Strategies in Audience Analysis

For writing to be effective, meaningful and clear, you need to understand who will be receiving your communication. In this course, you'll learn strategies to analyze your target audience and conduct a usability test for your communications. You’ll build your understanding of how to plan, write, and evaluate content, so that communications specifically target your intended audience through clearly communicated content, plain language and format.

Note: this course was formerly called Advanced User Analysis.

Instructional hours: 21


Location: Online
Format: Self-paced within deadlines set by instructor
Duration: 7 weeks
Tuition: $630
Can be applied to:
Plain Language Certificate

Upcoming Offerings

Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.

Start Date
Seats Available
Start DateTue, Jun 4, 2024
  • Tue, Jun 4 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jun 11 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jun 18 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jun 25 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jul 2 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jul 9 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jul 16 (self-paced all week)
InstructorKari Hasselriis
Seats Available0
Start DateTue, Sep 24, 2024
  • Tue, Sep 24 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Oct 1 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Oct 8 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Oct 15 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Oct 22 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Oct 29 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Nov 5 (self-paced all week)
InstructorKari Hasselriis
Seats Available16
Start DateTue, Jun 10, 2025
  • Tue, Jun 10 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jun 17 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jun 24 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jul 1 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jul 8 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jul 15 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Jul 22 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available15

What you will learn

After completing this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Describe the communication planning necessary to develop audience-centred documents
  • Define usability as it relates to clear communication
  • Use several sources of information to analyze the audience/tasks/contexts for a communication
  • Conduct a usability test
  • Revise a document based on analysis so that it is clear and effective for the target audience

How you will learn and be evaluated

Prepare to spend 6-10 hours per week on coursework, including:

  • Readings
  • Assignments
  • Online discussions

You will be evaluated on:

  • Participation in discussions
  • Assignments
  • Final assignment

Learning Materials

Course fees do not include textbooks. We recommend you purchase your textbook as soon as you’ve registered. We will provide additional course materials online.

Recommended reading:

Cutts, Martin. Oxford Guide to Plain English (5th Edition). Oxford University Press, 2020. ISBN 978-0198844617. Available from or Indigo. Also available as e-book from Red Shelf (U.S. purchasers only). 

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.

English language requirements

To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:

  • Overall band score minimum 6.5
  • No band below 6.0
  • Writing band score minimum 8.0

Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.

If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.