Why Learning Paths are not Conveyor Belts

Time to let an outdated thought model go

Martin Jahr
2 min readFeb 3, 2023

If you would be a school, or an ed tech company or a “learning experience provider”, which would be the easiest way to dump your content? The answer is not too hard — in classic learning curricula you predetermine what has to be learned. You can prepare everything in advance, and like on a conveyor belt, the students receive what you provide, and to be sure, not one steps out of the line, you sprinkle some assessments in from time to time.

Unfortunately this is not how people learn. The learning path is rather labyrinthic, erratic jumping around, being driven by interest, input, targets of the learner, and some kind of guardrailing to make sure thar no one is going astray completely. Formative assessments are the KPIs of the learner to reflect on that path and correct course if needed or desired. Regular assessments are learning experiences too, typically they are issued to gain external credibility, and are set up as a preparatory phase, and a digital examination that ends in a verifiable and accepted documentation of success or failure.

To support this, a new way of learning facility is required, which is obvious and meanwhile well-known. That classical schools won’t be able to do that pivot is known, too. New providers will enter the scene in bigger quantums as the brave few we’ve seen so far.

But in this post I am focussing on the digital support of those processes.

Learning Paths, Classic vs. Authentic

So, requirements for learning experience (LX) provisioning get tougher, see list in the image. Good news is — we are finally there to support these authentic learning processes with digital tools, we just need to compose them from what we’ve got.

AI and DevOps capabilities will bring us to a learning process model that follows the learner closely, and is driven by the individual, not the curriculum. You might want to say, we will see a digital twin of the learning path, both enhancing and providing as well as taking results back in and consolidating the learning process. Assessment tools and portfolio display are available en masse in the digital market and can easily be incorporated.

And of course, these processes are not just “stuff”, they are the digital backbone of the learning facility and hook into provisioning processes of the learning provider organization.

Let’s go and build things!



Martin Jahr

Digital Designer & life-long learner of computers & humans. Now up to create, coach and deliver learning deployment strategies in Germany where things are late.