The development of APPD LEARN began from APPD's experience with Share Warehouse, its site for sharing assessment tools and instructional materials among APPD member programs, and the R3P initiative. Planning for APPD LEARN began in 2006. A strategic plan was presented by Ann Burke, Patty Hicks, Susan Guralnick, and Rob McGregor in 2008. APPD and the Initiative for Innovation in Pediatric Education (IIPE) began allocating resources to support APPD LEARN and the initial Advisory Committee was formed in 2009.

APPD LEARN's first Director was Hilary Haftel. She was succeeded by Alan Schwartz in 2011.