Alex has been part of the ELTjamily since July 2018. As a Learner Experience Design (LXD) Product Strategist, he’s responsible for the development and delivery of a number of the key learning products we create for our clients and their learners.
Read on to find out more about his background, what first attracted him to LXD, what he’s currently excited about in the field and how a weekend of drawing became one of the best learning experiences of his life.
Over to you Alex.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I have spent five of the last seven years setting up and running an education charity called Big Change. Big Change invests in early-stage projects that help young people in the UK thrive in life, not just exams. We focused on all the elements of a child’s personal growth that you might typically expect to see outside the classroom.
In the last two years, I have been developing my own MBA programme. I set out to recreate all the best bits of a typical MBA but focus much more specifically on what skills are needed to succeed in a digital economy. The journey has taken me through the worlds of e-commerce, fintech and now edtech.
Where did you first come across LXD?
Well, my mum is an English teacher, so I suspect that I picked up a love for languages from her somewhere along the way. Beyond that, I have been designing my own learning programmes for just over a decade. In different ways, I have developed my own finance degree, art degree and more recently my iMBA.
Starting from the perspective of a learner has given me some valuable insights into the wider discipline. The principal lesson that can be easy to forget is to ensure that as learning designers we are always putting the learner at the centre of everything that we do. If we don’t have an understanding of what a learner wants to achieve, or what they are expecting to do in order to achieve it, then we are just shooting in the dark.
What’s happening in LXD right now that really excites you?
The thing that excites me most is that there is so much of it happening and in so many different formats too. I spend just as much time speaking to learners as I do with learning designers and it feels like a field that is starting to get much more publicity than it used to (and rightly so). I am seeing new learning needs, more interesting ways of meeting them and an area that is only growing in importance as the realities of a new digital world emerge.
Describe the best learning experience of your life
In May 2015, I signed up for a weekend workshop to learn to draw. I can’t remember the last time that I had done any art but over the course of two days, the experience sparked something inside me that has grown and grown.
In the following 12 months, I published a drawing a day and I now have regular drawing practice. I can’t think of another learning experience that had such a great impact on me in such a short amount of time. The course was hosted by the Art Academy and is called ‘Drawing for all’.
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