Learning experience design (LXD) is a relatively new field. Instructional design (ID), on the other hand, has existed for decades. So what exactly is the difference between them? There are many similarities between the two fields. Both learning experience design and instructional design are focused on helping people learn and require a significant amount of collaboration, creativity, and communication. Despite the similarities, there are many differences between LXD and ID. Let’s break those differences down. 

learning experience design vs instructional design

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Learning Experience Design vs Instructional Design

Let’s look at the differences between learning experience design and instructional design.

What Is Learning Experience Design?

Learning experience design, or LXD, is the thoughtful and organized system of designing learner experiences based on learner research, cognitive psychology, stakeholder feedback, user design, and other disciplines included within the learning ecosystem. It involves using the right tools to build a learning experience informed by research and developing the right roadmap to create the necessary learning experience. The ultimate goal of LXD is to create transformative learning experiences.


LXD is a new field that has emerged in response to the changing needs of learners and determining the best possible ways to frame and refine learning experiences. The field focuses on using design thinking and system thinking, along with learning sciences, to improve how learner experiences are delivered. Professionals with a learning experience degree address these changing needs by designing learning experiences that are flexible, accessible, and engaging.


Jackrabbit LX experts design learning experiences in a 5-phase process. In the Discover phase, we determine the program’s KPIs, begin initial research regarding learners and stakeholders, and review existing data to improve programs. The Clarify phase involves developing key success metrics, developing a Project Roadmap, and determining roles and responsibilities.


The third phase is the Prototype phase, where learning designers design one or more possible solutions, test, modify, and iterate solutions until solidified. The Playbook phase serves as a sample to test the program before rolling it out at scale, and both learners and stakeholders will then review it. The final phase is the Scale phase, where we begin full-scale course creation and emphasize project management and communication skills to ensure learner and stakeholder success. 


When it comes to learning experience design vs instructional design, the main difference lies in the focus. Instructional design focuses on creating instructional delivery, content, and materials. Learning experience design is different because it’s context-focused on the learner and their motivations and emotions


A learning experience design course or learning experience certificate is an important first step to getting introduced to the LXD world. But what exactly does a learning experience designer do?


What Does a Learning Experience Designer Do?

Are you interested in becoming an LX designer? One way to get started is get a Master’s degree in educational technology or innovation in education. Some colleges and universities now offer learning experience design degrees, but there are only a handful of these note that it is not as prevalent as other instructional design degrees. If you don’t want to go that route, many LX designers come to the field by first working in an adjacent role (teaching, training, HR, product management, UX/UI etc.) and gaining LXD work experience and build a portfolio. 


The role of learning experience designer jobs can differ depending on the role and organization. For example, an LX designer might design more interactive learning experiences for subject areas across a university, build corporate training programs from the ground up, or help a patient adopt new healthy behaviors. 


While an LX designer’s work can be varied, there are some common responsibilities that almost all LX designers have. First, a learning experience designer has to asses the exact needs of the learner. Designing and optimizing the best learning experience is impossible without this context.


Second, they must have some creative and technological skills. The world’s concept of “education” has changed forever because learning can take place in many more mediums, and educational content can now be accessed by many different devices. If you’re a professional creative who understands technology, that’s a great start to a potential LXD career. 


Third, every learning experience design job description will probably reference the fact that you must design compelling and meaningful learning experiences. This is the ultimate goal of all LX designers and remains the role’s focus, regardless of the industry, sector, or organization. 


What Is Instructional Design?

Instructional design is the process of creating effective and efficient instructional strategies and materials. It’s a systematic and structured approach that involves analyzing the learning needs of the target audience, designing instructional approaches and assets, and evaluating the effectiveness of the learning experience. The goal of instructional design is to help learners acquire the knowledge and skills they need to perform a task, solve a problem, or achieve a specific goal.


The process of designing effective instruction usually entails multiple phases that span from identifying the learning needs of the audience to evaluating the effectiveness of the instruction delivered. In the initial stage of needs analysis, an instructional designer analyzes the requirements of the target learners and any potential hindrances to the design process. This stage helps to determine the scope and focus of the instruction, ensuring that it aligns with the goals of the organization or individual seeking the instruction.


Instructional design is a multifaceted discipline that involves creating effective learning experiences to achieve specific goals. It encompasses various elements, including but not limited to, content, learning objectives, and performance metrics. The primary aim of instructional design is to develop training programs that facilitate the transfer of knowledge, the acquisition of skills, and the alteration of attitudes and behaviors. This process involves the creation of engaging and interactive lessons or modules that cater to the diverse needs of learners and promote effective learning outcomes.


What are 3 major components of instructional design? First, instructional design requires clear learning goals and objectives. Similar to learning experience design, these goals must be understood before any instructional design can occur. Second, instructional design usually requires some sort of visual stimuli to help learners retain more information. Third, instructional designers should create a feedback loop to improve their content.


Some instructional design models examples include Bloom’s Taxonomy, ADDIE, Dick, and Carey Model, and more. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a framework that classifies educational objectives into six cognitive levels, and it was developed by Benjamin Bloom in 1956. 


The ADDIE model, one of the most critical instructional design models and theories, stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. The Dick and Carey model consists of nine steps and was developed by Walt Dick and Lou Carey in 1978. There are many different types of instructional design, but these two models and theories remain some of the most popular in the world. 


Instructional design has evolved significantly from the early days of behaviorism to the current focus on learner-centered design. With emerging technologies and a growing understanding of how people learn, instructional design will likely continue to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of learners and educators alike.

What Does an eLearning Developer Do?

An eLearning developer is a professional who creates digital learning content for online courses and educational programs. With the rise of online learning, eLearning developers are in high demand as organizations and educational institutions shift towards digital learning platforms to deliver educational content. This is even more true thanks to the shift to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Elearning developers use various tools and software to design, develop, and deliver interactive online courses and materials, such as videos, multimedia presentations, simulations, quizzes, and assessments. You will need to understand different technologies if you are serious about building elearning developer skills and eventually an elearning developer resume


A primary focus of elearning developer jobs is to create engaging and interactive learning content accessible to learners. To achieve this, eLearning developers must work closely with instructional designers, subject matter experts, and others to ensure the learning content is effective, engaging, and meets the learning objectives. As a result, communication is one of many key elearning developer skills. 


In addition to creating eLearning modules, an eLearning developer may also be responsible for developing other learning materials, such as instructor manuals, student guides, and reference materials.

How Jackrabbit LX Can Help 

At Jackrabbit LX, we are committed to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in learning experience design (LXD), so we can provide our clients with cutting-edge solutions that give them a competitive edge. We also believe in the power of collaboration, which means we work closely with our clients throughout the design process to ensure that our solutions meet their needs. 


Our goal is to deliver meaningful and relevant learning experiences for our clients no matter what. Our expert strategists design learning experiences for organizations of all kinds, whether you’re trying to build out a vision for a new training program, revitalize an existing program, or scale a learning experience without losing quality or consistency. 


We are passionate about what we do and believe that every organization deserves an exceptional learning experience that drives business success. If you’re ready to take the next step toward creating exceptional learning experiences, contact us today to learn more about how Jackrabbit can help you achieve your objectives.


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