New fellowship for students pursuing Learning Experience Design

February 20, 2024

A new fellowship opportunity will empower students in Michigan State’s online M.A. in Learning Experience Design (MALXD) to shape the future of the program. 

The Learner Insight Fellowship will award $1,000 grants to 25 MALXD students who join the program’s first cohort of students this fall. Recipients will be required to provide feedback on their course experiences throughout their first academic year, allowing program faculty to iterate and improve the program in response to student perspectives. 

“MALXD is committed to providing meaningful learning experiences that are designed purposefully and intentionally,” said Liz Owens Boltz, MALXD program director. “Listening and responding to feedback from learners is a key component of our intentional design process. We’re excited to offer the Learner Insight Fellowship both to support students financially and to affirm how much we value their voices and perspectives.” 

In this fully online, asynchronous master’s program, MALXD students will create well-informed and powerful learning experiences, informed by the critical lenses of equity, accessibility and social justice. The program will equip current and aspiring instructional designers to become field leaders in a diverse range of professional settings. 

Prioritizing iterative design and responding to learner feedback are foundational elements of the program, echoing strategies College of Education faculty employed when creating MALXD. 

The initial spark for the program was inspired by a growing number of online master’s students interested in instructional design and learning experience design. In response, faculty built the new MALXD program, informed by feedback from alumni and professionals working in the field. 

Liz Owens Boltz headshot. She is wearing a purple shirt. Her red hair is long and falls past her shoulders.
Liz Owens Boltz

An innovative “strategically scaffolded” structure allows students to earn three stackable graduate certificates during their time as master’s students. Additionally, prioritizing equity, accessibility and social justice throughout the program will empower their graduates to better meet the needs of all learners. 

“Sometimes instructional and learning experience design are framed as a set of standards or checkboxes,” said Boltz. “We challenge that idea in MAXLD, because we believe learning experience design should be creative, socially just, anti-racist and accessible. This fellowship allows us to gain more perspective from our learners, who have their own identities, experiences and perspectives in the world.” 

MALXD students admitted to the Fall 2024 semester are eligible to apply for MALXD Learner Insight Fellowship. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 25 fellowship applicants. The application window will close once 25 fellowships have been awarded (on or before July 1, 2024). 

Read more about the MALXD Learner Insight Fellowship on the MALXD website