A Learner-Centered Design Method for Edtech


When planning the educational program development, it’s crucial to determine how your training is delivered and where to adopt a more customer-centered approach in your project. If you want to receive better course outcomes, it’s time to pay more attention to the student’s engagement. The more interest your Edtech app will generate, the higher retention you’ll get when learners start applying received skills in practice.

The traditional instructor-centered approach considers trainees as “blank sheets” and tutors as experts and the only source of relevant information. But things change when students are placed at the core and become active agents in the educational process. They bring their own thoughts, experiences, skills, and ideas. And this impacts the way they adopt new information.

This article explains what a learner-centered design is and how it benefits customers. Keep reading to learn more details and find inspiration for creating educational app software.

Table of Contents

Core principles of learner-centered design method

The benefits of learner-centered design

The best practices in learner-centered design

How can you design educational technology?


The learner-focused approach in Edtech places students at the forefront of the process, focusing on their personal needs, interests, and abilities. This method recognizes trainees as active customers who acquire knowledge and new skills through individual experience. There are three basic principles an eLearning app development company considers to build a captivating educational environment:

  • Individualization. Content creators determine users' needs and potential through feedback and adapt curriculums accordingly.
  • Active participation. Students receive new knowledge and skills through regular interactions with the materials rather than a passive reception of information.
  • Customers’ engagement. Edtech helps create courses with different styles and assessments, capable of catching trainees’ attention, keeping them interested in the content, and bringing inspiration for further progress.

A learner-centered design model incorporates diversity and inclusion. Exceptional features of educational apps ensure an accessible and respectful digital environment that provides equal opportunities for all the participants regardless of their abilities, cultural and linguistic differences, etc.

Unfortunately, many teaching methods provide learning for the sake of learning, which doesn’t result in high efficiency and retention. With a customer-centered design, students get what they want, how and when they need it. They prosper directly interacting with training materials on the one hand and drawing a line between the received data and personal experiences from a real-life on the other. We’ll discuss the advantages of student-focused education in more detail below.

Motivates and engages students

One of the most significant pros of a learner-centered design curriculum is that it allows trainees to choose suitable topics, courses, and sources that better cater to their needs, educational style, and current level of knowledge. Such training gives users more freedom and responsibility, encouraging them to set personal goals, monitor progress, and receive better outcomes. Compared to the disadvantages of traditional methods, where tutors choose the type of material and ways of its representation, this personalized approach results in higher productivity and better knowledge assimilation.

Adapts to different needs

A learner-centered design model of curriculum allows for creating flexible and customizable training. That's why this method is perfect for the diverse needs of trainees and tutors. It helps organizations to change and improve the educational process according to the market demands, the latest trends, and students' expectations. Participants can choose the most suitable resources, contents, and methods to achieve their learning objectives.

Encourage collaboration 

The approach that places students at the forefront of the educational process allows for better communication and feedback between trainees and tutors. Participants can launch discussions, exchange ideas, and share personal experiences within the learning community. Such a strategy helps to find bottlenecks in teaching and fix them at early stages, change the style of content representation, or add additional information if the subject needs to be clarified for users.

Improve results

Designing a learner-centered curriculum improves outcomes, enhances retention and overall student performance. During their journey, trainees can apply received knowledge in the real world, define how to overcome possible challenges, and make conclusions based on personal experience. Students can test what they’ve mastered in various situations and scenarios, which makes the approach more relevant and meaningful. 

Learner-focused methods ensure a deeper understanding of the materials and help to develop quick and thoughtful decision-making. Trainees become more prepared to handle uncertainty and adjust to changing conditions, which is crucial for their academic, professional, and personal lives.

To make an example of a learner-centered design curriculum that will gain popularity among customers, you should reconsider the role of teachers. They will have to move further from simple information providers to supporters of students’ achievements. They should actively collaborate with trainees and comment on their feedback and progress, fostering motivation and engagement. Launching group discussions is another vital method to help students develop critical thinking, exchange their ideas, and solve problems faster. 

