This is part one of a series of blogs where we get to know six key personas we see in online learning that often need a little extra support. All of these learners have different strengths and challenges and will need a different kind of intervention and support from you.

For each of the personas below, we've link an article all about that particular persona where you'll find out:

  • how you can spot this learner in your class using the Class Console
  • specific actions you can take to support them both now as a facilitator and for future learners via course design.

These personas are absolutely fictional and we note that when describing these learners we’re highlighting more challenges than strengths (but they’ve all got their strengths too!).

The hope is that, by generalising, we can help you to pick and choose from a range of interventions based on the actual real-life humans you get to know in your class.

So, are you ready to meet our learners?

Techno-not-wizz Tia

Tia is completely new to online learning and she’s having some trouble getting into the course let alone figuring out what to do once she’s in there!

Learners like Tia need...

  • A follow up email with further instructions
  • Checks on progress once they’re in
  • Support seeing how existing skills can transfer to online

Disengaged Darren

Darren signed up to the course and plunged in for a few hours with a hiss and a roar completing a bunch of the course in one go. But… life happened. Darren hasn’t been back online for a while now and is in danger of falling behind.

Learners like Darren need...

  • Help setting their own reminders to revisit the course
  • Fairly paced study plans with reasonable and flexible due dates
  • Discussions where they can take the lead

Struggling Sven

Sven has been really good at logging in regularly and completing a page or two and the odd task. The only thing is, he’s tried a few of the tasks a couple of times and is not sure where he’s going wrong. He’s starting to feel a bit disheartened.

Learners like Sven need...

  • To know someone is there who cares about their progress and achievement
  • Focused and clear feedback and feedforward
  • Specific further resources to support

Rushy Rony

Rony loves getting through the course pages. Click, click, click. What a great feeling! But… Rony is busy, he’s got other things to do. Who has time to do those annoying non-assessed tasks anyway? Besides, they’re just a waste of time!

Learners like Rony need...

  • A clear “what’s in it for me?” for completing tasks
  • Non-assessed tasks that lead to assessment
  • Valuable feedback on at least one non-assessed task

Isolated Induja

Induja is keeping up with the coursework okay, but she doesn’t see the need to contribute to those discussion pages. She doesn’t want to say the wrong thing and have everybody see it! It’s okay, if she’s stuck, she’ll just ask Google. Or, if she really has to, reach out to the course facilitator.

Learners like Induja need...

  • A clear “what’s in it for me?” for contributing to discussions
  • Scaffolding into having online discussions
  • Discussion topics where they can find the error (rather than worrying about making one)

Bored Billie

Billie has a whole lot of prior knowledge which means she is finding this course an absolute breeze. She’s well ahead of the rest of the class and showing no signs of slowing down.

Learners like Billie need...

  • Choice and autonomy in at least one key task
  • More open-ended tasks in general
  • Opportunities to leverage or showcase their prior knowledge

Do you recognise any of these learners in your class? Dive into any of the personas to see more detail on how to find them and support them by reaching out, and in some cases, adding to your course design.