Do you really, I mean, really, know who are you designing training for? We definitively do not develop training for aliens! Our instructional design process is a human-centered one. As human beings, we are diverse in the way we learn and the things we like, among other things. Creating Personas is a technique that will help instructional designers in the instructional design process. Personas are fictitious characters that best represent a group of people that behave in similar ways. Using Personas result in what I would like to call the “winning trifecta.” These are the three benefits of using Personas when designing instruction:
1. You get to know you audience
Getting to know your audience is important if you want to meet the instructional goal. The data gathering process for Persona building goes beyond simple demographics. It “digs” more in-depth into the person’s likings, thoughts, behaviors, preferences, etc. During this process, all parties involved build empathy, share an understanding of the learner, and it prevents from injecting personal values. Knowing the audience certainly helps the designer align needs, goals, and pain points of the users to the learning material to be created resulting in … (see #2).
2. A personalized and customized learning experience
A unique learner experience, with the right content, one that is engaging and appealing to the intended targeted audience. Once you get to know you Personas, you can “use them” through the design process and may develop multiple user-centered solutions that will cater to your Personas leaning experience. Leading to … (see #3).
3. Excellent outcomes for all – A successful training
Successful training is one where the instructional goal is met, the learner is engaged, and the learner applies successfully the lessons learned from training (better job performance). All of this is possible when we take the time to get to know the audience by using Personas in the design process.
Using Personas is of great value to the instructional designer as it helps in focusing the efforts to whom the training is intended for, your targeted audience. Everybody benefits from using personas, from the instructional designer to the targeted audience. It all starts with taking the time to get to know your audience. Have you created Personas? What do you think is the most significant advantage of utilizing Personas when designing instruction?
Please note:The information presented in this blog post is a compilation of the following references. Image courtesy of Andrew Seaman.
Baumann, B. (2018, March 29). User-Centered Design Through Learner Personas. [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://trainingindustry.com/articles/content-development/user-centered-design-through-learner-personas/
Heiser, R. (2017, September 28). Personas in Instructional Design. [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://sites.psu.edu/rebeccaheiser/2017/09/28/personas-in-instructional-design/
Malamed, C. (n.d.). Learner Personas for Instructional Design. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning_design/audience/learner-personas-for-elearning/