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CHAPTER 5

INSTRUCTIONAL ANALYSIS :ANALYZING THE LEARNING TASK

AN OVERVIEW OF ANALYSIS OF THE LEARNING TASK

At the completion of a needs assesment(described in chapter 3), the designer has a list of
goals’’,which reflect what currently are unable to do.these are generally not in a from upon
which one can begin designing instruction.the process of task analysis transformd goal
statement into a foem that can be used to guide subsequent desaign. Designer expend a great
deal of effort in obtaining as clear a description and as thorough an analysis possible of the
learning task .ther

The primary stepsin permoring a learning task analysis are as follows

1. 1 write learning goal


2. determine the types of learning of the goal
3. conduct an information-processing analysus of the goal
4. conduct a prerequisite analysis and determine the type of learning of the prerequisites.
5. Write learning objectives for the learning goal and each of the prerequisites
6. Write test specifications.
In conducting a learning task analysis we determine what content needs to be included in a
segment of instruction for learners to achieve the learning goal.traditionally this content has
been determined by the following (1) including what has alwash been taught on the subject in
the past(what is included in texts or reference matterials on the subject); (2) tr(teaching learners
a certain amount and adding more information as confusions arises);(3) following the structure
of the content(for example,organizing and including information in science topict according to
systems’’).these traditional approaches may provide some good information about the content
to be included in a lesson
Deadwood is informarion that is not essentionll or especially supportive in attaining a learning
goal,deadwood is often included in inscruction the expert may include information that is nice
to now or especially interesting to him but may not be essential to the learning task;it may even
confuse a learner who is encountering a particular learning goal for the first time.
It is important to note here that analyzing or prequisites does not specify a particular strategy
for instruction some educators assume that if one analyzes for prerequisiters then on principle
one will us a bottom-up ,highly sctructured instructionsal strategy.
WRITING LEARNING GOALS
After conducting a needs assessment,the designer has a list of learnig goals,such as learners
need to be able to read at the fifth-grade level ‘or ‘learners need to able to repair a broken
VCR.’to put these statemens in a form so that we can continue with their analysis we write
them as learning goals .learning goal are statements of purpose or intetntion,what learners
should be able to do at the conclusion of intruction. these can be lesson goals,unit goals ,or
course goals.objectives ,as we will discuss later,are subparts of goals (see writing learning
objectives)at this point,we are not making decisions as to which of our goals are at the lesson,
unit or course level .we are intent on developing clear description of what capabilies leaners
will come to possess what they should know or be able to do,after instruction.
EXER A I S E S A
Which of the followimg goals are stated unambiguosly so that they can clearly guide further
design activities?rewrite the ambiguous statements so that they give a clearer description of
exactly what the learners should be able to do or know at the conclusion of instruction. Explain
the decisions that yo make.
1. Students will hear lectures and attend discussions on future trends in technology,
philophy, and business
2. The student can select examples of the concept conservative (in the political dichotomy
of liberal versus conservative)from a list of examples and non examples.
3. The student will understand the procedure for applying for welfare
4. The student will administer an allergy injectiob followinf sterile technique
5. The student can compute the mean,range and standard deviation of a series of ten
numbers
6. The student has acquired the ability to deal with angry parents
7. Each student will be able to view clear,preciese,and correctly demonstrated examples
of teh A-4 technique as presented in the video,’’The A-4 Technique in Action
DETERMINING TYPES OF LEARNING
After yo have written a learninf goal for a course,unit,or lesson,it is valuable to identufy
the type of learning outcome the goal represents.identifying the type of learning helps the
desiger to determine how to analyze the learning goal into its components parts.later this
will provide clues as to hoe to teach amd assess student learning of the goal.
R.Gagne (1985)divided possible learninf outcomes into five large catefories of domains’
;verbal information (or declarattive knowledge),intellectual skills.most learning objectives
can be classified into these categories.Gagne conjectured that the type of mental of
processing required for achieving outcomes in each category is qualitatively different from
the mental activities required in other categories hence the types of instructional support
(the instructional strategy)needed in each category will be substantially differents also the
bulk of gagne’s the conditions of learning (1985)described these categories of human
learning outcomes and the instructional coteditions that supports learning in each of these
categories we will outline each of these categories and the types of goals or objectives that
fit in each category because we believe that thinking of learning goals in such a way can be
most profitable in aiding the identification of prerequisite objectives,desgning effective
instructional strategies,and designing appropriate tests.
Gagne’s Types of Learning Outcomes
DECLARATIVE KNOWLEDGE. The learning task mentioned earlier-memorizing the
prologue to chaucer’s canterbury tales-can be classified as a declarative knowledge learning
task. declarative knowledge objectives require a leaner to recall in verbatim,paraphrased
,or summarized form facts,lists ,names,or organized information.examples of verbal
information objectivies include the following:
 Write the names of at three types of synthetic fabric.
 Recite thd multiplication table for the number 7
 In your own words,summarize the three steps that you must follow in converting a
BASIC file into a DOS 3.3 text file
Instructional materials that allow students to practice their multiplication facts most
likely have a declarative knowledge objective.so does instruction that helps children to
practice their spelling words
INTELECTUAL SKILLS. Intellectual skill outcomes are the predominant objectives
