How to Differentiate Your Edtech Product Through Learning Experience Design
Savvy edtech designers create products that incorporate the best of what technology has to offer learners. These edtech features may include adaptive branching and feedback, authentic teacher-like support, and hands-on experiences.
Tom Vander Ark calls learning experience design LX, in reference to learner experience. Designers must keep in mind that quality instructional design is always about the learner’s experience.
More than adaptive branching
You’re on the right track if you’ve built adaptive branching into your edtech product, but it’s just the beginning.
Algorithms guide adaptive branching in identifying patterns based on learner answer choices. As learners get answers correct, programs select harder questions. If learners repeatedly choose incorrect answers, the program adjusts the learning level accordingly.
Adaptive branching can be a good thing, but it’s not enough. Combining adaptive branching with adaptive feedback make for a better learning experience.
Imitate teacher support
Developing files of information and writing questions for each of the files is a straightforward task. Activities like this, however, are at the lowest end of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Knowledge and recall are only the foundation for learning; real learning requires analysis and synthesis.
Teachers know how to guide students from lower-level cognitive skills to higher-order thinking skills, and learning experience design must do the same thing.
Get feedback from third-party sources
Learning is about improving understanding and skill, but instruction requires more than delivering facts or outlining steps. Edtech that provides only facts is another more than an electronic textbook.
Learning should be inspirational and joyful, but edtech designers often stick to instructional delivery basics. They forget to include the wonder that comes with discovery.
To know if you’re on the right track, hire a third party research organization to determine how well your edtech meets the goals of learning experience design.
Learning experience design is about doing
When was the last time you asked someone, “Can I watch you play solitaire?”
Most people prefer to play games themselves rather than watch someone else play. The same is true of learning. Watching a lesson is far less engaging than participating in the lesson with hands-on learning activities.
Your learning experience design product will be more successful if you find ways to enrich lessons with actual experiences. Learning by design incorporates hands-on learning opportunities such as science experiments, simulations, and virtual field trips.
Edtech entrepreneurs have plenty of competition. The best way to differentiate your edtech product from everyone else’s product is by building learning experience design. Learning experience design should incorporate relevant examples suited to each level of learner and allow for hands-on experiences that encourage higher-order thinking skills.