Learner Experience Design

Jerry Schneppp and Christian Rogers presenting on Learner Experience Design at the ISETL Conference in Charlotte, NC - October, 2019

Learner Experience Design (LX) leverages the techniques, mindsets, and approaches from the field of User Experience (UX) to help educators create innovative and effective learning opportunities. It combines user-centered instructional design with educational theory, pedagogy, and psychology. Educators who use LX for curriculum development can adapt their instruction to an ever-evolving set of learners using an evidence-based approach.

I collaborated with Christian Rogers on a workshop series that introduced LX to faculty and provided an opportunity for faculty participants to learn how they can integrate LX into their curriculum development workflow. Faculty engaged in activities that foster empathy toward students by conducting student interviews, persona creation, and analysis.

Why LX?

The student body on college campuses is increasingly more diverse and students’ views on education and learning are changing. They engage in myriad learning modalities that incorporate online and face-to-face interactions. They have access to an unprecedented body of digital resources from which they synthesize their learning. They have diverse schedules, learning styles, levels of preparedness, and personal preferences. In short, students have varied expectations about what it means to engage in a productive learning experience.


Most faculty members have never received formal training in curriculum development. Some simply mimic the way their own instructors taught, never considering the potential for innovation based on insight into student motivation, expectations, and habits. Others invest considerable effort into advancing their pedagogy but lack the foundational knowledge that informs modern instructional design.

Learner Experience Design (LX) is an emerging field that leverages the techniques, mindsets, and approaches from the field of User Experience (UX) to help educators create innovative and effective learning opportunities. It combines user-centered instructional design with educational theory, pedagogy, and psychology. Educators who use LX for curriculum development can adapt their instruction to an ever-evolving set of learners using an evidence-based approach. There is a need to provide LX training for educators who might unlock the potential to engage students in more effective learning experiences by incorporating a human-centered approach to their curriculum design.

Our Approach

For faculty members to best understand the need for effective teaching practices they need to have empathy for their learners. One framework to support this effort is LX. LX is a way of utilizing mindsets taken from UX and design thinking to develop curriculum and tailor that content to multiple students.

We propose to offer a professional development opportunity to faculty members on two university campuses in the form of a workshop series focused on student empathy. Participants will learn how to apply LX principles to learn about their particular students to help them improve their pedagogy and develop more effective curriculum.

Project Goals

The goal of this project is to enable faculty members to leverage the learner experience design framework to gain empathy for their students in an effort to develop more effective and relevant pedagogy. Participants in the workshop series will be able to do the following:

● Describe learner experience design as a series of mindsets to aid in curriculum development

● Engage in increased empathy for their students

● Develop personas for the students

● Effectively conduct student interviews following the Customer Discovery method

● Implement curriculum changes based on student empathy

Slide deck for UIC Department of Communication (2/26/2020)

UIC 2020