Why Learner Analysis is Important in Curriculum Design?
Dept. of Educational Management, ISE, BNUZ
The majority of experts on instructional design, such as L. Smith, J. Ragan, W. Dick and L. Carey, consider analysis of learner characteristics preliminary and essential within the instructional design process. They even believe that perfect analysis of learner leads to half success of the curriculum.
For the macro aspect, it is based on learner analysis for the establishment of instructional plans, programs and subject matters and assessment in accordance with the student-central theory accepted widely in the world nowadays. The general status of the target learner population, such as age, prior knowledge, development level and the like, is the determinant of what the learners should learn and how they should be taught.
However, the micro aspect will be discussed mainly in this paper.
1. Learner analysis helps gaining and sustaining learners’ attention in class.
Having mastered what the learners are interested in and what they are expecting, teachers may capture students’ attention by unexpected approaches to instruction, stimulate lasting curiosity with problems that invoke mystery and maintain students’ attention by varying the instructional presentation.
2. Learner analysis helps enhancing relevance.
Having mastered what the learners’ personal goals are and what they have experienced before, teachers may make increase in the perception of utility by stating (or having learners determine) how instruction relates to personal goals and provide opportunities for matching their previous experiences. Linking what is being taught to something that is familiar and relevant to the student helps in the motivation of that student. Motivation amounts to persuasion for knowledge based subjects that provide the basis for learning future concepts. Often assurances are given that the student will eventually see the relevance of what they are learning. Analogies and stories relate information to something the student is familiar with, and helps students understand new concepts.
3. Learner analysis helps setting appropriate goals.
Setting goals can be an important source of motivation. When individual set goals, they determine an external standard to which they will internally evaluate their present level of performance. However, teachers should not let learners set goals all by themselves, but give different appropriate expectations to corresponding learners in accordance with their aptitudes. That is to help learners set goals under the directions based on learner analysis.
4. Learner analysis helps building confidence.
It is important for effective curriculum to build both learners’ confidence in teachers’ teaching events and teachers’ confidence in their instructional design, especially for the former one. If learners be on to teachers’ analyzing them for the curriculum preparation, they will quickly build up their confidence, even though the action of the analysis, such as giving pretests and investigations, is just a show! Once the learners’ confidence in the teaching events has been built, teachers’ confidence will come naturally and the curriculum becomes more efficient.
5. Learner analysis helps establish friendship between teachers and learners.
It is well known that compatible relationship between teachers and learners leads to believableness, especially when the learners are kids. But how to establish such relationship for a teacher? The very thing the teacher should do is to master everything about his or her learners. Then try to communicate with them based on the analysis of them.
Ÿ Patricia L. Smith & Tillman J. Ragan: Instructional Design
Ÿ Connie Frith: Motivation to Learn
Ÿ Debbie Denise Reese & Virginia Tech: Learner Characteristics, Behavior, and Achievement Within Web-based Distance Education: Learner-Centered Models