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Needs, Task, & Learners Analysis
Transcript of Needs, Task, & Learners Analysis
Ryan Ford EDP 332
A task analysis is the systematic process used by instructional designers to determine what a learners needs to learn or accomplish by participating in instruction. Commons terms include: Content Analysis, Subject Matter Analysis, and Learning Task Analysis.
Understanding the target learners whether they are "captive" (k12) or "willing" (college students) learners and determining in advance what they can and will do is an essential part of any instructional design. In order to gain understanding of the target learners, instructional designers/ educators must conduct some form of preliminary evaluation for a group of learners.
Instruction is motivated by a need for change. The change may be externally or internally motivated. Either way, is is important to gather information to help inform and guide the design.
There are many guided questions that are used when conducting a needs analysis.
Task Analysis should help you answer these questions:
1. What is the task that a learner needs to be able to accomplish or perform?
2. What are the entry/prerequisite skills/ knowledge a learner must have already mastered in order to complete the task or performance?
3. What are the key components of this task (what are the skills and knowledge and learner needs in order to successfully complete or perform the task.
4. What is the sequence in which the task is accomplished/ performed and should be learned/ taught?
5. How will you determine whether a learner is able to complete the task?
How to Make Break-Apart Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Break the cookies along the "pre-scored lines."
Spread them out 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven and wait to cool.
Morrison, Ross, and Kemp's "Needs Assessment"
MRK's need assessment includes four phases for a more technical plan for conducting the needs assessment and examining the gap and identifying potential cause of the gap.
Need to meet a particular standard in K12 education or the need for a company to train workers in a particular skill.
Need to address a problem or increase learners understanding of a particular subject area or to may be to improve worker productivity.
What is the change being requested/ demanded/required?
Who is being asked to change (target learners)?
Who is requesting/demanding/requiring the change?
What is currently being done?
Where will this change need to take place?
Is instruction the most appropriate means for realizing this change?
What is the timeline for change?
How is the change to be developed and implemented?
Phase 1: Planning
Defining the learner and deciding what type of data to collect about the learner.
Phase 2: Collecting Data
Collect the data.
Phase 3: Analyzing the Data
Identification of needs (normative, comparative, felt, expressed, and anticipated.
Normative needs: comparison with national standards
Comparative needs: comparison to a peer group
Felt needs: individual's desire for improvement
Expressed needs: demonstration of a "felt need"
Anticipated needs: change in systems or demands that dictate change
Phase 4: Preparing Final Report.
Magner's "Performance Analysis"
This "performance analysis" is to help instructional designers determine what someone is currently doing and what he/she needs to be doing.
The key questions to answer when target learners are not doing what they should be doing and there is a training need:
What is the training need?
Is it important?
Is it a skill deficiency?
Is it a knowledge deficiency?
Is it a managerial deficiency?
Why do I think there is a training need?
What is the difference between what is being done and what is supposed to be done?
What is the event that causes me to say things are not right?
Why am I dissatisfied?
Why is the discrepancy important?
What would happen if I left the discrepancy alone?
Could doing something to resolve the discrepancy have any worthwhile result?
When reading these directions, this task seems simple. But that is assuming that a person knows how to do each of these things on their own. The task analysis determines what tasks the person already knows how to do and which tasks that they need to learn in order to perform what is being asked of them and follow the instructions.
Mager's Approach to Analyzing Learners
These are the steps and questions that Magner sees as important when analyzing the learner:
Reason for course
Attitude about course
Biases, prejudices and beliefs
Hobbies and spare time activities
Interests in life beyond hobbies
Terminology or topics to be avoided
Specific prerequisite and entry-level skills already learned.
Dick and Carey and Carey's Approach to Analyzing Learners
These are the steps and questions that Dick and Carey and Carey see as important when analyzing a learner:
Prior knowledge of topic area
Attitudes toward content and potential delivery system
Educational and ability levels
General learning preference
Attitudes toward the training/teaching organization
Smith and Ragan's Approach to Analyzing Learners
These are the steps and questions that Smith and Ragan see as important when analyzing a learner:
Stable Similarities: Learners "configured" the same (eyes, ears, mouths, hands work the same)
Stable Differences: Inherent differences from the larger group (gender, age, personality)
Changing Similarities: Learners "change: in roughly the same way (childhood development roughly the same)
Changing Differences: Differences that change over time (knowledge, values, beliefs, and motivation)
What to Map-Out and Think About as an Instructional Designer for a Learner Analysis:
Who are the intended learners for the instruction?
What common traits do members in the learning group possess? (age, gender, religion, culture?)
What are the differences amoung the learners? (age, gender, religion, culture?)
What is the motivation for participating in instruction? Are they motivated to learn the topic and will they find it relevant?
What are the learners' impressions and attitudes about a topic and how it might be delivered? In other words, will they have any preconceived notions about the topic or the delivery system?
What are the achievements and general ability levels of the learners? This helps determine te kinds of instructional experiences they may have had and their ability to cope with new and different approaches to instruction..
What types of learning approaches do the learners prefer? For example, lecture, seminar, case study, small-group, or web-based?
How do the learners feel about the organization/ institution providing the training?