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


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

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.


Carrie O’Donnell is the CEO of O’Donnell Learn, a leading learning experience (LX) design firm dedicated to helping learners achieve their goals and flourish in life. ODL is passionate about partnering with institutions and their faculty to deliver learner-centered design and innovation.

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