With the recent announcement of the finalists of the 2019 Learning Awards, we continue this new series of L&D QuestionTime in which we hear from this years finalists.

Today we hear from Leonard Houx shortlisted in the Learning Professional of the Year category.


In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?

There are so many anxieties, but I think the biggest anxiety in the L&D is what it seems like it has always been: ROI.

Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?

Cognitive load theory and UX are critical for me. Some people I’m inspired by are Daniel Willingham, Jakob Nielsen, Paul Kirschner, Jeroen van Merriënboer, Josef Mülller-Brockmann and Edward Tufte.

What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?

For me, the most exciting thing happening in learning now for me is debunking. This is a necessary step for learning professions.

Also, the fact that Learning Technologies events will require citations for quotes and data is a huge step forward.

What “game changers” would you like to see and why?

I am not sure about game changers but I would love to see

•  Better tools for interactive video, i.e. more interaction types, customisable interfaces and compatibility with different media servers

•  Better tools for interweaving the inputs of activities (e.g. ‘When asked last week if you thought investing gold was a good idea, you said ‘yes’. Having seen this presentation, do you still believe that?’).

•  Better push notification tools

What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2030?

My first thought is that if the workforce continues in becoming increasingly transient, I imagine L&D services decoupling from companies and becoming more a part of external services like LinkedIn Learning and professional organisations.

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

I grew up in Portland, Oregon in the 90s. When I was 21, I was a pretty typical young Portlander – shy, inward-looking and a bit down on himself. Looking at that young man now, I would encourage him to put himself out there a lot more. Send that article. Publish that video. Give that presentation. Go for it.

About Leonard:

Leonard is Senior Instructional Designer at Cass Business School.

His redesign of the Cass VLE was hailed as ‘Revolutionary’ in Moodle news and  is a regular presenter at various e-learning events. He also co-leads the London eLearning Reading Group (you can see an archive of their events on the LERG website).

He has written about online learning for the Guardian, E-Learning Age and the Association for Learning Technology.

His redesign of Google’s Digital Marketing course, ’Squared Online’ raised satisfaction from an average of 3.8 to 4.3 and won a silver medal for ‘Best Distance Learning Course’ at the 2015 eLearning Awards.

Connect on LinkedIn