Create an empathy map following these steps:

  • Gather information from and about your learners. You may already have useful information that you have gathered through feedback from course evaluations, emails, and other communication, but ideally you’ll create a specific method of gathering feedback for this exercise. You might do this through conversations or other forms of communication.
  • Ask you learners what they think, feel, say, do, see, and hear. What do they have difficulty understanding or doing?
  • Reflect on the feedback you’ve collected from your learners and begin sketching your empathy map. You can do this on paper or in a Word document, or we’ve developed as a Google document Empathy Map Template with fields for the above guiding questions. In the Google document, look under the File menu for an option to Copy it to your own account (or you could Download it as a file). Rename the file to represent yourself. Then complete the template.

After your Empathy Map is complete, try to get additional feedback in one of the following ways:

  • Seek out a colleague within your department/disciplinary area to discuss with him/her. See if there are shared concerns, or perhaps strategies they might suggest that you have not considered.
  • Circle back to your learners to make sure what you’ve captured accurately reflects their experience. This could involve a conversation with one or more of the group you interviewed.

Take a photo of your map and upload it when you complete your response to this activity.


This activity is part of the Empathize section of the Technologist Module.

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126 Responses for this Activity

  • Empathy Map
    by Rob Harrison (@Rob H)

    This activity was completed using detail from introduction videos/discussions in my online courses. Additionally, I have already had some meetings with students discussing challenges and things they are enjoying about the courses they are enrolled in during my office hours. Many students have come out of the pandemic learning experience with a lot of very more… »

  • Empathy Map
    by Cynthia Gordon (@cynthia.gordon)

    This empathy map was used with the current curriculum for ACE Communications.  We have gone through program renewal and are launching a new curriculum for the fall.  It will address some of these issues I believe

  • Empathy Map
    by Jenn Harren (@j_harren)

    This empathy map was for my Recruitment and Selection course in a graduate certificate program in Human Resources.  It helped me stop, plan and act with understanding of my learners.

  • Empathy Map – Understanding students’ feelings about remote learning
    by Wesley Butler (@wbutler925)

    Remote learning has changed how students absorb information and educators plan lessons, assignments and exams. During these unprecedented times, I analyzed how students are feeling during their post-secondary studies. According to my findings, they are concerned about the quality of remote education and whether they’ll attain steady employment upon graduation. They regularly follow the news more… »

  • Empathy Map
    by Brian Percheson (@bpercheson)

    Thanks to diagnostic and formative feedback, along with empathy, one could have a student who excels in multiple, diverse ways, but is held back because they don’t excel with pen to paper notetaking.  But with technology, students now have diverse ways to take notes with accommodations such as typing and speech recognition software.  As always, more… »

  • Student Empathy Map – Virtually Impacted
    by Jessica Joy (@jessica.joy)

    To prepare the Student Empathy Map (attached), I drew on feedback I’ve received from students across several recent semesters and courses collected through brief surveys conducted at both the start and completion of the semesters. These were some of the most common statements I’ve heard from students. Many of these points obviously relate to the more… »

  • Empathy Concept Map – Paulsen
    by Rhonda Paulsen (@RPaulsen)

    Attached is my Empathy Concept Map, based on responses gathered through confidential surveys to students in my university Indigenous Studies courses. I ask students to complete a one-page survey after the first quarter then again at the beginning of the winter term. Doing so provides me feedback from each new cohort so I can adapt more… »

  • Empathy Map – first year music students
    by Maria Romios (@MariaR)

    The empathy map was a good activity to get me thinking about the learners experience in the classroom. I found it sometimes challenging to separate the sections as several of the sections (Think and Feel, Hear, See, Say and Do) have information which could also be included in other sections. I had to edit and more… »

  • Social Service Work Students & Role Plays Empathy Map
    by Karyn Baker (@Karyn Baker)

    Our students are extremely reluctant to do role plays to practice their helping skills. I found mapping out the empathy response helpful as I think it make room for normalizing the experience for them and drawing on their shared experience for support. I have shared with a colleague to see if this is their experience. more… »

  • Empathy map activity
    by Richard Hock (@Richard77)

    This activity was quite interesting as our university has now had two and a half semesters online which definitely wasn’t easy for the students and the teachers.   I do get a lot of comments/ feedback from the students on a weekly if not daily basis as many students are living in remote areas with fluctuating more… »

    2 Resources for this Activity

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    This work by Ontario Extend is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

    2 Responses to “Empathy Map”

    1. Natalia Trubochkina

      am teaching in the LINC Program (Language Instruction to Newcomers to Canada). My students are newcomers to Canada learning English. In my Empathy Map, I tried to look at how my students feel about taking English classes through Zoom. This has been a huge change for all of us, but even more for these students because of the language barrier, no computers, and lack of digital literacy for many of them.
      https://stuconestogacon-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/g/personal/ntrubochkina_conestogac_on_ca/EUbn4fKMtMZFkAagJcqXjcoBWfRUpu4FV35YECygzPYwNQ?e=XAJAT7

      Reply

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