Introducing Media Lab: Aligning Learning Design and Media, All Under One Roof – O'Donnell Learn

Introducing Media Lab: Aligning Learning Design and Media, All Under One Roof

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Sep 01, 2020

We recently made an exciting announcement – the launch of Media Lab!

Media Lab was conceived out of a desire to disrupt the current media development model and offer best-in-class learning experiences at any scale. By bringing learning design and learning media production under one roof, our Media Lab is poised to help drive this effort. Leading the charge for this new venture is our new Vice President of Digital Media, Daniel Leiker.

One thing in particular we wanted to overcome is learning media appearing at odds with learning design. Companies that solely focus on learning media are still relatively new in higher education. While media companies are pros at creating cinematic-quality content, they often lack the learning design element critical to creating learner engagement and improving outcomes. At the same time, production with these companies typically carries a hefty price tag.

Enter Daniel. Most recently, he led the helm of AfterClass, a company with expertise in both multimedia production and learning design. We partnered for several large initiatives and saw firsthand that he and his team excelled at managing the challenges of producing learning media at scale. We were also impressed by his passion for education and commitment to serving the learner.

“When something is designed well, you almost don’t notice it. The job of any learning experience is to get out of the way of itself – out of the way of the pedagogy. It’s not about gimmicks, glitz or glamour and capturing the learner’s attention. It’s about serving the way the message can best be portrayed to the learner. Both for retainment – and for the learner to build agency over the knowledge gained, to improve his or her life with that knowledge.” Daniel Leiker

Alex Eldredge, Operations
Media Manager

Also joining Daniel from AfterClass is Alex Eldridge, who brings over 10 years experience in film and media. Daniel shared, “Alex is extremely intuitive and consistently, an amazing problem-solver. He has a real gift connecting with clients and understanding what they need.”

There’s so much about our Media Lab that excites me. Foremost, our ability to deliver incredible quality learning experiences end-to-end–affordably and at scale. The launch of Media Lab also launches our plan to invest in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

“It’s a powerful one-two punch. O’Donnell Learn is ambitious to do this, but done right, it will perfectly align and improve quality-capacity, strengthen collaboration, reduce production time, as well as costs, and make us highly competitive in the market.” Daniel Leiker

We are committed to being on the cutting edge of learning design innovation and using our Lab to take learning experiences where they’ve never been in higher education. This launch is as much about maximizing today’s capabilities for advancing learner success as it is about exploring and pioneering showcasing what’s possible for tomorrow.


The WOW Factor: Creating Faculty Development That Sparks Interest and Envy

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Jan 19, 2021

Imagine our surprise last summer when we reached out to 475 faculty and learned the online courses for nearly half were simply mirrors of their face-to-face instruction. In fact, only 22% were designing their courses differently for online. With all of the faculty development around online learning being offered, why weren’t more faculty designing courses specifically for this type of instruction? As it turns out, faculty weren’t engaging with development options at a level you might expect given COVID-19 and the rapid shift to online learning. Something we’d also learned in surveys and interviews with170 provosts and academic leaders a year earlier. The solution? The WOW Factor.

Purposeful Learning DesignTM – Why People are at the Center of Everything We Do

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Jan 15, 2021

I’m often asked why our company is so good at collaborating with  faculty. The first time I heard this question, I didn’t realize clients found this unique to O’Donnell Learn. We’ve always been great partners  because people are at the heart of everything we do. In fact, our entire design philosophy - Purposeful Learning DesignTM - is anchored around people.  It starts with this truth: learning is for people. As such, learning design should be grounded in empathy and it should promote success for both learners and faculty. Purposeful Learning Design is the philosophy we embrace to ensure we never lose sight of this truth. It is comprised of six key considerations.

2020 Reflective: Breathe Deep and Stay Agile

Published By Joana Jebsen
on Dec 22, 2020

While end-of-year survey results are still to come for how enrolled students are evaluating their 2020 college experience, I queried two of our staff, both students, about their overall experience and considered how these compared to what I was seeing with O’Donnell Learn clients. Kellie, our graphic design intern, just completed her Associates Degree in Graphic design. Prior to 2020, all of her courses met on campus. Cathryn, a Learning Design Associate is currently enrolled in an online Master of Education program in eLearning and Instructional Design. As this program was conceived as online delivery, it serves as a benchmark to compare against courses that were forced by COVID to switch delivery modes.