The Analysis Phase of the ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) instructional design model is the basis for all other phases of instructional design. This phase can be broken down into Performance Analysis, Instructional Analysis, Audience Analysis, and Delineate Objectives. This article discusses conducting an instructional analysis.
Following a performance analysis where it has been determined that training is the solution, an instructional analysis is conducted. The purpose of conducting an instructional analysis is to define training content, goals, and objectives. Its objective is to break down the instructional goal into its component parts.
Creating an Instructional Analysis
During the instructional analysis step, the instructional designer might conduct a task analysis and create a competency map for learners. These tools help the instructional designer define what learners must be able to do once they have completed the training.
Learners rely on the instructional designer to provide them with an accurate information and steps. An instructional analysis ensures that the course will:
- Incorporate all information and steps that learners will need to know
- Leave out information and steps that learners already know
- Leave out information and steps that learners don’t need to know
The more accurate the instructional analysis, the easier the training will be for the learners.
Look at Training from the Perspective of the Learner
If a subject matter expert were consulted to make a list of steps for a task, many steps they intuitively perform would most likely be left out. This is because the subject matter expert has knowledge of which he or she may be unaware. This rather implicit type of knowledge is known as tacit knowledge. Tacit learning involves knowing how to do something rather than knowing who, what, or why. It involves learning and skill but not in a way that can be easily written down. A subject matter expert can perform the right steps without consciously thinking about each one. When an instructional designer conducts an instructional analysis, they observe the process from a new perspective. They look for “tacit” knowledge and steps that the subject matter expert never knowingly thinks about.
Imagine you work in a manufacturing plant and you want to teach someone how to use sweeping compound when sweeping the floor. You probably perform this task every day, so you don’t consciously think about all of the monotonous details it takes to effectively use the sweeping compound. You’re a subject matter expert who is instinctively capable of performing the task. If you were to write down each step in detail, you would actually have to stop and think about each step that you perform:
- Scoop sweeping compound
- Spread sweeping compound
- Sweep sweeping compound, dirt, and debris
That’s a basic task analysis, but there are some assumptions here that could cause problems for someone just learning how to use sweeping compound:
- With what do you scoop the sweeping compound?
- How and with what do you spread the sweeping compound?
- Where should you begin sweeping?
- Where should you finish sweeping?
If a learner doesn’t know about a step or how to properly perform a step, it could mean the difference between successfully completing the task and a gap in performance. The instructional analysis assures that the training content exactly matches what learners need to know so that they will be able to do what the training was designed to teach them.