Learning Design

“The Most Important Principle For Designing Lively eLearning Is To See eLearning Design Not As Information Design But As Designing An Experience”

– Cathy Moore


Learning design is considered a creative process that occurs within a wider ecosystem of people, processes, systems and places, in which one element is dependent on the others. As these elements change, such as with advanced technologies being made available to teachers, the teacher begins to participate with an iterative process of creating and redesigning programmes, content and learning – this would be done either individually or as a structured group.

Lesson goals and objectives

In this lesson you will learn:

  • The need for digital learning design
  • Why a variety of learning approaches should be implemented
  • How best learning outcomes can be obtained through the assistance of technology

During the design process of any learning content, the teacher must consider the needs of the individual and learner group and the context of their learning to decide which digital technologies are most suitable to support this. For VET providers it is considered optimal to introduce learners to a variety of digital tools throughout their academic year that will support, engage all learners to achieve the learning outcomes. It is recommended to integrate a variety of learning approaches – depending on the level and subject(s) – that develops digital literacy through the learning sessions. When introducing a new technology, make sure to allocate sufficient time in advance to fully brief learners in a ‘step-by-step’ process on how to use the specific technology; it is encouraged that this is supplemented with “online activities”. 

It is of course necessary to provide ongoing support – again look at developing “online support, either through the VET providers VLE or similar systems. Always prepare written instructions – accessible online, of course – that reiterate what was introduced to allow learners to revise any steps they may have forgotten; it is encouraged that the teacher refers to these resources regularly. Teachers should provide a frequently asked question (FAQ) thread via the VLE or a similar repository where learners can be supported. Supplemental to the FAQ section could be a chat forum providing “peer-to-peer-to-teacher” communication – of course the teacher in this case would be merely the facilitator. It is important for teachers to evaluate the merits of the technology integration, using a reflective approach, at the end of each day/week/month/term, to adapt according to what they have learnt and then progressively add more technology/online components if required.




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Q: Why digital learning design?
A: Digital learning design is the process of creating engaging, interactive digital learning experiences. There are many advantages to digital learning, if designed appropriately, the contrary is also true, so beware. It’s not simply taking a slide deck of content and uploading it to your centre’s virtual learning environment (VLE); this leads to flat, unengaging experience that lacks interactivity for the learner. Good digital learning design in vocational education is all about designing a vibrant interactive learning experience from the start, using traditional learning theory and digital instructional design principles. Of course, this will take some practice, especially when you deploy new digital tools, so always be prepared for reflection and collaborative approaches to be an integral part of the design, for instance.
Q: How is digital learning design going to change vocational education?

A: Digital learning design, if done correctly, will broaden the scope of traditional teaching. As an illustration, learners will be able to learn anywhere, anytime through a range of digital tools, apps, educational games etc. Through this digital technology, learners can virtually be exposed to vocational experiences in a simulated environment providing opportunities to train in a safe environment. An example of this is the use of virtual reality training for working at heights, before a learner would be exposed to the “real world” situation. Excellent digital learning design still requires sound educational principles, with the addition of digital tools, it is important to recognise that technology in itself does not create learning.