Wait….Stop Me If You Have Heard This One!

Stop me if you heard this one!

A former student government president, a former game designer, an amateur photographer, a self-taught coder, an English major, and a Hollywood script writer walk into a room. What do they do?

This is who WeLearn is—we are those people. This is who we are.

Some of you might be scratching your head and saying, “wait where are the project manager, the instructional designer, the developers, and the learning strategist?” We are those people too, but our path has wound us to a place where our passion is to develop truly awesome learning experiences.

If you have been with us in our dialog about digital learning for a while now, you know we are committed to changing the way we, as learning designers, think about what we do. If you are just joining us, check out our other thoughts on this subject:  #digitallearning.

As learning organizations, as we move to embrace our roles as digital learning product developers, we must also embrace new ideas about the people (the humans) who make up our teams and all of the experiences they bring to the table. Some of the most awesome learning experiences we’ve seen came from learning designers who did not major in instructional design—in fact, some of us do not have degrees at all.  Yes, we all have that friend who has their Ph.D. in instructional design and instructional technology—and they are totally awesome too—but the point is, we need to expand our thinking about who fits the role of a learning designer because diverse backgrounds make teams better. They make the analogies we use more diverse. They make the stories we tell through the products we create richer.  

So where do you start? Whether you are a learning leader, a leader of people, or an individual contributor, start by looking outside our profession for opportunities to develop new skills. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

  • Take the content marketing certification from Hubspot. It is free, it is awesome, and it exposes you to a new way of thinking about how we create and reuse content.
  • Take a design thinking course. We are all creative, but even we have to imagine a world outside of our box. There are great courses out there—choose one and see what happens.
  • Take an improv class. We are practitioners of “Yes, And.” It is in our DNA and it is how we collaborate and innovate with our partners.
  • Take a coding course, even if you have to start with one for kids (don’t judge—some of us did that) the goal here is not to be great out of the gate but to have context. You never know, you might find joy in it.
  • Follow interesting design blogs. There are tons of them. One we like right now is DesignBetter.co. They inspire us to be better.

Talk to US! We are passionate on this topic, and part of our work is helping organizations aspire to and achieve a higher level of learner experience. We’ve had this discussion with financial services institutions, higher education institutions, and not for profits. We love these conversations and can work with you to bring this change to your organization.

Our mission is to build better humans through learning. We know that the digital domain is an important medium for us meeting that mission, and we believe the key to being successful in that medium is making sure the digital learning experiences we design are relevant and impactful, feel modern, and are grounded in a technology experience familiar to learners.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts. We are in this together. Together we learn.

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