711 Designing Learner Personas: The New Needs Analysis

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Friday, November 18

Instructional Design


With the advent of so many new technologies, ensuring the learner has the best access to the right-size, right-format content, delivered at the right time, is challenging. Coupled with rapid development cycles, this means designers have less time to do thorough or extremely detailed needs analysis.

Take time and do your homework! What is motivating your learners? How do their goals and experiences alter your learning strategy? Why do you care about their feelings or emotions? In this session, you will explore strategies used in learning and marketing to identify techniques to tackle learner needs as you design learner personas. You will learn about a tool that can capture these personas, and finally, you will find out how to use user stories to showcase these learner profiles.

In this session, you will learn:

  • New approaches to tackle learner needs
  • How to capture personas within a new tool or framework
  • How to craft user stories to showcase learner interaction with learning components and technologies
  • How to assess ways in which learning can utilize techniques from the field of marketing

Novice to advanced designers, developers, and managers.

Sarah Thompson

Manager, Efficacy & Research


Sarah Thompson is the manager of efficacy & research for Pearson. Sarah is a practitioner with more than 20 years of experience, helping companies plan, design, and implement strategic learning initiatives. With a background in technology and a focus on education, her key experience includes designing and developing innovative learning solutions, including virtual, micro-content, mobile, and online portals. In 2008, Chief Learning Officer Magazine gave Sarah their Gold Learning in Practice Award for Excellence in Content.

Lacey Jennings

Service Delivery Leader

Xerox Learning Services

Lacey Jennings is a service delivery leader at Xerox Learning Services, where she partners with business leaders to create and implement enterprise learning services that enhance performance and drive business impact for clients in the high-tech sector. She is also an experienced business advisor, client manager, and learning practitioner. Before joining Xerox, Lacey was a manager of custom instructional design for PDI Ninth House, now KornFerry, and led its multimillion-dollar product development effort for The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Interactive Edition. More recently, her teams received nine industry awards in 2014. Lacey holds an MEd from George Mason University.

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