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?

To Do:

  1. Create an empathy map
  2. Reflect on the feedback you’ve collected from your learners and begin sketching your empathy map. You can do this on paper, in a Word document, or we’ve developed as a Google document Empathy Map Template with fields for you to answer the guiding questions.
    • In the Google document, look under the File menu for an option to
    • Copy it to your own account
    • (or you can Download it as a file).
  3. Rename the file to represent yourself. Then complete the template.
  4. 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.
  5. Submit a shareable link, upload your file or take a photo of your map as your response to this activity.
  6. After you make your submission, save the web address to your response (found in the green confirmation box) so you can use it later for your badge submission form.

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

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185 Responses for this Activity

  • Empathy Map – Lucas Prestes
    by Lucas Prestes (@Lucas Plautz Prestes)

    My Empathy map contribution.

  • Empathy Map exercise
    by Victoria Jackson (@victoriaj)

    This was an interesting exercise. I decided to do one representing learner feedback to micro-credentials. We’ve already received some feedback from surveys on the micro-credentials we have delivered, so that was the starting point for this exercise. I can see why empathy maps like this would be a very useful tool in gathering and representing more… »

  • Empathy Map for Sound Design in Games class
    by Mark Shannelly (@mshannelly)

    “Yeah, that’s about right.” – recent graduate. I couldn’t find if this was how I was supposed to do it, but I tried to do one positive and one negative for each category. In a tech-heavy program like the one I teach in, students are easily distracted by the technology in front of them. I more… »

  • Empathy Map
    by Mary Chaktsiris (@mchaktsi)

    It would be interesting to include learners in building an empathy map to better understand their needs.

  • Empathy map
    by Ramandeep Kaur (@Raman)

    Students are interested in attending classes and collaborating. They are willing to learn the skills that make them career ready. International students finding it difficult to balance work and education.

  • Empathy for students who miss class
    by Adam Langridge (@alangridge)

    I have been having difficulties getting the students in one of my classes to attend. It’s an elective summer course that takes place at 8 am on a Friday morning, so I suppose poor attendance is to be somewhat expected. However, I’ve never willingly missed a class in my entire academic career, and I’d like more… »

  • Empathy towards learners and instructors
    by Miranda Mckenzie (@mx_mckenzie)

    With this map I tried to demonstrate the struggle between the empathy we need and have towards our learners and the empathy towards our instructors. We try to listen to all those involved in our courses and try our best to find a balance of the needs of our learners (based on their feedback and more… »

  • Empathy Map for DMS
    by Susan (@Susan Wilks)

    This empathy map explores the sensory experiences of colleagues who are struggling to adapt to a new document management system.  There are many personal and professional worries about the expectations around this change.  While trying to be supportive, empathetic, and compassionate around these worries and concerns, we must successfully facilitate this change.  Empathic awareness goes more… »

  • Empathy Map for students forced to take mandatory Communication Class
    by Jen Booth (@jen.booth)

    While I work towards addressing the problems & concerns on this chart, I still find that there are a number of students who struggle to move past the work and find value in this mandatory class.

  • When Your Learners are Faculty!
    by Stephanie Ferguson (@stpark)

    Empathy is actually one of my superpowers, but sometimes it can actually be a barrier when it comes to needing to narrow things down. However, I tried to apply a lens from a majority perspective and focus on some of the most common feelings that my ‘learners’ (and me too as a result!) are experiencing 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.



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