User Experience (UX) in Course Design: How Empathizing with Our Student Users Can Improve Course Design

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session Equity and Inclusion

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Brief Abstract

Despite our best efforts, do we understand how our student users actually experience the courses we create? In this interactive presentation, we will define User Experience (UX) in instructional design; and utilize personas, empathy maps, and user journeys to identify pain points and create solutions to improve our users’ experience.  

Extended Abstract

Quality Matters. Universal Design. Community of Inquiry.

As instructional designers and teachers we use lots of frameworks to help us create effective learning experiences.

While these frameworks are based on the premise of and commitment to developing and delivering courses that help students meet learning aims, they do not fully account for the actual individual experience of the student users.

So, while we should continue to use these sorts of frameworks as foundations for good course design, it is important to also consider the user experience of the actual people who are engaging with the courses and content we develop.

Looking at course design through a lens of User Experience (UX), can help us create courses that more naturally and effectively work to support students throughout their learning journeys. By considering the personas of the users in our courses, empathizing with those users, and mapping their journeys throughout a course we can identify potential pain points and create solutions that work for our users.

In this interactive conversation--where participants will share ideas, opinions, and experiences using a responsive discussion platform to help identify key themes and summarize emerging ideas--we will explore what UX looks like in the context of instructional design. From here we will examine several key UX design principles that can help inform course design. Finally, we will utilize these frameworks to help us identify potential pain points and create solutions for them that will benefit our student users.