Answers to some of your questions
What does a learning designer do?
You may also hear me use the term “instructional designer” but I prefer to use “learning designer”; it’s more learner-centred which fits with my philosophies on teaching and learning.
What topics can you design courses in?
What type of online learning do you create?
How do I know how much it will cost me to have you design a course?
What age or demographics do you design learning for?
What is your learning design process?
To start off, after my project proposal is accepted I usually schedule a kick-off meeting, during which we discuss Analysis phase pieces such as the purpose of the course, who the learners are, anticipated mode of the course, etc. In the Design phase I put together a design blueprint which is a high level document that outlines our learning approach, topics and possible activities. Next usually comes a more detailed design storyboard (for e-learning courses) or a comprehensive lesson plan (for other online and face-to-face modes). For online courses, in the Development phase I take our design storyboard and develop it in the online platform or tool that we’ve chosen for the course. In the Implementation phase I prefer to pilot the course with a small group of learners (and make changes to it based on their feedback) before rolling the course out more widely to more learners. I include Evaluation phase pieces when asking for pilot feedback and often incorporating a course evaluation.
What are some of your beliefs about design and facilitation?
I believe in thinking deeply about how people learn and in intentionally crafting experiences to help them do that in the best way possible. I believe that learners learn better when their learning is interesting and related to things they already know. I believe that people learn better together; it may not always be “easier”, but it will be richer. I believe that when we facilitate learning we are “guides” in supporting participants’ learning. I believe that making time for thinking and reflection is an important part of both teaching and learning. And I’m sure I believe many more things but these are just some of them!
What geographical location do you do work in?
Where do you get your inspiration for your learning design projects?
I believe strongly in keeping up in my field and regularly listen to podcasts and read articles and books related to education-based topics. I have colleagues in the field with whom I learn and share. I try to take short and long courses as I can fit them in to remain aware of what it feels like to be a learner. Often I learn something new from others who are teaching – or sometimes I am reminded of what not to do! I try to also do research and reading, and sometimes also take short courses (such as from Coursera or other free MOOC providers) in related fields, for example in neuroscience and how the brain works or in how educators based in museums teach through inquiry, or in graphic design, type, or things like that. Those are a few of the recent things I’ve been exploring. Since I am interested in – and teach a course in – innovation methods, I try to employ many strategies to remain as creative as I can. Inspiration can come from so many places!
What is your favourite kind of work?
I can’t pick just one! I know that part of why I’m in business for myself is because I love the variety of working on different kinds of projects. If I was a learning designer only, I would miss teaching and facilitation. And if I didn’t teach or facilitate, I wouldn’t be as skilled of a learning designer. I like it all and throughout the year I am happiest when I get to work on different kinds of projects for different kinds of clients. I am also happiest when challenging projects land on my plate, because I know they will be opportunities for me to stretch my creative muscles and keep learning. Regardless of what type of work it is that I’m doing however, I aim to give my clients the same fantastic results.