How to create student personas
What is a 'student persona'?
Student personas are fictional characters you create, based on your experience or through research, that represent the students likely to undertake your module.
Why should I use student personas?
Student personas are used in design processes to focus on the needs, experiences, behaviours and goals of students. When developing an online or blended module, personas can help you to better align your content with the needs and expectations of your students.
Begin by considering the general constitution of your potential students:
- What is their typical educational background e.g. A-levels, BTEC, returning to education from employment
- What are the common barriers to accessing your module that students face e.g. caring responsibilities, work commitments, commuting distance, digital skills
- What motivates them to achieve e.g. recognition of achievement, educational goal, employment opportunity
- What demotivates them e.g. lack of regular feedback, lack of peer interaction, lots of reading
How many do I need to create?
Begin by creating a minimum of two student personas.
Creating more may help you consider the needs of a wider student demographic. Unlike your Module Map, Student Personas are not specific to your module. Therefore, you may find it helpful to undertake this activity at a course level or share your personas with your departmental colleagues to create a bank of personas to be selected for use across modules.
Is there a template or any examples I can use to guide me?
We have provided a document that contains example profiles and tips on populating fields to create your own personas.
If you have any questions or concerns about creating student personas, please email email@example.com.
If you have a workshop booked with a Learning Designer, please share your personas in advance to support the conversation about your module plans.
How to create a Module Map
What is a Module Map?
A module map is a plan of a typical week of your module, broken down into individual activities with timings and associated learning types. You may have a similar document that you refer to as a curriculum plan or scheme of work.
If you have a workshop booked with a Learning Designer, your completed Module Map and student personas will form the basis of your workshop. These documents help your Learning Designer understand your requirements and the potential opportunities for and barriers to engagement.
Is there an example of a template to guide me?
You can download our Module Map template here, the template includes an example.
Consider a typical week in your module then populate the Activities column with each individual activity your students would be expected to engage with (e.g. video lecture, group presentation, discussion, quiz, seminar, etc), in the order they would access them.
Complete the other columns, detailing the learning type (acquisition, collaboration, production etc), where the activity will be accessed (i.e. live on campus, live on Teams, on-demand) and the estimated time it would take a student to complete.
We advise that you carefully consider a balance of Learning Types. Although it is not always possible to include all Learning Types in a module, variety provides an opportunity for chunking content that can aid students to plan their work and increase engagement.
If you have a workshop booked, send your Module Map to your Learning Designer in advance through your agreed channel of communication.
What are the Learning Types?
On the second tab of the Module Map template you will find a table detailing the Learning Types and contextual activities.
If you have any questions about any of the tools or approaches to teaching and learning please email firstname.lastname@example.org