Press Release

Integrate Context With Content for Effective Learning Experiences


(Alexandria, VA) July 11, 2023—In Learning Experience Design Essentials, learning and development expert Cara North advises learning design professionals to elevate their learning experiences by fully embracing the idea that learning is a process, not a one-time event.

North encourages instructional designers to move beyond a content-driven approach and pivot to a learning experience design (LXD) approach that integrates content and context and enables higher human performance. LXD provides the tools and approaches to help talent development practitioners—whether corporate, higher education, or consultant—achieve the right impact on their learners and organizations.

Far too often, instructional designers are tasked with creating a learning experience that does not solve the root problem or get the results an organization desires because an organization dictates resources, which constrains the outcome. When organizations jump to quick conclusions about what a solution should be without getting input from end-users and the involvement of the designers in identifying the problem, trainings and learning experiences often fall short or fail. This can cost organizations and employees time, money, and other negative outcomes, such as a lack of employee and/or product safety and compliance.

North explains, “LXD embraces the idea that people need practice and resources to enable performance. While not a new concept, as we pivoted from instructor-led training to e-learning, much emphasis was put on the aesthetics that the content and, ultimately, the human experience got lost. Much of instructional design is cognitive and focuses on what someone should know about a topic. While this may work in some situations, the modern workplace is far more nuanced and needs an approach that isn’t one-size-fits-all. Context considers the work environment, the type of person in the environment, and the challenges in execution. Context matters and is missing in some instructional design approaches.”

North addresses and ties the relationship of learning technologies to content development and offers questions and activities instructional designers should consider and walk through.
She guides designers in crafting a 30/60/90-day action plan to apply the book’s various concepts. Additionally, she advocates for using a tried-and-true task analysis exercise to answer the question of how to integrate both content and context.


North advises, “If L&D doesn’t change across the board to focus on content and context over quick knowledge dumps or shiny deliverables, L&D professionals might be written off as transactional. The shift to LXD is critical for learning design professionals to be viewed as partners and experts in helping organizations meet their employees’ learning needs and overall business goals.”



About the Author
Cara North is an award-winning learning experience leader who has served in corporate, higher education, and consulting settings for more than 15 years. She is the founder and chief learning consultant at The Learning Camel and an adjunct faculty at Boise State University’s OPWL program. Cara is the author of Learning Experience Design Essentials, and when she is not working, she enjoys video games and Orangetheory Fitness.

About ATD Press
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. ATD’s members come from more than 100 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD Press publications are written by industry thought leaders and offer anyone who works with adult learners the best practices, academic theory, and guidance necessary to move the profession forward. For more information, visit

Learning Experience Design Essentials
ISBN: 9781953946423 | 176 Pages | Paperback

To order books from ATD Press, call 800.628.2783.

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