Utilize a Design Triad to Improve LX Design Success – O'Donnell Learn

Utilize a Design Triad to Improve LX Design Success

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Aug 08, 2019

Key to developing new learning experiences is assessing what both the learner and instructor want, what can be done with allocated resources and what is consistent with the client’s overall strategy and goals.

There are many tools available to help shape the direction of a design approach, while also helping minimize a client’s risk. One tool we’ve had great success with is what we call our design triad: Desirable, Feasible, Viable.

The best designers always start with the learner’s needs and dive right into learning outcomes. What is it you want someone to learn? But before you move into the actual design process, you need to first examine the program offering under the three critical lenses, a must in defining what is required for learner success:

• Is it desirable?

• Is it feasible?

• Is it viable?

Is it desirable? Is this experience something your learners want? Will onground students take advantage of this new approach and will instructors want to teach it? Does it offer potential reach beyond your physical campus or serve an additional audience? Is it unique or already offered elsewhere? Who in your sphere of influence would benefit, including previous graduates and any relevant workforce? For example, returning adult learners often seek micro-credentials or professional certificates designed to advance their careers.

“Our end goal is to identify valid reasons to proceed or not, what it will take to get the job done and any new opportunities that might be created as a result.”

Is it feasible? What is required to see the project through to completion? What internal and external resources will be needed to bring this to fruition? Do the benefits outweigh the costs, schedule and technology necessary to deliver the content to the learner? The end goal is to identify valid reasons to proceed or not, what it will take to get the job done and any new opportunities that might be created as a result. An example at this stage would be examining your internal design team’s capabilities. Would developing microcredential programs go beyond these and require outside resources? Is funding available? How long would it take to hire an external team?

Finally, is it viable? Numbers always reveal the truth, so you need to be sure it is financially viable and can be sustained and maintained long term. If we use the example of microcredentials mentioned earlier, factors affecting viability could include:

• What price is required to sustain the microcredential option?

• Is there an opportunity to engage learners beyond your onground campus?

• Is this microcredential “stackable” with other programs for learners who ultimately seek a degree?

• Will marketing this microcredential require additional staff or expertise?

The good news is, even if a project is found to not be viable in its current form, that’s not to say the opportunity can’t be revised to a form that is. The beauty of this design triad is that it not only reveals weak points and potential risks, but also reveals how to course correct these in advance, as well as reveal new opportunities we might not have discovered otherwise.

At the end of the day, our desire is to help you improve learning. Successfully. Profitably. Sustainably. Because that is also how we meet the learner’s needs, today and into the future.


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.