlesex University supports this – 74% of employees feel like they aren’t meeting their potential at work due to lack of meaningful development opportunities.
Real learning doesn’t happen through instruction
Traditional Instructional Design is dated – advances in cognitive science are consistently showing that learning doesn’t happen through instruction but through experiences.
Take a minute and think about it – what was your most memorable learning moment in school? It probably wasn’t your History teacher’s presentation on WW1 or your Biology instructor’s 80 question true or false quiz. It was likely an interactive, collaborative project or discussion that you still remember years later.
The same goes for training in the corporate world, whether it’s onboarding, leadership, or executive education. According to a 24×7 learning study, 88% of employees said they do not apply the skills from training to their jobs. LXD helps change that with its focus on the 70/20/10 model of learning. This model suggests that only 10% of employee learning comes from traditional instruction, whereas 70% comes from experiential and 20% from social learning. Concentrating on that combined 90% is what will help you design sticky experiences that result in lasting behavioral changes in your learners.
The LMS is dying and we must evolve
The traditional LMS is no longer the shining star of corporate learning. As new experiential learning platforms like NovoEd are exploding in popularity, companies are beginning to realize how much they need Learning Experience Design.
As designers, we need to ditch dated Instructional Design practices and bring in the pedagogical heavy-hitters. With collaboration, social learning, active facilitation, project-based learning, and peer feedback – the hallmarks of Learning Experience Design – we are not only able to improve the training we design for our learners but also create paradigm shifts within our organizations.
Learning experience design is a multidisciplinary approach to training that recognizes that most learning happens, not by instruction, but through experience — so the learner leaves with something to remember.