The three main misconceptions about learning experience design.

Recently there’s been a heated debate surrounding learning experience design (LX design). I’ve come across several misconceptions about LX design. In this article I’d like to tackle the three most prominent ones:

Learning experience design is not a new name for instructional design.

From all that I’ve learned about instructional design I see fundamental differences between instructional design and LX design. These differences have to do with history, focus, methods and mentality. I’ve written an article that explains these differences and similarities. My main concern is how sometimes learning experience design is defined as instructional design with a bit of design thinking and a sprinkle of user experience design. That’s just too simplistic and not accurate. There’s a multitude of disciplines that have contributed to learning experience design and instructional design is just one of them.

Learning experience design and experiential learning are related, but not how you think.

Experiential learning is commonly defined as learning by doing. While learning by doing is a form of experiential learning there’s much more to this. Experiential learning is about the process of learning through experience. An experience is not limited to hands on learning. Reading a book is just as much an experience as fixing a car. An experience can basically be anything. What matters here are underlying fundamentals of how we, as humans, experience and how we learn from these experiences. These are vital insights that are at the core of LX design. You can imagine it is important to understand how we learn from experience when you want to design a learning experience.

Learning experience design is not about e-learning.

When people hear me talk about learning experience design they often say: “So you do e-learning?” Well, sometimes I do but that’s not what LX design is about. Maybe it’s the novelty of LX design why people automatically think about digital or other contemporary forms of learning. In reality, learning experience design isn’t limited to certain technologies or types of learning. The goal is to design the best possible learning experience and choose the form or technology that works best for the learner in a specific situation and/or at a given time. Whether the technology is centuries old or cutting edge is irrelevant. If it works, it works!

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