In the last two posts I’ve concentrated on the two characteristics that seem to have the biggest impact on your design – prior learning and the motivation to learn – but learners are more complex than that. You’ll want to find out as much information about your target population as you can; for example:
- The learner’s hopes and fears, particularly what is likely to be pre-occupying their thoughts.
- Cultural differences, from country to country and organisation to organisation, in the way that formal learning is carried out.
- Expectations about the nature of formal learning based on past experience.
- Computer literacy.
- Any obstacles, such as child care responsibilities, which hinder learners travelling to training events.
- The degree and nature of any disabilities.