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Cambridge Assessment Network

Personas Research

The brief 

Cambridge Assessment Network wanted to understand their key audience groups better around their use and preferences for assessment-related CPD. They wished to create reliable and realistic representations of their key audience segments through developing key personas/customer profiles. These could be used within the organisation to aid activities such as targeted communications and marketing, as well as suggestions for recommended learning pathways that customers may like to follow.

The approach

Shift used a qualitative methodology for this research. We conducted 39 in-depth interviews with participants working in a range of assessment roles across the world, within higher education, professional bodies and awarding bodies / training providers. Participants were recruited using client contacts, and Shift’s own database of university educators. Through an in-depth understanding of the CPD needs, preferences, and decision-making processes of CPD users and decision-makers, the interviews were used to develop visual and engaging personas for four key audience groups: three identified at the project start, and one additional group identified during the research. 

The value

Shift provided regular weekly updates to the client on interview findings, to ensure the findings would be as useful as possible. Findings were presented in a full, detailed, visual report, and followed by a presentation to the team. As part of reporting, Shift developed visual and comprehensive profiles of key audience groups, detailing their motivations, CPD needs, pain points, and preferences around communications and format. The personas also included recommendations for messaging and short, medium and long-term opportunities For Cambridge Assessment Network to consider.