Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Call for a new Job Title - Learning Experience Designer (LxD)

Traditional learning theory is based on the premise that learning is an individual pursuit reliant on a top-down, teacher-centered approach that requires proper instructional design. This is becoming a less important model for how people learn, as we better understand social learning. Furthermore, as enterprise 2.0 technologies make it easier for people in organizations to connect with each other, it is also easier to take advantage of a social theory of learning whereby people learn through participation with each other in the pursuit of a specific practice. This is the foundation of Wenger's work on Communities of Practice.

If it is true that learning is less reliant on a top-down, teacher-centered approach that requires proper instructional design, why do we need instructional designers? 

We don't.

What we need are learning experience designers. Just as we have user experience designers (UX or UXD), I am making a call to action and an attempt to coin a new job title and abbreviation: Learning Experience Design (LX or LXD). 

After all, shouldn't we be designing activities and experiences in which people can learn something valuable and worthwhile? Shouldn't we treat people like adults and allow them to have more say in what they learn and how they learn it? Our job is not to instruct. Instruction is something against which people can rebel. Our job is to enable learning, something adults choose to do on their own. 

User experience design is not about forcing a design on people any more than learning experience design is about forcing instruction on people. User experience design is about designing things for how people naturally work. Learning experience design is about designing learning for how people naturally learn...through participation in the pursuit of a specific practice. 

So...do you want to be an instructional designer or a learning experience designer (LX)? Do you think the abbreviation for the craft should be LX or LXD? Comment below.

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