The creation of electronic courses involves many stages: analyzing the target audience, creating a scenario, gathering a team of specialists, testing the functionality, trial launch, and much more. However, the most important one is instructional design, a relatively new but essential concept. Let's consider the meaning of LX-design and its main principles.
The Meaning of LX Design
LX design is a unique approach to creating online seminars and training courses. The abbreviation LX stands for "learning experience." This branch of education appeared in 2007 thanks to the efforts of Professor Niels Floor from the Netherlands. He also formulated a description of the LX design:
"Learning experience design is the process of creating conditions that allow students to achieve high results using methods that focus on the person and the end goal of learning."
Thus, LX-design focuses on experience instead of traditional education methods, where you need to read the theory and do exercises in the textbook. Moreover, careful work on the design makes the passage of the online course more convenient and exciting.
How LX Design Differs From UX Design
LX design has a similar concept to UX. So, in this case, you are considering the issue of interaction with the digital environment. Here are the 3 main aspects of learning experience design:
- LX builds on the principles of usefulness, usability, and attractiveness of the educational platform. All this makes training videos and webinars exciting and memorable.
- LX provides developing an interface that keeps the student fit and positively influences learning outcomes.
- LX focuses on gaining hands-on experience. Therefore, all cognitive elements improve the learning process and apply the necessary concepts during the execution of tasks.
But there are some differences: in the first case, the user interacts with educational content, and in the second case, a graphical interface.
What Are the Principles of Instructional Design
If your training series or webinars follow the rules of LX design, then it will be easier for students to understand the navigation through the platform. This way they won't miss anything important.
Let's look at the main learning experience design principles that help improve your educational product and make it more engaging for students.
Your course should give the maximum benefit for the rapid growth of competence in the chosen topic and self-confidence. This approach will attract new students in the shortest possible time. If the course does not pursue such goals, your audience will not want to waste precious time. The reason is simple: employees in many professions often suffer from burnout. Therefore, they need to be immediately interested. For example, the course "Creating Your First Landing Page in 4 Hours" sounds intriguing, but "Web Development 101" does not.
Therefore, many experts advise telling students about the benefits of an e-course in the title. It should reflect the solution of a massive problem for a person. Ideally, the name talks about solving daily work tasks, and only then - about the benefits for the student.
Dividing a Large Amount of Information Into Small Parts
This aspect has a scientific background, an experiment conducted by psychologists William Hick and Ray Hyman in 1952. They decided to learn how much time the average person spends making decisions.
The study went like this: ten lamps stood before each participant when buttons were placed under them. Hick and Hyman turned on these lamps in random order. The main task of the subjects is to press the buttons as quickly as possible, which correspond to the glowing lamps.
The experiment led to a rather exciting conclusion. If people get a lot of options to choose from, it is difficult for them to process the information and decide quickly.
How does this relate to LX design? First, it is difficult for the average student to memorize a massive amount of information at a time. Therefore, if there is a lot of text in the lesson, distribute it between the presentation slides. In this case, the student will acquire new knowledge gradually, and as a result, it is better to remember it.
Gradual Complication of the Material
This approach is far from new. In 1956, a team of scientists from the University of Chicago, led by Benjamin Bloom, created a taxonomy of pedagogical goals. According to their findings, the learning process consists of 6 consecutive levels:
At the same time, the sequence is inseparable: if you do not analyze a specific phenomenon, you will not be able to evaluate it. Another example: without the learning and understanding of knowledge, it is impossible to apply them in practice.
Bloom's taxonomy is used today to create educational programs, including eLearning courses. To teach a person any skill, use a sequential approach. First, reveal the topic and its usefulness to the student. And only then explain the principles of operation and ways of application.
In addition, do not overwhelm students with a tremendous amount of new knowledge. Your audience will not like it. The result is dissatisfaction and churn of visitors to your e-course. Therefore, remember: the course must be complicated gradually.
Using Familiar Design Elements
Nielsen Norman Group co-founder Jakob Nielsen famously coined the law: "People spend most of their time on other websites, but not on yours."
