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Chapter 4. Getting Started > Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

In an ideal situation, you have all the information you need about your audience before you begin facilitating your course so that you can begin tailoring your facilitation to the needs of the specific learners. The course designer’s or leader’s guide should provide you with the following information about the learners:

  • skill and background levels relevant to the content you will be facilitating, and the mix you will have of experienced and not-so-experienced learners

  • job context information, including whether the participants work alone or in groups; levels of activity and movement that they are accustomed to; and where they are in their work cycle when they come to you (for example, if they will just be ending the graveyard shift and coming to your class exhausted)

  • learning styles and preferences and types of learning activities that they are accustomed to (and not accustomed to!)

  • flexibility, openness to change, willingness to try new learning modes and ways of doing things

  • expectations the learners have for the course and attitudes they have toward the subject and the learning event

  • circumstances under which they are present at the learning event (for example, if it’s a mandatory course, or if they need to improve job performance or prepare for impending changes).


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