What insights can we discover when we view experiences as journeys, and experience design as trip planning? Let’s consider set, setting, preparation, and integration as extensions of and catalysts for learning experiences.
Both mindset (the internal environment of the learner) and setting (the external environment of the learner) can have profound impacts on the learning experience. The context of a learning experience or interaction is critical to understanding its influences or outcome. Who is the learner, and how might their mindset influence their experience? Is the learning experience better suited to a specialized, highly-designed setting or to a more personalized or more spontaneous setting?
Preparation can align mindset and create intention, resulting in deeper learning. How can we extend the design of an experience to include individual preparation? For example, adding a moment of introspection and mindfulness at the beginning of an experience can provide grounding and alignment.
Integration is a meaning-making process that comes after an experience. Work by Kolb, Boyatzis, & Mainemelis (2001) suggests that “ideal” learning experiences are a spiral of experience, reflection, thinking, and acting. Providing space to reflect, think critically, and take action in our own lives completes an iteration of the learning cycle, allowing new questions to arise and be answered with new experiences and opportunities for learning, in an ever-expanding spiral of growth.
When creating self-directed learning experiences, designers and design stakeholders can consider a range of influential cognitive and emotional factors including affect, cognition, context, engagement, experiential learning, interactivity, narrative, self concepts, and usability. Learn more by downloading the Learning by Design white paper at: https://exde.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/leaper_learningbydesign2011_v5.pdf.