ID versus LXD: Why Both Matter in Learning Design

Have you ever wondered what the difference between instructional design and learning experience design or why we need them is? Is one method better than the other? In this webinar with Brandie Jenkins, Learning Experience Design Manager, we'll explain why ID and LXD matter and how each can contribute to better learning experiences.

ID versus LXD





Focuses on knowing

Focuses on doing

Systematic approaches

Design thinking approaches


One way the general difference between these two have been described is by comparing a scientist to an artist. 

An ID tends to have a more scientific perspective in applied science, while an LXD holds a more creative approach in applied art. Imagine how a scientist and an artist would separately try to solve the same problem. Their approaches and their solutions would be different. 

However, both would have value; one is not necessarily more important than the other.

Learning experience design has been rising in popularity. But that doesn’t mean we should forget about time-tested instructional design strategies.

When implemented properly, effective instructional designs:

  • Increase knowledge transfer
  • Engage learners
  • Prompt learners to act
  • Communicate clear, concise messages
  • Contribute to the achievement of learning goals

In the webinar, Brandie breaks down the 3 dimensions of engagement—cognitive, behavioral, and emotional. Effective eLearning will engage learners on all those levels.

There are many different learning theories that instructional designers can apply to their learning development to ensure learner engagement. One that Brandie covers in detail is the Novice to Expert theory.

Novice to Expert Theory

This theory was introduced by Patricia Benner in 1982 and presents a systematic way of understanding how a learner develops skills and understanding of a practice, situation, or event over time.

Brandie goes on to describe how to guide your learner through the novice to expert journey. She touches on different thought processes, like design thinking and user experience design, that contribute to learner experience design and moving a learner from novice to expert.

To summarize, Brandie explains that the origin of learning experience design includes elements of:

  • Instructional design
  • Experiential learning
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Learning theory
  • User experience design
  • Interaction design
  • Graphic design

Watch the recording to learn more about all these theories and how each has a place in developing better learning experiences.