As a Lead Learning Designer at OES, Liam’s work days involve creating outstanding student experiences.
“This really lies at the heart of my role. Along with my team, I translate tertiary course content into digital and blended learning experiences that students love,” Liam says.
OES works with university partners in Australia and New Zealand, the Asia Pacific, the UK, USA and Europe, helping them elevate their course content and exceed the expectations of 21st century learners.
“We use tools like video, animation, interactives, podcasts, simulations and extended reality to design and deliver innovative experiences that are accessible for students with a wide range of learning styles.”
Liam is currently dedicated to a single university partner, which happens to be one of Australia’s leading universities.
“My team and I work very closely with the university’s academics. These professionals are experts and leaders in their field. What we bring is the skills and expertise to translate their existing course content into best practice online and blended formats.”
Solving challenges through creative design
Liam enjoys resolving the design and pedagogical challenges that come with his role – sometimes to the surprise of partner academics.
“We regularly begin a relationship with an academic and they tell us that their unit will not work online. Through passion, perseverance, agility, and design innovation we find ways to make it work. Student experience is always front of mind,” he explains.
Meeting rigorous accreditation and quality standards is also vital in higher education.
“We work closely with accreditation frameworks, to ensure our university partners’ course content meets quality standard benchmarks,” Liam explains.
Leading the design and build process
From single units to short courses to full undergraduate or postgraduate degree programs, OES learning designers work with wide-ranging course content and subject matter.
“For example, I’m really excited about a project that I am just starting to dig into about trauma-informed learning design,” Liam explains.
OES has designed more than 2,000 online units and has an established methodology in place.
“This gives learning designers like me a robust process to follow, while also allowing us to bring our creativity and pedagogical knowledge to every course, unit or subject.”
OES’s learning design methodology includes four phases:
“We conduct workshops, develop pedagogical models, plan learning activities and storyboard, draft, record and prototype digital media content. It’s varied, interesting work and no two days are ever the same!” Liam says.
“Through close collaboration with academics, we develop trust with our partners. We always learn a lot from each other.”
What makes a great learning designer?
Liam cites empathy, strong pedagogical knowledge, teamwork and collaboration as key skills for the lead learning designer position.
“There is also a project management aspect to the role, so organisation and clear communication are vital. An open mind is valuable, because our team is always learning! Learning design is iterative and collaborative. Feedback is essential and the team is always looking to improve everything we do.”
Since joining OES in 2016, Liam has progressed from Learning Designer to Senior Learning Designer to Lead Learning Designer.
“There are great career opportunities at OES for creative, passionate people who want to keep learning,” he says
Liam adds that the best thing about his role is the people he works with.
“I take great joy in collaborating with my team. We share a similar ethos in that we do a serious job, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We support each other and we push each other to do our best work.”