What is A Learning Designer?

Being a corporate learning designer requires knowing a lot about how corporate training works, but it’s also important to remember that although there’s substantial overlap, learning design is not always synonymous with the act of teaching. For one thing, learning design involves a series of tasks which are not directly related to training procedures, but are nonetheless essential to their effectiveness. These tasks include making preparations for teaching sessions, creating learning materials, making assessments, coordinating with specialists and managers, or simply preparing for various educational activities at the office.

What is A Learning Designer?

In the context of employee training and personnel development, learning design helps to identify critical areas of studies which can help employees and personnel develop new skill-sets in order to increase their productivity. Furthermore, learning design can also help to incorporate the concerns of managers and executives into their list of goals, so that all educational procedures will be able to address critical employee efficiency issues wherever possible

Despite their understated roles, however, learning designers will always have very important roles in all types of corporate hierarchies, and this is mainly because of how most of their work overlaps with those of those of the executives themselves.They are, for example, expected to collaborate with employee training managers to explore the most efficient way to train new personnel. Likewise, they are also expected to address organizational problems wherein personnel performance is lagging, and to offer possible improvements and solutions wherever possible.

Furthermore, given the wide ranging tasks that learning designers are expected do, they are also required to participate in activities like:

  • Design Consultations
  • Project Support
  • Workshops
  • Development of Online Resources
  • Discussions on Various Types of Teaching Resources

In addition to these, most designers are also expected to function like researchers. They are, for example, expected to evaluate projects, collect evidence, manage education-related studies and write recommendations whenever the need arises. Also, due to the fact that they have to deal with the performance of both managers and ordinary employees, learning design also requires designers to interpret data and use the resulting information to create effective training policy recommendations for the managers to agree on.

What is the Goal of Learning Design?

The most important goal of learning design is to establish a framework to support each student’s learning experiences and, at the same time, help the training managers and specialists teach their lessons. Another goal is to coordinate existing education resources and support systems with the needs of all relevant courses, programs and personnel. This allows educators to better find the resources they need to be more effective at their tasks as well as communicate their concerns and ideas more effectively.

Designers are also expected to add the experience of learning and practice into their work, so as to create frameworks to help students and personnel learn and optimize existing materials based on first hand insights and experience. In this case, the goal is to stimulate a practical learning environment wherein the educational framework created through the learning design process meets all of its intended goals. To do this, designers must always analyze the effectiveness of all kinds of instructional activities, and examine theories based on how well they do in the lecture hall or training area. In this way, they will be able to correct any errors or misconceptions that may have have arisen in previous designs.

Other goals include: 

  • Working with Subject Matter Experts to help employee trainees learn different types of subjects
  • Develop content which matches educational or learning goals
  • Structure new and existing contents to match the needs of the employees
  •  Create media resources, such as Power Point or visual aids, to support the learning process.
  • Develop assessment strategies (e.g. exams, tests and other similar assessment methods)
  • Change instructional materials from one format to another, such as transforming the contents of books into online materials for websites.

What Other Roles Do Learning Designers Play in A Corporate Training Environment? 

Aside from creating an effective educational framework strategy, learning design also involves talking to educators and employee training managers. In many cases, it also involves helping different specialists see how a specific pedagogic approach may be adapted across various subjects, or how they can be adapted to the needs of different training processes.

For example, exceptional lesson plans may be used as templates for various courses. Likewise, a particular teaching strategy may also be incorporated to other classes and subjects. The goal here, therefore, is to adapt existing educational resources and frameworks to suit different needs. To accomplish this goal, it is the learning designer’s responsibility to edit and modify these resources, so that they may adapted to other needs and courses.

Also, due to the important role of the internet in modern corporations, it’s also worth mentioning that learning design involves a lot of e-learning and online resources. So aside from working within a traditional school setting, a learning designer is also expected to manage online courses and classrooms, and also to adapt existing educational strategies to suit the needs of a virtual classroom.


Learning design can easily be considered as one of the least appreciated tasks of employee training, but it still remains a very important one. The best way to explain this is to look at learning design as somewhat similar to research or clerical work. It’s monotonous, detail oriented and it requires a lot of analysis. Nevertheless, these things are important since they ensure that the actual teaching process is done efficiently, and that its intended goals are met.

Because of these goals, learning design should, therefore, be considered as a very important support role, one that is always present in all educational activities despite remaining in the background. This task is essential not only for the creation of appropriate lesson plans, but also in editing educational materials and resources.

Most important of all, however, is how learning design aims to help employees understand their lessons and to accomplish their training courses with fewer problems and difficulties. So if you want to become a learning designer, it’s always to important to remember your role, and how it overlaps with other aspects of employee education and personnel development.

Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog