NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1152613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-8756-3894
Empathy in Distance Learning Design Practice
Matthews, Michael T.; Williams, Gregory S.; Yanchar, Stephen C.; McDonald, Jason K.
TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, v61 n5 p486-493 Sep 2017
The notion of designer empathy has become a cornerstone of design philosophy in fields such as product design, human-computer interaction, and service design. But the literature on instructional designer empathy and learner analysis suggests that distance learning designers are generally quite removed from the learners with whom they could be empathizing. We describe a qualitative study conducted with practicing distance learning designers across the United States. We selected designers in varying sectors within the workforce, and interviewed our participants via videoconferencing. Our inquiry uncovered important tensions designers live with regarding empathy in practice. Designers struggle to know how much learner analysis is sufficient, which of many stakeholders to empathize with, and navigating constraints. Future work in this area could help designers practice more empathically and, in doing so, improve the learning environments they create for learners.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A