Learning Design Principles

What is learning design?

Building products that help learners starts with research—knowing how they learn and what works to help them along their journey. Called learning design, experts take research from the learning sciences and apply it to product and user experience design. Products that start with learning design can deliver better outcomes and experiences for learners.

At Pearson, our product development starts with learning design, because this mindset keeps the learner’s experience at the heart of every development decision we make and ultimately delivers better outcomes.

What are learning design principles?

Pearson is designing increasingly more sophisticated digital learning environments, and it’s important to incorporate both learning sciences research and user experience research in the design process. To help us integrate learning and teaching theory into our products and features, we’ve synthesized current research from both the learning sciences and user experience into our Learning Design Principles.

When used by our data analytics, metadata, content architecture, user experience, and learning services teams, these principles serve as reference points on targeted aspects of how people learn. Each research-based principle has been vetted by a range of stakeholders across Pearson — and in some cases, subject matter experts outside of Pearson — and is tailored for direct application in product and feature development.

We are publishing a summary of our research under a Creative Commons license to share how what we know about learning is being applied to user design. Our hope is for the education industry and those working in design to embrace these principles and extend our work.

Foundational issues

Assessment Process, Instrument Design, Objective Design, Scaffolding, and more

The nature of knowledge

Creative Thinking, Self-Regulated Learning, Video in Instruction and Assessment, and more

Practices to foster effective learning

Cognitive Load and Multimedia 1 (Extraneous), Worked Examples, Universal Design for Learning, and more

Approaches to learning together

Collaborative Learning, Pedagogical Agents, Peer Tutoring, and more

Learning environments

Foundations of Adaptive Learning, Motivation Design, Simulations, and more

Moving learning science into the classroom

21st Century Learning, Learning Strategies, Global Design, and more

Explore the principles

See the full list of Learning Design Principles to learn more about how we integrate learning and teaching theory into Pearson’s products and features.

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How are the principles used to design learning experiences that deliver better outcomes?

As the cornerstones of design decisions and research, learning design principles are our starting points on the journey to product efficacy.

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