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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101 Responses for this Activity

  • Empathy map in the time of COVID-19
    by Megan Gibson (@Megan Gibson)

    Looking at the students’ online experience in the time of COVID-19, where a majority of my class (if not all) was thrust into the role of online learner, has been quite insightful. This type of feedback from students could be especially constructive as we strive to reconfigure learning for those who may not have been more… »

  • Empathy Map – Theoretical Frameworks
    by amy taylor (@amytaylor)

    I found this empathy map interesting in that initially I found it difficult as I was unsure what or how to present what the student was experiencing.  I actually looked back into the Student Feedback Surveys, Spoke with my current class and used feedback from other colleagues to see if what I was including made more… »

  • Gary Danner – Empathy Map
    by Gary Danner (@gdanner)

    As I worked through this exercise, I realized it was just like the consulting work I do for my clients with Dale Carnegie Training. How can I possibly put together a solution for my students at Fanshawe until I find out how they are thinking — what they need and want. I reached out to more… »

  • Christopher’s Empathy Map
    by Christopher Rowe (@ChristopherRowe)

    A significant portion of our curriculum involves a public facing practical lab.  A large percentage of our students work is directly presented to the public.  This is both a source of stress and pride.  The public exposure generally heightens the quality of our students work… but at the same time also raises anxiety levels.

  • Taxation Learner Empathy Map
    by Brittany Murphy (@TaxBM)

    For this empathy map assignment, I considered the views of students in my taxation courses to discern where there could be areas for improvement and where more options/ alternatives could be provided to students, as well as identify what already seemed to be working well. Many students have lots of things going on in their more… »

  • Empathy Map
    by Kaitlin Marriott (@kmarriott)

    Being in a manager position, I took a bit of a different approach to this activity. I used the feedback I’ve gathered through conversations with faculty and staff over the past several months as we’ve made the switch to remote work and online learning. My empathy map demonstrates both the challenges and wins we have more… »

  • Empathy Map jporciello
    by Jordan Porciello (@jporciello)

    See google drive link for my map.

  • Peer Feedback Tool
    by Elan Paulson (@Elan Paulson)

    This is an empathy map created after facilitating workshops on student group work over the past 6 months. Faculty have particular interests and concerns about running group work assignments, especially during remote learning and when it comes to peer assessment aspects of the assignments. Data for the empathy map are anecdotal.

  • Empathy Map – Teaching Foundations of Mathematics
    by Tracey Chase (@traceychase)

    The attached empathy map was created with feedback gathered via surveys from students taking Foundations of Mathematics over the past few years.  Mid-semester feedback helps me figure out what is working for students.  Ongoing feedback helps with planning for semester planning.

  • Tania Killian
    by Tania Killian (@tkillian)

    Anatomy and Physiology

    2 Resources for this Activity

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    One Response 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.


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