I’m scribbling a quick blog post to not lose a thought that been’s percolating over the last 24 hours or so.
I’ve been thinking again about learning experience design (LXD), based on thinking about the online learning space and the extent to which in a more crowded environment, it’s the quality and impact of experience that will count more and more.
This is exactly what I was working on at Athabasca University with the Integrated Learning Environment project, and with nascent work on defining a signature pedagogy and driving out a new approach to curriculum design and development. I’m still convinced that this is the kind of work that any university in the online space needs to be investing in and working on.
If you’re not familiar with Learning Experience Design you can read more here. Succinctly though, development of curriculum is approached as a design problem, with a high degree of emphasis placed on the learning experience of the student and decisions about activities, technologies, content etc all driven from that perspective.
It’s fundamentally a human centered approach, largely results in change work as much as technical development work (because it can upset the status quo), and is predicated on an increased amount of up-front effort in designing and iterating on improvements having a longer term pay off over the lifetime of a course or programme.
Yesterday I read a press release from Coursera that talked about the ability to use generative AI to speed up the development of course content, and it struck me that this kind of approach stands in stark opposition to the place that learning experience design is coming from.
“AI-ASSISTED COURSE BUILDING POWERED BY GENERATIVE AI – Based on a few simple inputs from a human author, a new set of AI-powered features can auto-generate course content — such as overall course structure, readings, assignments, and glossaries — to help educators dramatically reduce the time and cost of producing high-quality content.”