School kids interacting with an Impossible shape.
How can thinking about service design improve the experience of digital learners?

Education as a service

The affordances provided by the digital have largely enhanced services in many aspects of our lives.

Online services such AirBnB and Uber are well-known examples of how service design has played a key role in creating successful business models and services.

Arguably, these examples identified problems and gaps in the market and fixed or improved them. They developed easy-to-use smart phone apps with user-friendly interfaces designed to assist people more quickly and easily access service and products.

Case study: Duolingo

Duolingo is a free language learning app boasting more than 110 million users worldwide.

In developing Duolingo, co-founder Professor Luis von Ahn and his team sought to fill a need based on the finding that language learning was popular but expensive.

In thinking about how to improve this gap and provide better service in education, Duolingo engaged extensively with language learners and teachers to find out what people would most need and want in a language app.

You can find out how von Anh and his team (April, 2011) combined digital learning and service design principles, including gamification, personalisation and massive collaboration, to solve this problem here.

Your task

In the comments, share some other examples of service design in digital learning.

Reflect on your and other learners’ examples and discuss why or why not you think these are good examples of service design in this context.

Alternatively, you might like to explore the Service Design Toolkit – and select a case study from here.

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This article is from the free online course:

Transforming Digital Learning: Learning Design Meets Service Design

Deakin University

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