09 July 2012

Experts call for more "Learning experience design"

Janet Kolodner at ICLS 2012
I was ecstatic in the audience of Pierre Dillenbourg's talk at last week's International Conference of the Learning Sciences when he made an open call for more work to be done on HCI for Education. Later, in an interactive poster session of innovative learning technology, ISLS society founder Janet Kolodner echoed agreement for this need, appropriately recasting it as "Learning Experience Design".  This triggered additional comments from the crowd on the unique role of graphical user interface design in the learning context.

The work Dillenbourg showcased was created by a multi-disciplinary team, and as a design solution to a problem they discovered through observation (not a technology-led approach). This narrative is utterly in tune with user experience design methods. Moreover the results, such as the lantern he showed (pictured here) were effective, elegant and appropriately minimalist - again, design thinking principles at work.
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Lantern awareness tool

I'm inspired that even the research leaders at conferences like ICLS are beginning to articulate the need for a greater focus on user interface and experience design for learning.

I look forward to a new era that brings the fields of the learning sciences and user experience design together so that we can finally take a principled, research-based and human-centered approach to the design of user interfaces and experiences for learning.