One of the essential features of the learner-centered design model is various assessment tools. Along with simple tests and quizzes, content creators can estimate students’ achievements through group work, presentations, portfolios, and personal projects. These methods can give a clear understanding of users’ abilities and analyze how they can apply the received knowledge in real-life scenarios. Edtech courses allow not only checking how participants adopt lessons but also advancing problem-solving skills and encouraging students to take responsibility for their education.

Here are a few practical ideas of how student-focused design may be beneficial for its participants:

  • Brainstorming. Twelve heads are better than one. Tutors can choose a topic and invite a group of learners to share their opinions and offer unique problem-solving ideas. This way, customers can learn to volunteer what they know and not be afraid of speaking out personal thoughts.
  • Role-play. Such a method is perfect for sales or customer support training. Teachers may divide students into pairs and let them turn into specific roles. This approach allows learners to dive deeper into the subject and discover more relevant solutions.
  • Gamification. One of the hugest advantages of online learning in the last years is the possibility to add gamification elements, like points, badges, leaderboards, and others. They allow to increase user engagement and encourage their participation in the learning process.
what is learner centered design

If you want to design a learner-centered classroom, you should start by identifying your customers’ characteristics, preferences, and possible challenges. Define which objectives your organization can solve and what outcomes your users may reach. To become successful, training courses should include various activities that allow customers to explore and interact with the content differently. Moreover, they should be accessible and inclusive, catering to students with various levels of knowledge and learning possibilities.

Choose your tools

Now, it's time to find platforms and tools to help you build a successful curriculum. You may choose websites, mobile applications, simulations, games, and videos among the great variety of available options. Each one offers diverse characteristics for learner-centered curriculum design and varies by functionality and usability. Select the one that will solve your target audience's needs and pay attention to its compatibility and accessibility. 

You may choose dozens of reliable software to reach your educational goals. But if you want a custom solution to introduce your own brand, contact an experienced development company like Multi Programming Solutions. The expert team will guide you through all the stages of the creative process, starting from idea validation to implementation and maintenance. 

Design your content

The next thing you should do while creating a learner-centered Ed app is to figure out the best style and representation for your materials. Students may enjoy a well-thought-out balance between texts, illustrations, videos, quizzes, animations, and different interactive elements. Your courses should be engaging, reliable, transparent, and precise to keep users interested. Consider applying some instructional design principles, like chunking (grouping bits of data into meaningful blocks), scaffolding (gradually removing teachers' support as the trainee becomes more confident), sequencing (content ordering), and feedback. Take a look at such models as AGILE or ADDIE to represent your content in the best possible way.

Learning Management System Design Ideas

Test your prototype

Before releasing your Edtech product to the market, you should test it on a limited group of users. You may provide beta or A/B testing and collect valuable reviews from customers. Prototyping will help to figure out bottlenecks in your educational program. So you'll be able to fix them in the initial stage. Also, you'll measure the level of customer satisfaction and engagement. Such tools as Google Analytics, Hotjar, and SurveyMonkey will help to monitor user behavior and improve your service in time.

Launch and reap the benefits

You should remember that launching apps in education is not a one-time event. If you want to keep customers engaged and motivated in training, make maintenance a continuous process. Monitor whether students' outcomes are close to those you planned to reach with your curriculum. Collect user statistics and reviews to define the strong and weak sides of your product. You should continuously keep your educational program relevant and updated, make changes and improvements based on data analytics. 

Following these simple tips, you may create a thriving and enjoyable experience and introduce an efficient educational application to the mass market. 

Now you know the definition of a learner-centered approach in Edtech and can determine if this method can be advantageous for your case more than the traditional ones. Usually, business owners who want to educate autonomy, responsibility, and critical thinking in their workers choose this approach as it can give better outcomes and encourage trainees to make meaningful decisions in their work. 

There are two ways you can benefit from building a learner-centered app. First, you can develop it for your own corporate training to help employees get new knowledge and skills, increasing their overall performance. Second, you can monetize an educational app by organizing an additional source of passive income for your organization. In both cases, e-learning will contribute to your business scaling.

TechnologiesDecember 4, 2023
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