The only job of a Learning Experience Designer is to inject abstractions with humanity.
That’s all I really wanted to say.
Ok - let me elaborate…
A learning event, may that be a training course, a conference, a seminar or a workshop, is nothing but a few words on a piece of paper or a screen until it is taking place. It’s an entry in a calendar. It means nothing yet, really. Maybe it is filled with the expectations and intentions of the learner when they applied or registered to be a part of it. But I couldn’t know.
A concept or a theory is also nothing real yet. Again, it might be filled with that the learner think it is, with their associations or assumptions. But I couldn’t know that either.
What I do know is that abstractions are easy to ignore, easy to cancel, easy to disengage from, easy to dismiss. Human connection isn’t.
The German sociologist Hartmut Rosa developed a sociology of how people relate to the world (eine Soziologie der Weltbeziehung) and the concept he built it around is resonance. That word, “resonance”, well, it resonates with me, maybe because I have seen him speak about it or because I (started to) read his book. For resonance to take place, both sides of the equation need to be able to move, to be changed by the other, to be alive.
If we, as Learning Experience Designers want those concepts, theories or calendar-events to resonate with our participants, we need to inject them with humanity.
We can use Slack or Facebook Groups or WhatsApp Groups or Webinars before the actual event to start building a community of learners. We can make ourselves as facilitators become real for our learners by being fully present, authentically enthusiastic and open to interact with the learners on an eye-to-eye level.
We can build a Learning Journey during the event that is build around the reality of the learners and helps them go to where they need to get to (possibly using the Learner’s Journey approach).
We can integrate the experience, knowledge and expertise of the learners into the learning process. And we can make sure that what people get out of the learning event helps them become who they aspire to be in their reality.
Let’s go inject that humanity in everything we do; it makes it better, I think.