Formation by Design (FxD)

About Formation by Design

The concept of formation is at the heart of an education dedicated to shaping students to be fully human, to cultivating their authentic selves, and to inhabiting a sense of personal responsibility for improving the world.

The Formation by Design Project is a learner-centered and evidence-centered approach to reinventing our institutions around whole person development and doing so in ways that are thoroughly responsive to the emerging learning ecosystem that characterizes this moment in history—the increasingly data-rich environment that, while enabling personalization and customization of learning, at the same time risks de-centering and dis-empowering learners. The Project engages internal and external stakeholders in a process of defining, designing, and measuring formation of the individual within the context of higher education.

Learning—and especially “learner-centered”—analytics hold much promise as a mechanism for integrating qualitative and quantitative measures of formation, as well as visualizing and feeding meaningful data back to stakeholder groups at every level of the educational ecosystem. Formation by Design recognizes that practices of engagement and interaction with formational learner analytics must be developed at three layers for continuous improvement—at the student level, the faculty/designers/program directors level, and at the institutional level.

Of primary importance in this work are the dual goals of empowering students to be in control of their own learning analytics and elevating evidence of the process of integrative, deep learning to higher echelons of institutional decision-making. Providing robust and multiple sources of learning analytics along the whole arc of learning will help achieve the ultimate goal of informing educational designs to best support formation of all of our students.

The new FxD workspace unites faculty, administrators, and innovators from around the globe dedicated to designing for whole person learning in an informal and collaborative online environment.

Visit the FxD workspace


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Project Outcomes


Framework and Vision

The project aims to articulate a vision that puts formation at the heart of higher education as a value to be designed for and measured using the new power of learning analytics.


Research Agenda and Network

Through gatherings and virtual meetings, the project will establish a collaborative network with a shared research agenda of understanding formational learning.


Designs, Measures and Practices

The project undertakes the task of understanding the changing skillset of liberal education, and designing measures and practices that explore and elevate the visibility of data and evidence to form a picture of the whole learner and the whole educational context.

Project Team

Consultant Team

Are you interested in designing and teaching a course that rethinks boundaries inside and outside the classroom? Contact us to learn more about creating a new university-wide experimental pilot.

Student and alumni involvement is critical to the design and development of campus innovation, and we want to hear from you! Sign up to hear more about opportunities to get involved.

All Future(s) work is funded solely by philanthropy. Learn more about why our partners are supporting educational innovation at Georgetown.