Therefore, designers are advised to repeat the design of control elements on popular services. Thus, visitors can more easily understand the navigation on the page.
If you apply Jakob's Law to the learning experience design, you need to abandon unusual buttons and icons in visual design. The reason is simple: students would not understand their meaning. It is much better to use the classic options (a cross for closing a window, a gear sign for the settings menu, etc.). It will improve the interaction of students with the interface of the educational platform.
Clarity and Conciseness
Anton Chekhov wrote: "Brevity is the sister of talent." Sure, writing concisely and concisely is pure art. But there is also a scientific side to this issue.
In 1956, the American psychologist George Miller published his most well-known article called The Magic Number, Seven Plus or Minus Two. Miller deduced a pattern: on average, a person can remember and repeat no more than 7 ± 2 elements. Miller compared the brain to a "wallet" that can store up to 7 numbers, letters, or words at a time. However, if their number is bigger than 7, the brain groups the information in a set of 5 to 9 elements.
How will such knowledge help in creating the design of the learning experience? The primary thesis is to present the material in the classroom concisely and concisely. There should not be more than 7 elements on one slide (for example, a rule or pattern and 4-6 arguments for evidence). It allows you to distribute the cognitive load on students correctly.
Positioning Important Information Along the Vertical Edges of the Screen
In this case, the principle discovered by the German researcher Hermann Ebbinghaus applies. He found that a person best remembers information located at the top and bottom of the visual field. The researcher believed that a person unconsciously pays special attention to such information.
One of the psychologist's experiments showed that a student constantly looks at the first and last items in the list. These are the ones that are firmly rooted in long-term memory.
This rule applies to LX design: put critical items at the top and bottom parts of the list. It will increase the likelihood that the student will pay particular attention.
Adding Accents to the Visual Design
It's an equally important aspect when working on the LX design. After all, among the list of homogeneous objects, the student will notice what is different. The German psychiatrist Hedwig von Restorff called it the "isolation effect." To prove her theory, she organized an experiment. The participants received a list of homogeneous words, but there was also one unique word in the whole list. It was the one that participants of the experiment remembered best.
Therefore, experts in LX-design recommend placing accents to highlight important information. For example, highlight an essential term in bold. It's eye-catching, so students will notice things that merit their attention.
Constant Feedback During the Learning Process
It is vital to maintain constant communication with students during the online course. It allows providing a more personalized approach to learning. So, feedback is not limited to midterm and final tests. It is also crucial to add other methods of interaction: training sessions, brainstorming, joint exercise, etc.
It will significantly improve the e-course in terms of the learning experience. After all, it depends on how valuable the training will be for each student.
Optimization of the Educational Platform
The creators of online courses often do not pay due attention to accessibility. However, if you ignore the problem of accessibility and ease of functionality, you risk launching a failed e-course. There is a high chance that users will complain about a terrible learning experience and bombard you with negative reviews.
The best solution is to optimize the interface and educational material for the most comprehensive audience coverage. It means that your online course should be as accessible as possible. It is easy to do, and the result will exceed all expectations.
Gathering Feedback To Improve the Course
The last principle of LX design is to collect feedback from students regularly. You can do this in many ways: via a feedback form, private messages on the educational platform, a questionnaire at the end of the course, etc. Allow students to say what they think about your e-course. Most of the feedback will relate to the topic and content, but the opinion on the training design also plays an important role. All this will help analyze your educational product and make it better.
Learning experience design is not an exact science. It is because each person has a unique experience and opinion. However, post-course feedback will help you build trustful communication with new and future students. In addition, course developers strive to dig deeper and better understand the target audience.
Let's sum it up. First, LX design is an essential part of any online course. Students take action and become familiar with their consequences, so the learning experience design must be human-centered.
American educator John Dewey wrote that experience must be formulated and expressed in a form that will allow another person to appreciate its significance. Thus, the student of your e-course focuses on his actions and gets new knowledge. And our tips will help improve the quality of your e-course as a whole.
We hope that you found our article helpful. If you have any questions regarding the design of the learning experience, leave them in the comments. We will answer them and analyze the most interesting ones in the following materials.