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Introduction to learning design

“What is instructional design?”

“What do training designers do?

“Should I become a learning experience designer?”

“How do I transition into corporate learning and development?”

If you’ve asked yourself these (or similar) questions, LXD Factory’s free Get started learning path is for you! Through this first lesson, you should be able to identify learning designer roles and responsibilities. Then, in subsequent lessons, you’ll discover even more answers to your questions.

What is a learning designer?

Learning designers create learning solutions–like training, e-learning courses, simulations, educational conference events, coaching guides, visual presentations, training videos, Webinars, and more–that help learners develop specific knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). Depending on the organization they work for, learning designers may be called by another title–like learning experience designer (LXD), instructional designer, information architect, learning and development specialist, and more.

Learning designers work in a variety of industries including corporations, government agencies, education institutions, and nonprofit organizations. If you’ve ever attended a large-scale training event or completed a standardized e-learning course, there’s a good chance a learning designer helped create it!

What are learning designer responsibilities?

The way learning designers carry out their role varies depending on their work environment. For instance, at a university, a designer might collaborate with faculty members to develop online or independent study courses that meet university, faculty, and student needs. They may also be asked to create training for university staff. In a corporate, nonprofit, or government setting, a learning designer may collaborate with stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) to create training or performance support solutions that boost organizational and employee performance.

Throughout their careers, learning designers typically carry out five core responsibilities:

  1. Identify organizational and learner needs.

  2. Design and recommend learning solutions.

  3. Curate, create, and test learning assets.

  4. Support learning delivery.

  5. Evaluate learning solutions.

Learning designers may complete all five responsibilities in a single project, or they could be asked to focus on a subset of the above. In some cases, a learning designer may specialize in one area.

Scroll through the carousel to learn about a variety of learning design roles.

Would I enjoy learning design work?

A career in learning design may be a good fit for you if you enjoy analyzing human behavior, designing educational products and events, developing print materials and multimedia assets, supporting the delivery of virtual and live events, and evaluating products and programs.

Summary and next steps

Learning designers are known by many names–like learning experience designer (LXD), instructional designer, and learning and development specialist. Regardless of the title they carry, their primary role is to help learners develop specific knowledge, skills, and abilities. Depending on the work environment and project requirements, learning designers may be responsible for identifying organizational and learner needs, designing and recommending learning solutions, curating/creating and testing learning assets, supporting learning delivery, and evaluating learning solutions.

To help you determine whether learning design is a good career choice for you, continue to the next free lesson in LXD Factory’s Get Started series: Learning design career options.


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