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Part of Western Governors University

Instructional Technologist Career Guide

What Is a Learning Experience Designer?

A learning experience designer is charged with ensuring the educational program in place at their place of work is optimized and ideal. With the growing importance of test scores, many schools are turning to learning experience designers to improve educational outcomes and assist teachers with their continuous professional development.

Learning experience designers do this by monitoring the curriculum, providing training opportunities for teachers, and working with the community to create an inclusive learning environment.

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What Does a Learning Experience Designer Do?

No school is the same and no student is either. 

With that in mind, every learning experience designer’s experience will differ depending on their place of work. Despite this, some of the job specifics will look the same regardless of the place of work. Here are some tasks that learning experience designers might be expected to perform during their day.

  • Oversee the curriculum. A large part of a learning experience designer’s job will involve overseeing the curriculum. While not expected to design it themselves, they do have the responsibility for monitoring any changes in the curriculum and ensuring that it’s a fit for both students and teachers. This can involve keeping a close eye on how teachers are implementing the curriculum, and assisting them if needed.
  • Assess and procure textbooks. It’s hard to teach without good-quality textbooks. And while there are plenty of them out there, every school has different needs and educational goals. So a learning experience designer will need to analyze the school board's vision and select the perfect book to reach those goals. The selection process might involve meeting with teachers and parents, to get everyone on the same page when it comes to learning outcomes.
  • Professional Development. A learning experience designer is responsible for furthering the professional development of the teachers in their place of work. That will involve observing them, providing feedback based on their performance, and even organizing workshops or seminars to encourage staff to improve their skills. Learning experience designers will have to draw upon their vast experience in education to act as a mentor to teachers in their workplace and improve standards across the board.

How Do I Become a Learning Experience Designer?

Most learning experience designers will start their careers as a teacher. That means a bachelor’s degree is required. But this is a senior position within a school and that requires a lot of experience and knowledge, so a master’s degree is highly recommended for candidates who want to stand out during their job hunt.

Here are the steps a prospective learning experience designer should follow to have the best chance at landing this role:

Step One: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a learning experience designer is getting a Bachelor’s in Education. There are lots of different focuses students can take; from elementary education to secondary, which requires specialization in a subject such as science or history. A degree from WGU will provide a firm foundation for aspiring learning experience designers, regardless of the type of students they wish to teach. Students can study modules such as curriculum design and educational leadership, which will prove very handy for their future careers.

Step Two: Teaching license

As the first goal is to become a teacher, becoming certified is a must. The specifics of this differ state by state but are broadly the same.

1) Get your bachelor’s degree.

2) Gain work experience teaching students in an educational setting.

3) Praxis (a general test and another test based on a chosen subject of specialization).

4) Criminal and professional background checks.

Step Three: Classroom experience

To be a learning experience designer requires several years of work experience. It’s no entry-level position, so putting in the time to understand the education system on the front lines is essential. But that’s not all—some school boards will ask for an educational administrator license as well. A prospective learning experience designer should use this time to improve their teaching skills.

Step Four: Get a Master’s Degree

A learning experience designer is one of the most senior positions within a school, so most positions will require a master’s degree. A master’s in instructional design will prepare applicants for their future careers by teaching them how to create a curriculum, engage students, and even conduct research.

Another strong option is a master’s in learning and technology. Now more than ever, teachers are pushing the boundaries when it comes to implementing technology in the classroom. This program prepares teachers to use mobile devices, computers, and social media to get students to engage with the learning experience.


Best Degrees for a Learning Experience Designer:

Learning and Technology – M.Ed.

An online master's degree for current teachers or others looking...

An online master's degree for current teachers or...

An online master's degree for current teachers or others looking to further their careers with a graduate program focused on integrating technology with instructional design principles.

No teaching license required.

  • Time: 73% of grads earned this degree within 18 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,635 per 6-month term.

Coursework in this program covers the following areas of study:

  • Instructional design
  • Research fundamentals
  • Technology integration

Harness the power of technology to teach more kids in better ways with this education master's degree.

Instructional Design – M.Ed.

An online master's degree for current teachers and others...

An online master's degree for current teachers...

An online master's degree for current teachers and others looking to further their careers with a graduate program focused on designing top-notch curriculum.

No teaching license required.

  • Time: 87% of grads earned this degree within 24 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,635 per 6-month term.

Coursework in this program covers the following areas of study:

  • Instructional design
  • Research fundamentals
  • Measurement and evaluation

Improve teaching, training and learning. Learn to build better curriculum with this education master's degree.


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Learn about online college admissions at WGU.


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What Skills Does a Learning Experience Designer Need?

It’s not all about how many degrees an applicant has. Of course, that’s important, but at an interview, aspiring learning experience designers will be expected to demonstrate a wide variety of soft skills to help them stand out from the rest of the pack.

  • Communication skills
  • An eye for planning and organizing
  • A passion for education
  • The flexibility required to work as part of a team
  • Leadership

How Much Does a Learning Experience Designer Make?

$66,970

U.S. Department of Labor (BLS) classes learning experience designers as instructional coordinators. For this role, the median annual wage is around $66,970. which is above the national average of $41, 950. Those at the lower end of the learning experience designer pay scale make $39,270 and those at the top earn around $105,650. Though these will likely vary according to experience.

What is the Projected Job Growth?

6%

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% growth during the 2019-2029 period, which is above average for all occupations (4%). This is due to a rise of school boards turning to instructional coordinators in an effort to improve curriculums and teacher efficacy. So there’s no better time to embark on a career as a learning experience designer.

Where Does a Learning Experience Designer Work?

Varies

Most learning experience designers are hired by the state. 44% of them are employed by elementary and secondary schools. College and universities hire 19%. 7% find work in the government and 6% work in general education support services.

 

Interested in Becoming a Learning Experience Designer?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.

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