With change in time, technology and education the learning needs of the students have evolved and diversified.
Keeping this thing in mind it is essential to have learning designer who understand theses ever-changing needs and caters to them for effective and efficient learning and teaching. In academic cultures where the role is well established, one of the issues encountered in effectively providing support for e-Learning is that the role is not well understood by the very people who should be supported by it – academic staff.
Over time the role of the Learning Designers has specifically gained significant attention, with a number of reports and investigations seeking to define its strategic importance, scope, and competency profile. The points mentioned below highlight the key roles of a Learning Designer:
Research and Evaluation
After researching, the learning designer often evaluates the various technologies and tools to make a best pick for the best delivery of education. They also do environmental scanning and contribution to the community as a whole.
Design and Development
This area has traditionally not been a key responsibility for Learning Designers, who tended to be engaged in course design and development, (i.e. at the implementation stage) rather than the planning stage of new programs or those under review. This may point to the fact that program offerings are increasingly being planned as online or blended programs and the use of technology has to be considered from the outset. The role however does require the person to make learning scenarios, pick the best technology and develop curricula to be delivered to students.
The implementation of institutions wide E-Learning initiatives has been closely tied to the deployment of a Learning Management System (LMS), which has also strongly shaped the tasks of the Learning Designer. The advent of the LMS has seen a shift towards Learning Designers focusing on training and supporting academic staff in the use of the system, and developing and implementing good practice examples, standards and policies. The corresponding change in the role of the Learning Designer is towards a stronger focus on evaluating available tools and making recommendations, providing support and advice to academic staff planning to use tools beyond the LMS, and contributing to policies that help maximize the benefits but minimize the risks associated with this practice.
Academic Development and Training
The learning designers are also experts that need to advice and coach educators for designing and delivering training in technology and pedagogy. They also facilitate peer to peer learning and communities of practice.
Strategic Advice and Policy Development
Because learning designers are the ones developing the curriculum they also contribute to the eLearning strategy formation, policy development and the implementation of eLearning policies.
Liaison and Management
As they are formulating the most work in respect to the eLearning they often acts as interface between institutional stakeholders. They are also responsible for the management of eLearning projects, networking among other eLearning experts to stay abreast with latest practices and technologies and together efforts of work.
To know more I recommend this read by Connie Malamed, titled, “Emerging Roles Of The Learning Designer. Are your skills relevant for the future?”
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