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Role of learning designer must change to 'foster continuous learning' votes L&D community

Olympia 2, London, UKLearning NewsBrightwave Group

New Brightwave debate videos explore how shift towards a resource approach to learning requires a change of mind set.

"Respect the learner - don’t waste their time. Your job as a designer is to understand the learner, where they need to get to and design accordingly." Charles Gould, MD at Brightwave (debate panellist)

Last month at the Learning Technologies 2012 Conference a live interactive debate, Heads in the Cloud: How are content strategies evolving in the workplace? explored how the emergence of cloud-based learning alongside fast changing business practices is driving a shift away from the traditional course towards a resources model.

Featuring live audience voting, the debate was chaired by Donald H Taylor and hosted by e-learning experts Brightwave. The panellists challenged the core discipline of learning design and how it needs to adapt to enable the level of performance and agility organisations need now.

The videos are available at:

The debate results are available at:

Consider new blends and adopt a more consultative role

In response to the question 'How is the role of the learning designer changing?' to support the shift towards a resource model the audience voted overwhelmingly for 'Foster continuous learning' (29 per cent). This represents an 11 per cent point advance on the joint second place essential role influencers which were 'Consider new blends' and 'Adopt a more consultative role'.

Charles Gould outlined how the learning designer now must:

  1. Stimulate the need to learn
  2. Stimulate thinking (and desire to find out more like a good documentary)
  3. Provide direction for how to use the resources
  4. Add clarity about the expectation and goal of the learning
  5. 'Respect the learner'

Putting the learner at the centre

Other panellists supported this view of how learning designers and wider L&D should get back to a core focus of helping people to be better autonomous learners.

Kenny Henderson, Head of Talent Development Operations at Sky, predicts that "we will see a shift where the learner is brought into the design process earlier to help shape better content".

Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner-Centred Design at London Knowledge Lab said "To be more effective in the workplace, and as learners, people need to know how to pull together multiple different resources to increase their understanding."

Debate panellists:-

  • Chair - Donald H Taylor, Chairman, Learning and Skills Group & Learning Technologies
  • Dr Genny Dixon, Head of Research, Towards Maturity
  • Charles Gould, Managing Director, Brightwave
  • Kenny Henderson, Head of Talent Development Operations, Sky
  • Professor Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner-Centred Design, London Knowledge Lab

The full results from the debate are available at: