Three ways to understand your learners more deeply

The better we understand learners and their problems, the better our solutions will be.Nick Robinson, LearnJam co-founder

“It’s not the learner’s job to figure out what they want or need.LearnJam

For us, it’s all about getting a clear understanding of our learners’ emotions and taking time to observe their natural behaviour in terms of their approach to learning. Instead of starting by asking them what they want in a learning product, we advocate observation and empathy. 

How we do that …

1. We ask ‘powerful questions’

These are designed to get learners reflecting on their behaviours, motivations and emotions.

For example:

“What does success in learning look like for you?”
“If you had an extra hour free each day to spend on learning, how would you spend it?”
“Which part of learning tires you out the most?”

Download a list of powerful questions

2. We use the ‘5 Whys’ approach

This is an iterative interrogation technique designed to identify the root cause of a problem. It involves asking Why each time a reason or explanation is presented. Here’s an example of what that might look like.

Laura wants to learn English so she can choose when to be with people. With that insight, we can start designing a solution that actually helps her do that.

3. We create learner personas

We combine, refine and reduce everything you know about our learners into a set of learner personas. These are high-level profiles of fictional but credible learners that we as Learner Experience Designers refer to as we begin identifying solutions to their problems.

Download a learner persona template

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