Understanding the Student Experience through the Use of Personas

Mariana Lilley, Andrew Pyper, Susan Attwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on work conducted by the Computer Science Usability Group at the University of Hertfordshire in which a User-Centred Design methodology was applied to gain a deeper understanding of our undergraduate distance learning student population. Specifically, the work reported here is concerned with the approach employed to the development of personas, and how these were applied to the design of learning experiences. This paper also includes samples of the personas produced as part of this work. Discussions with staff elicited a mixed response to the approach; some colleagues felt they already had a good intuitive sense of who the learners were. However it is argued here that one of the benefits of using personas is in how they make such implicit knowledge explicit and the impact this has upon the collective understanding of who our learners are.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-13
Number of pages10
JournalInnovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences (ITALICS)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • User-centred design, learner-centred design, personas


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