Henry Sibley (Longtime Faculty - Math, Provisional Persona)

Henry is a provisional persona

  • Provisional personas are created using historical and anecdotal knowledge about a certain type of user, but is not based directly on patterns seen in user research.
  • Provisional personas should be used with caution, as they may not be entirely accurate or representative of the user population.

"All this technology is overrated. What's wrong with the way we've always done things?"


Age: 64
Occupation: Professor
School: Faculty of Mathematics, University of Toronto
Technology level: Not at all tech-savvy

Main Points

  • Tries to avoid using technology himself as much as he can
  • Is a "chalk & talk" sort of teacher who likes using the blackboard
  • Likes to do things the way he knows works -- why fix it if it isn't broke?
  • Is looking forward to retiring while also maintaining a connection with the chemistry field


  • To be respected by his colleagues, and generally in the chemistry field
  • Get the important principles of chemistry across to students
  • Spend time with his grandchildren that live across the country in Denver

Frustrations & Pain Points

  • Not able to learn new technology quickly
  • Doesn't want to use computers
  • Doesn't want to change the way he's always done things -- for example, use an LMS



Henry has been at the University of Michigan for over 30 years in the Mathematics department. He's spent many years working in labs, and has successfully avoided using computers unless it was absolutely necessary. Henry's wife handles most of the responsibilities around the house involving the computer, like monitoring the family email or uploading & printing digital photos.

Henry enjoys teaching students about chemistry, and is excited about his retirement in a few years, but is also a little sad and truth be told, nervous. After all, he's been doing this for so long!  He's looking forward to spending a lot more time at their family cabin "up north" and perhaps even improving his golf game.  But he's certain he'll still be on campus often enough.

Henry's students are always talking about their course websites and wonder why he doesn't do more with his.  He can understand that having course material online can help them have access anytime so he's trying.  He usually just sends an email to the department support person or walks documents over to her so she can put them on the course site for him.  It's easier that way - all that technology is so complicated, and he has more important things to do than spending his time trying to figure it out! He's an old-school "chalk and talk" teacher, who likes to teach his lecture on the chalkboard instead of messing around with a bunch of technology.  He's taught these chemistry classes so many times that it is almost automatic when he's up in front of the class.


  • Rely on instructional support staff to manage course site: At the beginning of the semester, an instructional support staff person for his department sets up his course site. A few years ago he gave them his syllabus and labs and talked a bit about what he'd liked to get across to his students, and they've set it up pretty much the same way every year since. Whenever he wants to announce or post something on his course website, he emails or walks papers over to the instructional support staff and has them do it.