To be more specific, we also like to look at learner's cognitive, physiological, affective, and social aspects of their characteristics. In terms of the cognitive, we'd like to know where their mental capacities might be, their abilities to memorize information, for instance, sometimes it's relevant to the intended instruction and learning objective, sometimes it's not. Really again, you need to look at your learning objectives and to see the role of their cognitive abilities. In general cognitive abilities, we would like learners to be able to perform basic skills, memorization being one, being able to differentiate concepts, being able to apply newly acquired skills, knowledge, and abilities. Those are general cognitive abilities we would like to see from our learners. But again, it depends on the scope and the depth of the learning goals and objectives. Physiological aspect, this is more relevant if the learning objectives are associated with certain type of demonstration through physical activities. Age groups for one would tell you something about that, you can easily see the difference in terms of physical strength between a group of 20-30 years old with a group of perhaps more than 60 years old. That's just physical capabilities as they become relevant to the intended learning objectives. Affective, this is relevant to the earlier point that we need to figure out learner's perceptions. One part of that would be toward the provider of the instruction. Also is important for us to figure out learner's general attitudes toward the topics, sometimes due to personal belief, sometimes due to other social factors, learners might feel strongly about certain topics that you intend to cover with the instruction. It's always nice to know as early as we can so we can incorporate those considerations into the design of our instruction. The social aspect of the learner analysis would be more relevant if your instruction is situated in teamwork context. To what extent would our learners be comfortable working with peers in a face-to-face setting versus in an asynchronous online setting. That's just one of the information bit we would like to get if teamwork or working with peers seems to be an important part of the instruction delivery. These are four major and relatively basic components of learner characteristic we will like to collect from the learner analysis stage. Here is a table to show similarities in terms of the group of learners and differences among individual learners, that's the horizontal part of the table. The vertical part of it, you can see this table and the changing aspects. If you combine the two, you have the two-by-two, four combinations to begin with. First combination would be similarities within the group that are relatively stable. Their sensory capabilities, their preference to processing information, their conditions of learning. Those are three characteristics you can relatively see as they are stable within group of learners. The second category if you will, let's look at the differences among individuals that are stable learner characteristics. First of all, there are the aptitudes, and you can get that information from, for instance, standardized test results. Second will be their cognitive styles, their habits when interacting with information. Third one will be their psychosocial traits. That will be the results of your learners' interactions with social environments. That has been accumulated for a while, therefore, they are relatively stable. Your learners' gender, ethnicity, and racial backgrounds, those are also stable characteristics among individual learners. Know your socioeconomic status. This is short list of the stable learner differences among individuals. Let's look at the next one, will be the changing similarities in a group of learners. The first one will be their developmental processes. Earlier, we talked about Jean Piaget's work. If you can recall, the idea will be based on different experiences with social interactions. Learners' developmental stages might be similar to each other assuming that they are interacting with similar social environments. You can look at their intellectual, they can look at language abilities, their psychosocial behaviors, as well as moral standing. You can identify this category of learner characteristics for a group of learners to begin with due to their similarities, and it's the changing part of it that's different from the stable aspect of it. The next category will be the changing differences among individual learners. First one would be their developmental state. In the previous category, we look at it through mental processes. A group of learners can go through similar developmental processes, for instance, they have gone through certain schooling. However, the outcome of the developmental process might be different among individuals. Therefore, this is a changing differences among individual learners in terms of their intellectual levels as one of their developmental state. Learners' prior learning. Again, to what extent your learners individually chose to engage with learning activities that also might be very different among individual learners. You might have a group of 30 learners intended by an instruction and depending on their prior learning experiences, their responses to your instruction might be different. In terms of prior learning, these are two additional quotes just to emphasize its importance, for instance, through design. One is from Ausubel, 1968, "If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I will say this: The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him or her or accordingly." Here's another one. "The most important factor for a designer to consider about the audience is specific prior learning." Specific prior learning in this context will be learner's prior learning relevant to the intended learning objectives. These two quotes, again, showed us the importance as prior learning, and we should try our best to gather this information as much as we can during the learner analysis process. Another crucial factor when it comes to learner analysis is learners' motivational state. Learners' motivational state goes beyond, or you can consider the motivational state would be relevant to all four categories of the learner characteristics we discussed earlier. Why is motivation important when it comes to learner analysis? Because motivational states will control learners and direct their flow of efforts during the learning processes. Motivation to learn could be situational, and is somewhat complex, and it's the changing characteristics among individuals. It's important because they initiates and more crucially, it sustains the learning processes carried out by the learners, in terms of learner's cognitive effort investment, in terms of learners emotional engagement to the learning processes, to the learning task, those are both relevant for us to understand learner's motivational state. In terms of motivational support in instruction design, unfortunately, motivational support is often neglected during the instructional design process. Although it is feasible for motivational support to be realized through instruction strategies in order to elicit curiosity, relevance of the learning task, the confidence from learners, and the overall satisfaction from the learning experience. John Keller's work, ARCS motivational design model, is a good reference point if you're interested in learning more about motivational support and how we can design them into instruction. In his work, attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction are four important components for us to devise instructional strategies for effective motivational support. Motivational support is also a multi-dimensional construct. People like to use intrinsic and extrinsic to differentiate the source of the information and the outcome of the motivational support. Intrinsic motivation is ideally internalized. Learners would carry out intended learning processes, participating in learning task without any external reward or incentives, which would be the extrinsic part of the motivation. Ideally, we would like to see learners to develop intrinsic motivation throughout the learning experience. However, extrinsic motivation, in terms of rewards and incentives also play an important role in initiating the intended learning processes. The reality check for this section, first, learner analysis is important, we all know that the value of learner analysis, but perhaps not implementable in some contexts, especially when you are working with a large group of learners or learners are dispersed among different locations. Second, learner diversity is important and needs to be understood and incorporated into instructional deliverables. The diversity aspect of a learner analysis can be referred to our earlier mentioned in terms of learner's gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability status, and rather than social stratification factors. Third, some learner characteristic information could be gathered through standardized test results. Usually, that will tell you about learner's general aptitudes in terms of their generalizability and we need to be cautious when applying those information to understand our learners. Finally, motivational support is crucial but often neglected for many reasons. For one, again, in order to understand learner's motivational states, we need to devise instruments and spend more time to collect that aspect of data. The logistics of it sometimes is the major limiting factor. Nevertheless, it is important to understand your learner's motivational states, therefore, we can design relevant and effective motivational support.