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Letters to the Editor

In Reply to Pan et al

Thakur, Anupam MBBS, MD; Soklaridis, Sophie PhD; Sockalingam, Sanjeev MD, MHPE

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doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003894
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We thank the authors for their comments on the significance of learning experience design (LED) in adapting to digital interfaces in the delivery of health professions education. Co-creation and collaboration with learners in the design and testing of prototypes is crucial to the implementation of innovative digital solutions in medical education. 1 In addition to LED principles, learner competence in using virtual tools, appropriate mode of delivery (e.g., synchronous/asynchronous online learning), virtual simulation and virtual reality, as well as a continuous cycle seeking learner feedback and making improvements based on that feedback are crucial aspects of effective teaching through digital interfaces.

Conceptually, LED is firmly rooted in a process of learning and continuous improvement. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a rapid adoption of digital technology in medical education. LED’s focus on experiential learning and human centeredness are important considerations in educational innovation. 2 We believe these are crucial steps in the implementation phase of rapid design thinking. 1 The increased use of virtual tools and the blurred boundaries between work and home can lead to fatigue and burnout. 3,4 LED can help to guide wellness practices and strategies during the rapid upscaling of virtual tools.

In a post COVID-19 era, LED must be applied beyond electronic user interfaces to sustain the benefits of design thinking. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and learner analytics will play an important role in future adaptive learning. 5 Virtual tools have a significant role to play in medical education. The application of LED has the potential to increase the quality of learning and thus ensure high-quality medical education during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


1. Thakur A, Soklaridis S, Crawford A, Mulsant B, Sockalingam S. Using Rapid Design Thinking to Overcome COVID-19 Challenges in Medical Education. Acad Med. 2021;96:56–61.
2. Floor N. The origin of learning experience design. Published 2019. Accessed December 8, 2020.
3. Gorlick A. The productivity pitfalls of working from home in the age of COVID-19. Published March 30, 2020. Accessed December 8, 2020.
4. Fosslien L, Duffy MW. How to combat Zoom fatigue. Harvard Business Review. Published April 29, 2020. Accessed December 8, 2020.
5. Goh P, Sandars J. A vision of the use of technology in medical education after the COVID-19 pandemic. MedEdPublish. 2020;9:49.
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