When I've spent time "learning the learners", here's some of what I've discovered:
- There's a range of different expectations about what I will do for them, with them and in spite of them. Some are cynical and expecting the worst. Others are optimistic and trusting me to provide exceptional value.
- There are lurking fears about who this may get off to a great start but end up disappointing them. Some are afraid this will be over the heads, moving too fast to keep up or too basic to be of any use.
- There are those who want to be told the facts, methods and guiding principles. Others want to understand why this approach makes sense, how it compares to others and when it's not applicable.
- Some learners assume classroom experiences are done to get the grade and nothing else. Others expect to apply what they learn in other classes and then later in life. Some organize their efforts to prepare for the test while the others prepare to enrich their understanding.
This same contrast occurs in the formulation of disruptive value propositions, innovative educations products and new business models. The first lacks empathy for the learners and pushes the product in their faces. The attempts to deliver the product backfire. The other leverages the empathy for the learners and creates demand for them to inquire into, explore further and realize for themselves the value in this offering. The effects on the learners are enduring, mutually beneficial and significant.