UX Design for Learning


Pia Zeni, Online Learning Consultant, Centre for Extended Learning
University of Waterloo

As an Online Learning Consultant at the Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo, Pia is passionate about designing and delivering quality online learning experiences. Her work straddles the worlds of instructional design, user experience design, and project management, helping course instructors to design online courses that are engaging, relevant, and outcomes-focused; and managing cross-functional teams to help bring the design to reality. Her practice is informed by research: recent research interests include transfer of online learning to real-world contexts and adapting user experience design (UXD) to the context of online learning. Pia lives in Stratford, Ontario and is obsessed with Shakespeare.

Matt Justice, Production Manager, Centre for Extended Learning
University of Waterloo

Matt has been supporting university faculty in their use of instructional web technologies for over twenty years, with a career path that spans Oxford Brookes University, Ryerson University, and since 2009, the University of Waterloo. As Production Manager at the Centre for Extended Learning, Matt is  responsible for managing multimedia development and quality control. He has been a vocal advocate for web accessibility, and more broadly, user experience, throughout his career, and has presented on associated best practices at the global user conferences of WebCT, Blackboard and D2L, and the national conferences of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the New Media Consortium. He grew up just a 30 min drive from the real Stratford (in the UK) and has very little interest in Shakespeare.

Session Description:

The Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) at the University of Waterloo is committed to creating well-designed, evidence-based online courses that provide valuable learning experiences for students. We design and develop plenty of academic courses of course, but we also work with external clients to create e-learning courseware solutions, many of which are tailored for the healthcare industry. In everything we produce, we strive to design courses that integrate learning theory, the pedagogical design vision of the course author, and rapidly-evolving student expectations for engaging and connected online experiences.

To ensure that our students, our users, are always front of mind, we have adopted Morville’s user experience (UX) honeycomb as a framework to guide our design and development process. We’ve adapted the honeycomb for a teaching and learning context, incorporated the work of a host of leading UX specialists and cognitive psychologists, and created a cohesive set of guidelines to help online course designers, developers, and authors “make connections that make a difference” (Morville, 2016). We call our framework user experience design for learning (UXDL). Join us to find out how you too can leverage UXDL principles to create online learning experiences that are more useful, desirable, accessible, credible, and intuitive.

In this session you will learn:

  • to recognize user experience (UX) as an important part of the course design process
  • how to apply well-established UX principles to e-learning course design
  • how to advocate for UX at your own institution/organization

Audience Level:

Novice, Intermediate, Advanced