My empathy map of my learners was an interesting reflection. Before the program started and I was designing courses for who I imagined my participants would be, I always wondered if, like Goldilocks, the content would be too hard, too easy, or just right. Without meeting the students that will be involved in the program, or for that matter, the faculty who will be teaching, it is really difficult to make these decisions.
Once the program started, there were more international students than I anticipated, students has much stronger technical skills than I had thought, and the difficulty of the program seemed to be balanced. I found it interesting to see what parts of the program students find challenging, because we try to balance IT and computer science skills (including SQL, programming, algorithm design) with English skills (subject areas in communications, data visualization, analysis, essay and report writing). Students tend to have strengths in one area or another, and all learn from each other and their classes.
I have been very impressed with the progress so far, but it is also important to think about the learner and understand how they are adapting to the course, keeping up, and able to get something meaningful out of the experience beyond simply a numeric grade. As I discussed with one of the students today, a post-graduate program is really about building the skills you can use to solve problems, I expect everyone will do fantastic so I am less concerned with grades and much more concerned about how students will be seen by future employers.