January 30, 2005

CI5336 - Remember the learner in you!

Question from the end of class 2 - As an instructional designer, how do you provide learner analysis throughout all phases of design?

To create a successful learning experience, there are many aspects of learner analysis that should be handled objectively through collection of data and categorization of learner characteristics. Education level, income, work experience, job skill levels, etc. are a few that come to mind.

But the instructional designer also needs to be the learner's advocate in all phases because everyone else on the team will probably have some other primary focus. One way to think of this is that the instructional designer should always remember "the learner in me."

One of my projects, a long time ago, was to design and script a simple training/motivation video program for a retail company. The overall goal was to improve customer service and the client was looking for ideas. I came up with the concept of "the customer in me" where we would suggest to learners that they treat customers like they themselves would like to be treated. Hmm... I guess I can't really take original credit for that idea ;-)

One of the images we used in the video was a little boy, trying to buy a piece of candy at a candy counter, but he wasn't big enough to get the clerk's attention. The point was to get learners to think about how they felt at times when they weren't getting good service. The rest of the program was pretty upbeat and straightforward, with standard recommendations about good customer service.

So, one way for instructional designers advocate for learners is that they should always remember "the learner in me."

Posted by burt0177 at January 30, 2005 8:38 PM