An image of a country road

The road to Learning Design Part 1

Since the global pandemic, the profound role of Learning Designers has been widely recognised (Bellaby & Sankey 2020).

But who are these people and where do they come from? And if you are interested in this type of role, how do you become a Learning Designer?

We reached out to our network and asked Learning Designers about their road to learning design. Here’s what we found out….

Experience: 90% of the Learning Designers who responded had over 5 years experience in the field.

Prior roles: Immediately prior to becoming Learning Designers, they worked as Academics, Academic researchers, TAFE teachers, Secondary teachers, in video production and communications.

Educational backgrounds: 25% had Doctorate degrees, 45% Masters degrees and 20% Bachelor or Honours degree in areas such as Education, Teaching, Science, Digital Learning, Multimedia, Languages and even Music.

Clearly these are versatile, multi talented people.

Last but not least we asked them “What does it mean to be a Learning Designer to you?” 

  • Being an intermediary between students and their teachers, between the university and the disciplines, between traditional learning and block learning, and all the time wondering what comes next.
  • A mix of curriculum design, training and support, multimedia development, testing and learning technologies, and being a counsellor!
  • Balancing institutional and faculty goals and needs, including balancing innovation/transformation with pragmatism.
  • Working with educators to create resources and experiences for learners.
  • Providing training and sometimes technical support.
  • Supporting academics who are experts in their specialist fields with evidence based education strategies and support.
  • It is a broad role that encompasses support, capacity building, development, TEL, and strategic projects across the institution.
  • Assisting teachers to innovate their pedagogy and student engagement.
  • Making things as clear as possible at the point between where academics teach and students learn.
  • It is curiosity in knowing things, but also communicating them.
  • The creation of engaging learning experiences for various delivery modes.
  • Presenting learning and assessment activities and resources in a creative and professional manner.

And the kicker….

“Retransmitting and amplifying wisdom and enlightenment to the universe!”

Are you interested in becoming a Learning Designer?

Consider our Graduate Certificate in Digital Learning & Teaching run flexibly in Block Mode by experienced Learning Designers. See another one of VU’s learning Designer journeys and learn how Miriam went from student to boss Learning Designer upon graduating from VU.


Bellaby, A. & Sankey, M. (2020, Sep 25). “Educational Designers: A sure hope and anchor amid a global pandemic”. Ascilite TELall Blog. <>.


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