Learner empathy is critical for all formal education efforts, not just associations.
Our goals as educators or learning environment designers should always be to do something “for” learners as opposed to doing something “to” them. Such empathy begins with knowing who our learners are, what motivates them, and what strategy they already have for acquiring knowledge.
Great teachers incorporate empathy into their learning design by observing, asking questions, and doing research about their students. Great learning environments reflect deep empathy through the choice of materials, options for personalization, flexible access, and points of entry.
Continuing education courses offered by associations are excellent examples of learning environments that demand a focus on increased learner empathy.
BY ROB REYNOLDS