Target Audience Essay Sample

Target Audience Pages
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• At what stage of course development should you analyse the profile and needs of the target audience? In order to begin the development of any course (on-line, face-to-face or blended) you need to have in mind a target audience and a profile of who it is you are working with. However, it is not sufficient to do this the once and not revisit this at any later stage: you will need to analyse the profile of the audience once they have registered on the course (Are they who you thought they would be and were your assumptions about them correct?), and you will need to revisit the content of the courses, or the way in which the content is presented as a result of your analysis. In addition, once a course is ended and you start recruiting for the next cycle, it is important to reflect on any changes you expect to your target audience, which can be affected by changes in policy, the employment market, your clientele, your profile etc…

• What factors should you consider when analysing the target audience? You may think about things such as personal characteristics, previous experience, cultural background, access to technology and so on. There are two main purposes for analysising a target audience 1) to make sure that you are pitching your course to meet their needs and learning styles and 2) to identify the groups of people that you aren’t successfully engaging that you could/should be. For the first purpose it is important (in training such as the work related training that we deliver) to have an overview of the type of organisation they work for, their role in that organisation and their objectives for attending the course. You also need to know about their availability, their access to the required IT systems and their proficiency and confidence in using IT. Unlike with face-to-face training where geography is hugely important, this doesn’t impact on on-line learning, however their preferred learning style and getting to know something about them as a person becomes more important as this needs to be compensated for in order to develop any form of relationship between the trainer and the learner in an online context. For the second purpose it will be important to analyse the make-up of your registered learners to make sure that you are accessed by the balance you are aiming for in terms of gender, age, disability and ethnicity.

• What aspects of the audience profile, do you think, are likely to have the greatest impact on the design of an online learning programme? The factors which would impact most on the design of an online learning programme would have to be around the preferred learning styles and accessibility to IT of the learners. There would be little point in designing a course that focused on the use of video technology if the learners’ IT didn’t support that technology or the learners preferred to access information from reading. The next most important factors would have to be around what they hoped to gain from the course and how they would practically apply it. Unless the course is seen to have relevance and value beyond the learning context it will have little appeal to most time-poor learners.

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