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 with or without involving a physical  product. 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 from the moment learner becomes aware of your course to the moment they have completed it, and even after. To be able to create high-quality learning service, educators and course providers need to rethink how their learning programs benefit the learners, and in what kind of world do they live in.

For us at Claned, this is the mindset we have when assisting our customers in creating successful learning experiences and thus tangible value for their organizations.

Companies  producing the courses 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  or with the help of 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 thus difficult to measure. A suitable learning outcome is a statement about what the learners will be able to DO after completing a learning unit i.e. “Participants can describe and reason two impacts of human behavior to climate change”. The objective is now specific, measurable, and observable.

Once you have your outcomes figured out, you dive in further to your learners’ worlds 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.

If you are not able to get this information directly from your customers by asking or observing them, 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

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About the Author

Solja Sulkunen works as Head of Customer Experience in Claned Group creating the best possible learning experience for all Claned users. She ensures everyday fast and easy deployment of the platform for our new users.