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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106 Responses for this Activity

  • Empathy Map
    by Sarah Versteeg (@Sarah Versteeg)

    Very enlightening exercise!

  • Empathy Map
    by Bert Slessor (@BS)

    When you get into the habit of teaching, sometimes you forget to include a solid practice and process when constructing new content. Most of the time I want to jump in and “do” before I “plan.”  The empathy map exercise forced me to rethink and retool how I approached a learner challenge.  Empathizing with my more… »

  • Empathy map
    by Michelle Laurence (@Michelle Laurence)

    Given the pandemic, empathy was critical for all to survive the academic year in remote learning mode. Since it is my first pandemic, and remote teaching or any online teaching, I asked for feedback. As predicted, polls and surveys were palatable means of feedback to the students, the end of class “any questions? Comments? Suggestions?” more… »

  • Understanding Why Students Do Not Follow Instruction!
    by jessica srivastava (@Jessica)

    I developed this because as I started to mark a written assignment from International students from India, I saw for the second time, they had not followed what I thought were explicit instructions. I started  to outline my thoughts on the why and then asked a sample of students as to why they felt. Once more… »

  • PLANEWORK Empathy Map
    by Terry Greene (@terrygreene)

    I got this map started myself with a couple additions in each section and then I showed it to my students in the Instructional Design program at Lambton College and asked them if they had anything they’d like to pop in. And they did! In the beginning of the semester all of the students were more… »

  • 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… »

    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.
      https://stuconestogacon-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/g/personal/ntrubochkina_conestogac_on_ca/EUbn4fKMtMZFkAagJcqXjcoBWfRUpu4FV35YECygzPYwNQ?e=XAJAT7

      Reply

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