Human brains are amazing things. They’re power-hungry biological machines that consume 20 to 30 percent of the blood’s glucose while being only two to three percent of the overall mass of the body. As complex engines for our cognition, it’s no surprise that we need people who are specifically focused on the tuning of these powerful engines. Those specialists are learning designers, also called instructional designers. These brain mechanics have a set of tools in their internal toolbox that allows them to identify how to improve the brain’s performance in new and novel areas.
This series on the actors in training development explores how the various roles in the training development process work together to create training that reduces the effort it takes for a student to learn a new skill. The learning designer is the central actor in making a subject easier to learn.
What Is a Learning Designer?
A learning designer is someone who uses his or her knowledge of how brains work and how people work to make the learning process easier. Learning designers turn the leaps from one topic to the next into small steps that anyone can easily take. Their job is often to reduce the cognitive load on the student by sequencing topics, simplification and elimination of extraneous information.