Service design has been on everyone’s lips for a while now. Companies are not selling only products anymore, instead they are selling services and experiences.

When producing digital courses learners are expecting more than just being able to access courses online. They are hoping to gain additional value that they can channel into their professional or private lives.

Adding value to online learning with service design

Service design in online learning is about designing the whole learning process  through the learners’ eyes. To be able to create high-quality learning service, educators need to rethink how their learning programs benefit the learners.

This is the mindset we have when assisting our customers in creating successful learning experiences. Therefore bringing tangible value for their organizations.

Companies  often  tend to concentrate on the commercial advantages they gain instead of taking their learners’ perspectives. Because online learning is still in its infancy, some easy wins can be made  just by relying on heavy marketing and sales.

However, as the quality and understanding of best practices in an online setting improve,  and competition increases,  the overall experiences of learners and their reviews become more and more critical. So, if you want to succeed in the long run, start paying more attention to your end-customers now.

Delivering more valuable learning experiences to learners

Let’s start by paying more attention to what your learners want  and how to deliver it to them? You can start by understanding the problems or questions your learners are hoping to solve during  your course. Define your learning outcomes based on these needs and use them as the backbone of your course.

Remember that a strong learning outcome is not “Participants have learned  x, y, z” because the verb “learn” it’s too vague and difficult to measure. A suitable learning outcome is a statement about what the learners will be able to DO after completing a learning unit. For example: “Participants can describe and reason two impacts of human behavior to climate change”. The objective is now specific, measurable, and observable.

Gain an understanding of your learners

Once you have your outcomes figured out, you dive in further to your learners’ worlds. You can do this e.g. through existing research materials or direct questionnaires. Who are they? How do they spend their average day?  When do they study? How skilled are they with technological tools and devices? What motivates them in their professional and private lives? This way you learn to understand your customers better and how to engage them.

Claned Learning Analytics

You might not able to get this information directly from your customers  by  asking or observing them. But there is an alternative: learning analytics with relevant insights for supporting successful learning outcomes.

Our customers use Claned learning analytics to know which topics interest learners and to understand their studying habits better, for example. This approach helps them improve their course offerings.

If you are interested in our hands-on learning workshops for creating successful online courses, email us at

solja sulkunen

About the Author

Solja Sulkunen used to work as Head of Customer Experience at Claned.