What is digital learning design?
Rapid global digitisation has had a huge impact on the way we live, work and learn. In the education space, traditional methods of teaching and learning are giving way to more innovative, interactive and inclusive learning experiences.
Digital learning continues to gain momentum, providing learners with flexible access to knowledge, collaboration opportunities and personalised learning journeys. As this method of teaching and learning grows ever popular and the educational landscape continues to evolve, the role of digital learning design becomes increasingly important.
In this blog, we’ll cover the what and why of digital learning design, including:
- What is digital learning design?
- What are the key aspects of effective digital learning design?
What is digital learning design?
As a top-level definition, digital learning design is the process of turning information and offline course content into effective and engaging online learning experiences, using a range of digital technologies and resources.
But at Wellknown, it’s about more than just turning information into online learning content. Our approach is people-centred — we transform the knowledge, passion and insights from subject matter experts into thoughtfully designed, interactive and impactful lessons that learners love.
Creating meaningful content that addresses the needs of the learner is at the heart of our approach to digital learning design. We understand people and how they learn, and we understand educators and how they educate — it’s all about collaborating to create an experience that helps learners achieve the learning outcomes and delivers something unique.
What are the key aspects of effective digital learning design?
We’ve highlighted five key approaches to digital learning design that help to enable effective online learning for all.
1) Prioritising learner wants and needs
A huge part of creating impactful designs in the online learning environment comes with clarifying learner needs. At Wellknown, we start by understanding two key things:
- What are learners looking to get from the course?
- What will the knowledge and skills they acquire ultimately help them to achieve?
From here, every step that follows — whether it’s defining key learning objectives or planning and creating high-impact learning activities — is all driven by our human-centred approach.
We aim to address all learner needs to the fullest extent with the content we produce, including any accessibility requirements. And this can only be achieved when we understand the full scope of learner frustrations, challenges and pain points — and their causes, too.
Within this approach, there are a few key objectives that will always be a Wellknown priority:
- Collaboration and co-design is key
We work closely with subject matter experts to gain a good understanding of the learner journey. We’re always thinking big-picture, and we start by establishing where the user will be at the end of the learning experience before mapping out the steps that will help them get there.
- Making things simple
As a team of digital learning designers, we’re tasked with breaking down big, complex ideas and concepts into smaller, more manageable parts that learners can understand, engage with and apply in wider contexts.
- Developing with logic
Logic governs all of our design and development decisions. In the end, the learning sequence being built needs to make sense to learners and follow a logical pathway that aids understanding and skills development, leaving learners feeling prepared and motivated to apply their learning in the real world.
- Providing opportunities for practice
Giving learners the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned is key to delivering learning with impact. Interactive activities and immediate feedback are all great tools for measuring understanding and success.
2) Maximising available technology
We’re seeing a positive shift away from one-dimensional online learning experiences, and new technology is helping us get there.
Effective digital learning design incorporates the use of new innovations, including microcredentials, AI-assisted content creation tools, and interactive simulations and activities that have potential to truly enhance the online learning experience.
But it’s not about using technology just for the sake of it. Like everything else, the tech we choose to incorporate into our designs is ultimately guided by learner needs, as well as the learning objectives and learning outcomes outlined for the project.
3) Encouraging interactivity
Digital learning design expands on and enhances traditional teaching methods by leveraging a range of multimedia elements, including videos, audio, graphics and animations that engage all types of learners.
This interactive multimedia approach encourages learners to take an active role in their learning journey, where they’re invited to apply their knowledge, demonstrate what they’ve learned and gain further context over the subject matter through authentic practice opportunities and interactive, scenario-based learning, grounded in real-life experience.
4) Taking a learner-centred approach to design
Digital learning design is all about creating an intuitive, user-friendly learning environment that minimises barriers, optimises learner engagement and supports active learning, which is why UX design plays such a crucial role.
Designing experiences with the end user in mind enables our digital learning designers to create interactive content that’s visually engaging, easy to navigate, and accessible to all.
5) Enabling learner assessment and feedback
Digital learning design opens up a world of opportunities for assessing learner understanding, skills and competency. By working with a dedicated digital learning design provider like Wellknown, course leaders can ensure they utilise timely and well-designed feedback, helping learners to feel motivated and confident in knowing:
- Where they are currently in terms of learning, knowledge and understanding
- Where they’re headed, and what they need to do to get there
With the ability to develop automated feedback, digital learning design facilitates an immediate dialogue between learners and educators, providing a well-rounded, effective and engaging learning experience that drives learner confidence and competency.
With more students seeking courses that combine online and in-person teaching, digital learning design is playing a vital role in the ever-evolving educational landscape, helping educators to deliver engaging, impactful, learner-centred experiences.
Championing inclusivity, effective digital learning design means improved learner engagement, effective knowledge acquisition and personalised learning pathways made accessible to all learners.
Find out more about what’s possible with intuitive digital learning design. Chat to our team today.
Achieve maximum impact with thoughtfully designed learning experiences
Ready to leverage the power of creative digital learning design to boost learner engagement, improve lesson retention, promote inclusion, increase impact and achieve great ROI? We’re excited to hear about what you’ve got planned!
Get in touch with our team to find out more about how we can help you bring your learning materials to life.