Who really matters and who really cares? Getting from target learner to learning landscape

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Trust yourself but don’t fool yourself. This topic is about getting beyond your own mental notion of who your target learner is, to a deeper appreciation of that learner, other learners, and key people across the entire learning landscape. Done right, this includes all of the different kinds learners who will go through your learning experience, e.g. those in your classroom or co-curricular context, those with different motives for or approaches to learning, etc…. And it includes other key stakeholders who play roles in enabling (or perhaps even holding back) the learning.
This step in the design process is about empathizing, hypothesizing, making smart assumptions, and refining your design to best serve those across the landscape.

Check out this video tutorial for a little guidance on how to make this happen for yourself.

The Value Proposition Wheel for mapping the learning landscape

This tool is meant to help you consider and later validate who are the learning personas in what we call the learning landscape. Together with the Break It and Better It form you’ll use in the next topic, it helps you build a map of the learning landscape into which you’ll be launching your project in a few months time, test your assumptions, and refine your design so you have the best possible snapshot coming out of this first iteration of the Curriculum Design Studio.

(You might also be interested in seeing how a tool like this gets applied in a business design context – where the focus on customer and value network instead of learner and learning landscape. It plays a similar role there of taking off the blinders we tend to be wearing at about this time due to inventor’s and effort biases. You can learn about that version of the tool here »)

The steps you should follow at this stage:

As described in the video above, we want you to:

  1. Identify who are the learning personas in your learning landscape – together, these learning personas should describe the various types or groups of learners you’re expecting to meet when you deliver your learning experience in a few months. Although there will be exceptions, a typical class or group of learners might contain 3-5 such personas.
  2. Describe each persona in the spaces provided, and carry out the processes of identifying what motivates their learning and what are their main barriers to making it happen. As discussed in the video above, these are assumptions that we will validate in our next topic.
  3. Do the same for any other key stakeholders who play a role in enabling the learning (or perhaps even holding it back). On balance and ideally, we want our design to create value for everyone in the landscape.

When you’re ready to move on to a first level of validating the assumptions you’ve made here, click the button below to proceed to the next topic.

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