Know Your Students

Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

Far too often we begin planning a class with the content, pedagogy, technology and outcomes in mind — without first researching the students. When teaching, it seems logical to begin with the content or the pedagogy and then apply technologies to meet the outcomes we see, yet this misses the most important foundational step in the process. It is to get to know the students who have enrolled in your program in the past or for whom you are designing the class. We cannot make assumptions. Over time the characteristics, knowledge and aspirations of enrolling students change. Especially today, with a range of career changers, adult learners and online learners from different regions, continents and cultures, we must be vigilant to monitor them to make sure we are meeting their needs.

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