“Many hats one heart”: A scoping review on the professional identity of learning designers


  • Sharon Altena
  • Rebecca Ng
  • Meredith Hinze
  • Simone Poulsen
  • Dominique Parrish


learning designer, instructional designer, educational technologist, professional identity


Learning Designers are increasingly employed in universities to support institutional digital and pedagogical transformation agendas, which are posited to better meet the diverse and changing needs of a heterogeneous student body. Despite broad commitment to investing in these roles, surprisingly little is known about what learning designers in higher education actually do in practice. This paper reports on the preliminary findings of a scoping review that thematically analysed pertinent literature, to explore what is currently espoused about the professional identity of learning designers in higher education. The review identified 40 indicators of the knowledge, skills and attributes required of learning designers in the higher education sector. This research provides valuable insights for both individuals and institutions. The findings provide universities with an evidence-informed perspective of the learning designer, including an account of the unique capabilities of learning designers as transformative change agents to student learning. For individual learning designers the findings provide a comprehensive list of indicators to benchmark role responsibilities against, and a framework through which professional identity can be comprehended.




How to Cite

Altena, S., Ng, R., Hinze, M., Poulsen, S., & Parrish, D. (2022). “Many hats one heart”: A scoping review on the professional identity of learning designers. ASCILITE Publications, 359–364. Retrieved from https://publications.ascilite.org/index.php/APUB/article/view/284