Friday, February 10, 2017

Are You Ready to Take the Learner Persona Challenge?

Learner Personas are a fictional representation of your targeted learners. They are based on real data about learner demographics and behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

How are Learner Personas Created?
Learner personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of new and seasoned employees – both “good” and “bad” -- who might align with your target audience. You’ll collect data that is both qualitative and quantitative to paint a picture of who your typical learner is, what they value, and how your program fits into their daily lives.

How do you use a Learner Persona?
In order to bring together what you learn during assessments, surveys, and interviews, the next step is to develop a set of personas. Personas are composite characters that represent typical learners in your target audience segments. They do not reflect a single person, but rather are a combination of various employees, and portray the types of people you are designing for.

You’ll want to create learner personas so that you can quickly explain and disseminate that information across the organization in an organized format, that is easy for your SME’s and developers to understand.

Are you up for a challenge? Gather your team and take our Team Challenge. You have all the information you need on this Slideshare Presentation.

The Persona Debate:
There can be some debate over whether personas are a help or a hindrance. Some user experience (UX) designers argue that personas are a poor approach for understanding the needs and wants of your learners because personas can allow a distance between designers and users. Personas end up being a representation of what designers wish their users were like, rather than a reflection of true learners and prevent designers from having empathy for their users. But, we think they are worth exploration, and can be enhanced by including empirical data from a trusted assessment like the Reiss profile.

Use these tips to get the most from your Learner Personas:
  • Schedule conversations with sample members of your target learners. Even a few conversations will help you remember there are real people behind the personas.
  • Although this is no place for politically correct conversations, be sure to watch that stereotypes and social judgments don’t slip into your personas. (Ex: All millennials want to use mobile devices for training.)
  • Build empathy for the target learners by naming and adding photographs to your personas. The more you can imagine their life and their story, the more likely you are to understand who they are.
  • It is ok to have more than one persona for your target learner group.
  • Test your assumptions early and often.
The most effective personas are going to emerge out of a learner analysis that includes interviews and real conversations with sample learners, as well as supervisors and other stakeholders in the training.

Please leave your comments, tips, and questions in the comments below.

Good Luck and have FUN! 

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