LXD is a buzzword gaining recognition in the Learning & Development profession that has emerged in the last few years as a growing disciplinary approach to learning. LXD, or Learner Experience Design, is a discipline that focuses on the user's experience in learning. Merging the disciplines of UX (User Experience) and instructional Design (ID) - LXD courses are designed to laser-focus on learner job performance and learner outcomes. This approach starts with increased collaboration with training stakeholders.
Some questions that learner experience designers ask of stakeholders are:
- What do you want people to DO with this information? (Not what do you want them to know?)
- What do you want people to do that they aren't doing already?
- What is the thing that's preventing them from doing what you want them to do?
- Is this a problem that can be solved through training?
Instructional Designer and writer Stacy Friedman is a 20-year L&D veteran. She has designed training courses for a wide range of industries, from software to the skilled trades to healthcare. She has been deeply motivated to improve user experience in learning design, and has been increasingly applying the LXD approach.
"What's really important," she says, "is to understand how to connect with the learners in your audience. LXD requires a change in mindset for HR and Training professionals," says Friedman.
The multi-disciplinary approach involves methods such as:
- Interviewing your learners
- Recording your observations
- Being open to co-creation with your learners
- Understanding how to get the correct information out of your learners
- Knowing how to best utilize your subject matter experts (even if they haven't been in the field for 10 years) and still make the training relevant to the actual learners who are currently in the field
- Devising methods and tactics to create the best experience for your learners
Tell-tale signs companies may need to revisit their approach towards training:
- Courses end up being knowledge-focused and not performance-focused
- The courses could seem like more of an information dump, where learners are forgetting the training quickly or just not applying the training on the job
- Learners report a strong disinterest in taking the courses and only complete mandatory courses
- When organizations checks the results, the data says that the training is simply not producing the desired result
Friedman notes that "many organizations fall short when it comes to evaluating people on the job 3-4 months after they've taken training...but if they do implement an evaluation program, that's when companies will truly be able to gauge their training efforts. And if those efforts are not producing the desired result, it's time to take a step back and implement LXD in course design!"
Friedman suggests Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model as an effective way to evaluate the quality of your training programs.
Stacy Friedman will be presenting a session on LXD at the 2017 LEAP Ahead eLearning Conference on June 21, 2017 - along with some ideas and resources to get started. As she says, "This is an approachable way to tailor your training, you just need to have a mindset that is always thinking about the learner."