The Digital Learning Experts

Many types of experts are needed to create digital learning. Explore the various types of professionals.

Start Building your Team Today

Start Building your Team Today

Accessibility Experts

Accessibility experts ensure that your learning experiences both meet the legal requirements and your students’ needs. These experts are highly familiar with The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508. They have in-depth knowledge of tools and how they can be applied, this includes both low-tech and high-tech options. Many learning designers, learning technologists, and UI and UX experts may also have this type of expertise and will apply Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Universal Design principles. Designing with accessibility in mind saves time later for everyone.

Content Curators

Content is a necessity. Identify the right content, at the right price, using the right delivery method for your students. Content curation experts can help you find OER, publisher, subscription-based material, and more based on your needs and learning outcomes.

Custom Content Developers

Writing is everywhere. Whether you need video scripts, short readings, landing page text, or even a book – writers (copy writers and copy editors) are your answer. They will help you create a consistent and appropriate voice for your audience and ensure the information is clear and engaging.

Data Scientists

Data Scientists are key in helping to unlock and power learning in new ways. They can help organize and analyze data, create actionable dashboards, and for those who specialize in artificial intelligence and machine learning create algorithms that analyze student actions and behaviors, create automated responses and branching pathways, predict performance, and much more.

Graphic Designers

Learning is visual. And looks count when it comes to grabbing the learner’s attention, communicating information clearly, and helping learners navigate the experience. Graphic design is needed for a variety of projects; online learning environment design, banners, videos, print materials, style guides, and more.

Learning Designers

These multifunctional experts are central to the creation of sound learning experiences. They apply knowledge of learning theory, instructional best practices, backward design, technology, and UI and UX principles. They also actively partner and coordinate with all team members. They are the glue that brings quality learning to life! Learning is important, so you will want to make sure you have an LD with a strong pedagogical foundation.

Learning Leaders

Experienced leaders in the digital education space can provide invaluable information, insights, and guidance. Whether it’s moving your curriculum online, creating a competency-based or blended learning program, building digital learning teams, pursuing accreditation, considering content options, developing new processes and infrastructure, or exploring new tools -such as artificial intelligence enabled solutions – talk to the people who can help you reach your goals.

Learning Scientists

Improve teaching, learning, and products with Learning Scientists. Their multidisciplinary backgrounds in neuroscience, cognitive, educational, and social psychology, as well as computer science, enable them to create testable questions and experiments and measure results. As our field solidifies new practices in digital learning it will become more important than ever to test and prove the efficacy of our learning processes and approaches.

Learning Technologists

Let’s get it done. These experts build and maintain technology-enabled learning experiences as well as advise on the latest in technology solutions. Learning technologists work with learning designers, graphic designers, web developers, vendors, and stakeholders to build solutions that meet requirements and function optimally. Many learning technologists also have skills in UX, basic coding, and learning design.

Project Managers

Great project managers are worth their weight in gold. The best will have in-depth knowledge in the education and publishing sector. They take the stress out of development by creating development plans, building teams, tracking budgets, providing regular updates, keeping communication efficient, and ensuring high-quality products are delivered on time.

Quality Assurance Experts

It’s hard to catch your own mistakes – have someone else do it for you. Proofreaders check for grammar, spelling, mechanics, and formatting errors. Functionality testers will test all the components of your learning environment to ensure it is fully operational. And beta testers will go through the learning experience and assess the quality of the experience and assessments.

Subject Matter Experts

Who has the inside scoop? Subject Matter Experts do! They know what’s happening in their field, what is most important, and the typical stumbling blocks. Keep in mind, it can be helpful to use both academic and practitioner SMEs depending on the goal of the learning.

UX and UI Specialists

These are commonly confused terms that may seem like buzzwords. UX and UI serve an important purpose in digital learning. User Experience Design or UX is focused on optimizing the flow and functionality of the experience. They perform market and competitor research, create wireframes and prototypes, and coordinate with UI, developers, and other stakeholders. User Interface Design or UI focuses on the look and feel and overall brand translation, in addition to responsiveness and interactivity. It is most helpful to have UX and UI professionals establish templates for new products or programs.

Video Producers

Video is a powerful tool. It can motivate, set the context, provide relevancy, deliver information, or directly teach. While there are a variety of formats to consider; explainer videos, mini documentaries, lectures, interviews, etc. – just keep your learning goal in mind. When you’re thinking about video, remember to factor in shooting, post production (video editing), graphics, animation, and voice-over.

Voice-Over Actors

Professional voice-over makes a big difference in the overall quality of a product and is something that students notice and appreciate. High-quality voice-over can normally be ordered and received in the span of a few days, depending on the project, and likely won’t bust your bottom line. Try a professional voice-over talent for your next video script, narrated readings, or other works.

Web Developers

Digital products are part of life and they need customizations to fit the specific needs of your students. Web developers can ensure your digital product both functions well and looks great. Web developers tend to specialize in back-end or front-end development, but some can do both. The back-end consists of 3 areas of focus; server, application, and database. Back-end developers specialize in the transfer, storage, and security of information. The front-end is the part of the website that you can see and interact with. Front-end developers design and use code (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, jQuery) to customize the experience.

The Development Process

Developing courses and other learning products is a process. Use the tool below to consider which types of professionals might be helpful at each stage in the process.

The first step of all learning projects is to analyze the situation. Who is the audience, what is the goal, what has been working or not working, how does it fit into the larger learning context or program, what resources are needed, and how will the team reach its goal?

This step may include:

  • Learning Leadership
  • Project Manager
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • Learning Designer
  • Learning Scientist
  • Data Scientist

In this stage the team will create a detailed plan for the learning experience. This often includes design documents, wireframes, mood boards, technology and materials decisions, and video pre-production work.

This step may include:

  • Project Manager
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • Learning Designer
  • Learning Technologist
  • User Experience Designer (UX)
  • Producer

In the develop phase individual assets are created by various experts. Eventually, all assets are gathered and built into one cohesive, dynamic learning experience.

This step may include:

  • Project Manager
  • Learning Designer
  • Learning Technologist
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • User Interface Designer (UI)
  • Graphic Designer
  • Copywriter / Copy editor
  • Content Curator
  • Web Developer
  • Video Producer
  • Voice-over

It’s time to review and launch the learning experience. This requires a comprehensive quality assurance review, updates, and often training or targeted communication to stakeholders to ensure the learning experience is off to a great start!

This step may include:

  • Project Manager
  • Proofreader
  • Functionality Tester
  • Learning Designer
  • Learning Technologist
  • User Interface Designer (UI)
  • Trainer (usually LD or SME)

Learning is a multifaceted process that requires careful observation and likely many adjustments to optimize. Evaluate the learning experience results and make targeted improvements.

This step may include:

  • Learning Leadership
  • Project Manger
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • Learning Designer
  • Learning Scientist
  • Data Scientist

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