Hello everyone – it’s Tara Bryan, founder of TLS Learning.

One of the biggest challenges that our clients face is to make sure that the investment they are making in courses for their organization is moving the needle.

Our clients want to improve business results by improving employee performance and/or behavior.

Many times they come to us and say, “We need a course on X topic. Here is the content and here are our experts. They will make sure you know everything about this topic.”

We say great. However, there is one critical factor that we always introduce. It seems obvious but for some reason it never is.

We help our clients FIRST identify who the most important person is in this process. It isn’t the person holding the budget, the one with the KPI or even the expert with the content.

Know who it is?

Yes, the learner is the most important person in creating courses that change performance or behavior.

Because the truth is that without the learners being motivated and ready to learn, you won’t be able to change behavior or performance.

So we need to understand…


One of the most important ways to do this is to create a learner avatar. A learner avatar is a way to ask your learners specific information about themselves and then keep those in mind throughout the entire design and development process.

Here are 5 ways we keep the learner at the forefront of the project:

  1. Pull a learner involved on the core project team
  2. Define the primary (and secondary) learner avatars
  3. Interview them with the preliminary design or prototype
  4. Post the learner avatar front in center in your war room or desk
  5. Filter questions through your primary learner avatar

Click the link below to download our Learner Avatar worksheet. This worksheet will give you a look into how you can think about your learners and keep them in the center of your project. 

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