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learner profile – some feedback

August 18, 2007

I got some valuable feedback from Terry Marler at Otago Polytechnic, one of the Course Facilitators for this course:

(here is my original learner profile post for reference)

Rachel, sorry to take so long to reply but I have been away for a week. This is an excellent profile of the intended course and the students that you already know about – the info on computing skills is especially valuable and not all lecturers at OP are giving this enough thought before starting on new courses.

My only concern (I have to have one don’t I?) is that you don’t seem to have considered other possible “client” groups. Are there mature people in industry (say, printing) who need these advanced skills as they use new technologies, or as job descriptions change? Are there people who need these skills for educational purposes? (I can think of several OP staff who would enrol). How about marketing? All these potential people might have quite different profiles, and tertiary educational institutions have a habit of catering to the types of people that they are used to. A design that was based entirely around the needs of your BFA students might not address the learning styles of these others and it would be a shame to exclude them!

By the way, I totally agree with your (and Matt’s) comments about Blackboard. I decided to start in Bb because I thought it would be more familiar than wikis and blogs for most people, and also because at this stage we may have to use it with our students so a little practise won’t hurt. But I will make all participants “instructors” now so that they can play – upload stuff, create new forums, or get the heck outa there and into a blog! This discussion board facility is especially clunky, isn’t it.

Cheers, Terry

and my response:

Hi Terry,

yes you’re right about putting more thought into the potential users. I had considered there would be some, but not what their profiles might be and you have given me a good few suggestions to get started with. I think I should probably think about these possible profiles and then think again about the course – what is it? what will it offer? what pre-requisites it might require of students – i.e. in some ways, I think it could go off into a specialised area that not all of those groups you suggested would be looking for…but if that was the case, and it was too specialised perhaps it isn’t worth doing…?

oh dear, lots to think about.

i’ll head off then and think about it in my blog, which, yes, I do find much more flexible than blackboard!

thanks for your thoughts, rachel

So watch this space for an updated learner profile that goes into more depth about those potential unknowns that the Polytech needs us to think about for future sustainability…rg

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