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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142 Responses for this Activity

  • Empathy Map
    by Wendy Tseng (


  • My Students
    by John Colling (@johncolling)

    Empathy Map

  • Empathy Map
    by Gitanjali Shanbhag (@gshanbhag)

    My biggest “pain point” is that students do not participate in online discussions and are unable to build community.

  • Student’s feelings and thoughts about readings
    by Giselle Carter (@gmcarter)

    I took a poll on in two of my zoom classes last week about why students don’t read the readings.  There was some great conversation afterwards as well.

  • Timothy Chan Empathy map
    by Timothy Chan (@Timot5hy)

    My Empathy Map

  • General Arts and Science student empathy map
    by Lynne Kennette (@LynneKennette)

    General Arts and Science students are in a 1-year (2-semester) certificate program to prepare them for university. We have articulation agreements with 2 nearby universities which will allow them to transfer all of their college courses and start in year 2 of their degree program.

  • Priyanka_Sharma_Empathy Map
    by Priyanka Sharma (@priyanka.sharma)

    Empathy map

  • Empathy Map
    by Joe Varrasso (@JV)

    Worked with Lori Strauss during webinar on Oct. 30th.

  • Empathy Map
    by Lori Strauss (@lstrauss)

    Joe Varrasso and I collaborated during the Saturday Extender in the development of an empathy map to explore students and faculty concerns related to submission of evaluation items. Sometimes students submit formats that can’t be opened or applied. As well current format for a verbal submission of a final exam we use bongo. Many students more… »

  • Empathy Map
    by Ivan Chow (@chowivan)

    I created an empathy map based on what I heard from my students in a French grammar course. In this course, students complete short learning activities on the publisher’s online platform, in addition to weekly online assessments on the university’s LMS. The class meets weekly for the instructor to explain grammar points and complete practice more… »

    2 Resources for this Activity

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    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.



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