Analyze Learners and Contexts

When planning instruction, it is extremely helpful to understand your learner's needs, attitudes, current knowledge, and abilities, especially how these factors will relate to their achievement of your learning objectives. This is achieved through a learner analysis. Beyond their basic demographics, some additional pieces of information worth capturing include motivation for learning, their psychomotor skills, attitude and openness for instruction, discipline, communication/social skills, prior knowledge of the subject, studying habits/metacognition, learning styles, socioeconomic factors, and so on. Information may be drawn from the learners themselves (surveys, focus groups, interviews, feedback forms, casual communication), institutional or college-wide student assessments of students, reports and research studies of specific learning groups, prior experience teaching similar learners, input from colleagues, etc.

View Examples of Learners and Contexts Analyses Materials

 Hyperlink to Slideshow Activity 

Or, download visuals as PDF

It is also important to consider where, ultimately, learners will be applying and practicing the tasks or goals they have learned. It then becomes prudent to try and align elements in the learning context to more closely reflect elements in the performance context in an attempt to create realistic learning environment and aid in learning transfer. Think about what knowledge, skills, and attitudes your nursing students should have in professional practice; how will you develop these competencies in your learning environment? As you analyze learner characteristics and contexts, it helps to think of the implications behind each assessment. Take a look at the sample analysis (Kent State) below.