Lars Hecker is a Group Instructional Design Specialist at the Mercell Group. He started his L&D journey as an advocate for L&D initiatives. Began his career as a consultant for Mercell in Denmark with an emphasis on end-user training and learning.

Digital Adoption Show features Nibu Thomas, the director of information development at Whatfix, and Lars Hecker discussing “The Accidental instructional designer”.

3:00 – How did this ‘accident’ happen? What does an Instructional Designer do?

-Lars Hecker- “I’ve become an ID accidentally on purpose. For quite many years, I had this gut feeling that education is under-appreciated, and that it has huge potential long term.”

-The instructional design has become a pocket for anything and anyone working with learning & development and training. Of course, this depends on the organisation you work for, the size of your team and how mature their L&D journey is.

-The Instructional design team works intensively on setting the strategic plan, developing the learning content strategy, aligning the learning strategy with the business goals as well as implementing the tech stack, which helps achieve the end goal

-ID’s also manage the execution and delivery of education services and create training content. So that’s what the life of an instructional designer looks like.

13:16 – What are some breakthroughs that have disrupted the learning industry?

“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” -Plutarch.

-We have more tools at our disposal than ever before and that opens up a whole range of new opportunities to deliver learning content. In a workplace context, we can now deliver training in the flow of work, if your go-to work is a computer or a mobile device, we can use tools like Whatfix to deliver help on-screen and in-app

-We need to implement the age-old governing principles into the context of today’s day and needs, not only on the technological side of things but also on the social side addressing issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion

-If you’re a mechanic, or a doctor, we can use virtual or augmented reality to achieve something similar. We have the technology to do advanced simulation today by combining these governing principles with cutting-edge research on how we learn and with the broad range of tools that are accessible to us.

16:23 -What are your thoughts on gamification of learning? And what are some alternatives because everybody doesn’t want to play a game?

-Being in L&D, we are content creators, at the end of the day, we are all competing for attention alongside marketers, game designers, and so on. But, can we wrap our content around the mechanics of casual gaming, and get the attention of our learners? 

-There’s no substantial evidence supporting the idea of gamification potentially benefiting the learners. Because gamification doesn’t address the core problem, then what outcome do we want to reward? 

-We’d instead invest in some form of virtual labs or simulated environment. That way we can provide the users with a safe environment where they can do all the mistakes before they go out in the real world, where they can try scenarios that you can perform in our application, but nobody else ever has thought about. 
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