Monday, July 31, 2006

Is It Web 2.0 Learner, or Learner 2.0? (Audience Analysis)

Or What Does the Target Audience Analysis Look Like?

I suppose it really does not matter, except we must acknowledge that when traditionalist trainers do target audience analysis (jargon for a description of the characteristics of trainees), they think in terms of what and how trainees need to be taught rather than how motivated, self-directed learners prefer to learn.

Here are some characteristics of Web 2.0 learners:

  • Thrive on processing information quickly
  • Simultaneously use multiple learning resources (one study shows a typical Web 2.0 learners consuming 20 hours of media within 7 hours through multi-tasking; think of the Bloomberg TV news with multiple screens and text crawls)
  • Have a need for speed and want answers to their questions quickly
  • Feel empowered to learn and actively exercise that authority
  • Have little patience for reading the manual, attending a lecture, or attending dull meetings
  • Take pride in being well informed and actively pursuing knowledge
  • Prefer pictures, graphics, diagrams, pictographs accompanied by text rather than text with accompanying graphics
  • Expect a payoff for learning (job is easier, quicker promotion, recognition from the boss, etc.)
  • View technology as a friend and willingly embrace technological advances

So what are their preferences for learning? Well, they ...

  • Want a choice about the topic, the time, and the place of learning
  • Prefer to learn in small groups and at their own pace
  • Want the result of learning to solve real-life problems
  • Want to learn things that can be immediately applied
  • Don't want their learning sessions to be interrupted whether short or long
  • Prefer learning resources that are multi-sensory

Wow! That's really different from the typical target audience analysis.


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