Leveraging LX Design for Cohort Learning

26 February

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Leveraging LX Design for Cohort Learning

When it comes to effective learning, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Learners are diverse, and what works for one may be less effective for others. Learning experience (LX) design recognises this simple fact and puts the learner at the centre of the design process. LX designers focus on the learner’s journey and are driven by their needs and goals. The aim is to create meaningful, personalised learning experiences that inspire and motivate.

Cohort-based learning is one of the emerging trends in LX design. This learning model groups learners based on shared characteristics, interests or goals. Cohort learning promotes peer-to-peer, collaborative learning among students.

The combination of LX design and educational cohorts has the potential to create even more dynamic, interactive learning environments.

Today, we discuss how LX design can enhance cohort learning. We explore the latest technological tools, best practices and the future of educational trends.

Let’s get started by delving into LX design in education and how it differs from instructional design.

Learn more about how to leverage LX Design for Cohort Learning in our micro-credential

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Understanding LX Design in Education

LX design is all about creating human-centred and goal-orientated learning experiences. It draws on user experience design principles, microlearning and adaptive learning models. And it incorporates insights from cognitive psychology, neuroscience and instructional frameworks such as ADDIE and Mayer’s multimedia principles.

Learners are centre stage in LX design. Personalised learning experiences are created to meet the individual's needs, likes, dislikes, motivations, and goals. Not only is learning more relevant, it's also more engaging and enjoyable.

LX design aims to present learning materials clearly and concisely. The starting point is what students already know about the topic and their past and present experiences. LX design then incorporates various formats, including audio, video and interactive elements, to engage and motivate the learner.

Another crucial aspect of LX design is the feedback loop. Processes are included to provide real-time feedback to students on their progress. This ensures instructors can intervene with support when needed. And it helps build a positive, trusting relationship between the digital learning experience and learners.

User-centred educational design has had a significant impact on digital learning. Here are the headlines:

  • Increased retention and engagement

  • Improved knowledge retention

  • Enhanced learner outcomes

  • More empowered learners

Differences Between LX Design and Instructional Design in Education

Instructional and LX designs share several similarities. However, there are some significant differences.

  • Unlike instructional design, LX design shifts the focus from instructors and materials to learners.

  • Instructional design tends to follow a more linear, prescriptive process. By contrast, user-centred design is more iterative and creative.

  • Instructional design is based on predetermined learning objectives and outcomes, whereas LX designrelies on learner feedback and continuously refines the learning experience.

The Rise of Cohort Learning

Educational cohorts group learners together based on shared characteristics and goals. It’s fantastic for building community and supporting peer-to-peer learning and collaboration. The dynamic, interactive learning environment it creates leads to enriched learner outcomes and enhanced engagement.

Cohort learning is not a new concept. However, it has gained popularity in recent years in the context of digital learning. Here are some examples of successful cohort-based programs:

  • Coursera’s Degrees and MasterTrack Certificates combine the flexibility of online learning with cohort-based learning.

  • Online communities and platforms like On Deck and NovoEd offer learners opportunities to join diverse cohorts of like-minded peers and access high-quality content and resources.

  • Online bootcamps such as Springboard and Founders Institute help learners gain in-demand skills and connections to industry experts and employers.

However, cohort learning does come with some challenges, including the following:

  • Managing group dynamics

  • Balancing structure and flexibility

  • Ensuring quality and consistency

The good news is that LX design principles and tools can help overcome these challenges. Let’s explore just how.

Integrating LX Design in Cohort Learning

LX design can help create inclusive, engaging and impactful cohort-based learning experiences that prepare learners for real-life challenges. Here are some practical examples of how to go about doing just that:

  • Build trust and rapport among cohort members with icebreakers, introductions and social activities. Doing so allows members to get to know each other and form connections.

  • Encourage interaction with discussion forums, chat groups or video conferencing. Cohort members can collaborate, share insights and learn from each other.

  • Provide clear and coherent shared learning paths for cohorts while allowing for personalisation and choice. Using learning science principles, LX designers can scaffold learning content and assessments, incorporating spaced repetition and retrieval. Learners can set their own pace and customise the learning pathway with personalised topics and media options.

  • Ensure that the learning outcomes are aligned with the learners' needs and goals and the cohort’s standards and values.

  • Data and learning analytics help LX designers measure and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of cohort learning. Programs can be fine-tuned to ensure they hit the mark.  

Technological Tools and Resources for LX Design in Cohorts

Technology plays a crucial role in delivering LX design in cohort learning. Here’s a roundup of some of the best tools. We end the selection with examples of where tech has successfully enhanced cohort learning experiences.

  • Miro: this visual collaboration tool allows users to create and share interactive whiteboards, diagrams and charts. It’s a fantastic tool for brainstorming and problem-solving among cohort members.

  • ClassPoint: is an interactive presentation tool that integrates with PowerPoint. Designers can use it to create assessments, quizzes, polls and games. And it can also be used to gather feedback from cohort members. Feedback is vital as it helps designers review and refine the learning experience.

  • Tableau: create and share interactive dashboards, charts and graphs to support cohort learning with this data visualisation and analytics tool. Tableau is also handy for analysing data for cohort learning. Analytics ensure LX designers can assess and monitor the impact and effectiveness of cohort learning.

  • iSpringSuite: is a software tool that helps instructional designers create interactive and multimedia-rich digital learning courses. Use it to add quizzes, simulations, animations, and more.

  • Coursera: this popular online learning platform has recently launched cohort-based University Certificates. Live classes, collaboration and peer-to-peer learning are essential elements of the new program.

  • DataCamp: another online learning platform that offers cohort-based learning models. This platform specialises in data science and offers interactive courses, projects and assessments for educational cohorts.

Learn more about LX design for cohort learning in our Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design

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Best Practices and Future Trends

The combination of LX design and cohort learning offers exciting possibilities. If you’re keen to get started, the following best practices will guide you:

  • Start with the learner: the learner is central to LX design and cohort-based learning. Ensure you understand the learner’s needs, motivations, preferences and goals. And use that knowledge to design relevant and personalised learning experiences.

  • Embrace experimentation: both disciplines are iterative and experimental. Be open to change and improvement. Test, evaluate and refine your practice based on learner feedback and data analytics.

  • Be creative and innovative:  LX design and cohort learning are dynamic, creative processes. Always be on the lookout for new ways to leverage technology to create and deliver learning experiences. 

With that in mind, here’s our take on some of the emerging educational trends to watch:

  • AI and machine learning: these new technologies are set to transform digital learning with personalised and adaptative learning experiences. When it comes to data analytics, content curation, and providing in-the-moment feedback, AI and machine learning also have much to offer. Check out our series of blogs exploring the game-changing impacts in more detail.

  • AR and VR: AR and VR will enhance interactive learning environments with immersive, authentic, real-world simulations and experiences.

  • Blockchain and credentialing: blockchain technology keeps track of information in a way that is hard to change. Credentialing involves recognising achievement with certificates or badges. We will likely see increasing use of blockchain and credentialing to validate and recognise learning outcomes and improve transparency.

Learning Experience Design and Cohort-Based Learning Models: Next Steps

These are exciting times. LX design and cohort learning are powerful and promising ways to create more effective learning experiences.

Leveraging LX design principles will help educators deliver cohort-based programs that promote collaborative learning and develop community among students.

Ready to take the next step? Join our microcredential to learn more about how to apply LX design for cohort learning. Enrol now and start your LX design journey today.