Task analysis is another step in the analysis and objective setting process. Task analysis occurs after the needs assessment and the problem to be addressed by the instructional design has been identified.
The purpose of the task analysis is to determine the content that will make up the instruction and to also determine in what order the content will appear.
The Morrison, Ross, Kemp approach to instructional design states that the task analysis answers solve three problems for the instructional designer:
Gagne describes task analysis as a series of procedures performed by the instructional designer in order to gather information needed for the instruction.
There are a number of approaches to task analysis, and the specific approach taken by the instructional designer will vary based on what type of learning is being developed.
The Morrison, Ross, and Kemp (MRK) method says that the goals that are derived from the needs assessment and the analysis of the learner, specifically what knowledge and background the learner has, influence the content that is required for instruction. This information is the starting point for the instructional designer when developing objectives.
This approach states that there are three methods for task analysis:
The instructional designer will use the three methods, and the information gathered from all three methods is compiled and used by the instructional designer to write the tasks in the instruction.
The following is what these might look like for one of the sections in a business writing course:
The procedures in a task analysis process can vary by method; however, all methods have in common the goal of obtaining information about the tasks and content that will form the instruction.
The following are common task analysis procedures, depending on the type of instruction:
Margaux Judge has worked as an e-learning editor and instructional designer for over ten years, writing and editing a wide variety of courses, from technical topics to soft skills. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University and a Master's degree in Television Writing from Boston University.