of instruction in both school and training settings.intellectual skills are typifield by the
application of rules to previously unencountered exsmples.this type of learning
outcomes differs from declarative knowledge objectives because studendts learn how
to not only recall,but also to apply knowledge to instances not encountered during
instruction.Anderson (1976) described this type of learning as procedural knowledge
E.Gagne(1985) distinguished it from declarative knowledge;procedural knowledge is
knowing that intellectual skills are amalogous to bloom et al.’s(1956)levels of
application,analysis,synthesis,and evaluation
The objective of proving a geometric theorem is an intellectual skill objective because
students learn how to respond to a class of problems not just individual are a number
of subcategories of intellectual skills that we will discus briefly here.
Concepts that are classifield by whether they match a defination or a list of
characteristics are known as defined concepts the terms democracy,marxism,and
anarchy are defined concepts as are the terms acid and base to a chemist(who defines
acid and base in terms of pH level)
Much of our lives are ‘rule –governed’’we avoid touching hot thingh because we know
they will burn us we follow certain cribed steps when planting a vegetable garden we
look both ways before crossing a street because we know that failure to do so can lead
to accidents much of learning is compesed of learning rules,both principles and
procedures.these are learned capabilities that involve multiple concepts working
together instruction in math sciences and social sciencess filled with principles and
procedure outcomes.
Principles(also known as relational rules) can typically be expressed in the form of ‘if-
then’’statements:
 If gas is heated,then it expands
 If demand goes up,then supply goes up.
 If the subject is plural ,then plural verb form is used.
These examples are all relational rules.relational rules help us to predict ,explain,or
control circum stances in our environment by describing either natural or volirional
responses to those circumstances .for instance we might say that learners have
acquired the rule if gas is heated then it expands if they can(1)predict what will
happen to a filled ballon that is left in a hot car all afternoon,(2)explain why filled
Ballon shrinks when left in the freezer or (3)tell how to fix a balloon of a certain
size so that it will fit throught aring that it currently will not fit through
Procedures,on the other hand tell us in what order certain steps should be taken
much math instruction is directed at the learning procedural rules
Problem solving the last type of intellectual skill refers to a learned capability
involving selection and application of multiple rules.
COGNITIVE STRATEGIES. Students use cognitive strategies to manage their
own learning.sometimes these are referred to as learning straregies.(weinstein &
mayer,1986)or learning how to learn for instance ,most of us have learned particular
strategies that we use study a textbook.
ATTITUDES. Like cognitive strategies,attitudes influence learning across content
and domains.An attitude is a mental state that predisposes a learner to choose to
behave in a certain way(R.Gagne,1985).
PSYCHOMOTOR SKILLS. Coordinated muscular movements that are typefied
by smootheness and precise timing are called psychomotor skills (R.Gagne
,1985).we learn a lit of motor skills in our early lives;grasping,crawling,walking,
and drawing.these early skills become automatic with enough practice.in later
years,we may choose to acquire other psychomotor skills,such as typing on a
keyboard ,playing tennis,or waterskiing
LEARNING ENTERPRISES. In an effort to develop a type of learning which
reflected capabilities that combine types of learning into more general
expertise,Gagne and Merrill (1990) developed the idea of learning enterprise’A
learning enterprise may be defined as a purpose’A learning enterprise may be
defined as a purposive that may depend for its execution on some combination of
declarative knowledge,inteletual skills ,and cognitive strategies all related by their
involvement in the common goal’(p.25).(we will briefly treat learning enterprises
in chapter 16,along with other approaches to the concern for integration of multiple
goals that generated the idea of learning enterprises.
CONDUCTING AN INFORMATION-PROCESSING ANALYSIS
Whether you are designig a course,unit ,ot lesson,once you have identifield the
learning goal and determine what type of learning outcome it is you will find an
analysis of the goal a useful tool in determining the needed content of that
instruction
We might identify the following eleven steps for someone who know knew how to
complete the goal (an expert)
1. Locate the ERIC thesaurus(a book containing the key words used to classify
matterials that are held in the educational resources information clearinghouse)
2. Determine a related descriptor from the thesaurus
3. Locate the most recent cumulative CIJE(current index of journals in education)
4. Find the descriptor in the CIJE(under which will be listed jurnal article titles
that relate to teh descriptor)
5. Read throught the journal titles and select possible articles
6. Locate and read the absracts of the possible articles
7. Select the most appropriate articles and write down the citations
8. Locate the journal names in the library holdings index and write down the call
numbers of the journals
9. Locate the jornal volumes
10. Locate the articles read them and determine if they are appropriate
11. Photocopy the articles.
EXAMPLES ANALYSES
We have found that information –processing analyses for particular categories of
learning outcomes tend to have some similar characteristics.therefore,we have
included examples of information processing analyses for the major types of
learning outcomes.
DECLARATIVE KNOWLEDGE
Information-procesing analyses for declarative knowledge are in some ways quite
differents form intelectual skills analyses the sequence of applicational of
information is often not so critical un declarative knowledge analyses as with
inetelectual skills.An instructional analysis for this goal might have the following
patern:
1. Recall major periods in music
2. Describe renaissance music characteristics
3. Describe baroque music characteristics
4. Describe classical music characteristics
5. Describe romantic music caracteristics
6. Describe contemporary music characteristics
A graphic representation of the analysis is provided in figure 5.1 you may wish to
review declarative knowledge in chapter 8
CONCEPT LEARNING
Applying a consept typically involves determining whether a particular instance is
an example of that concepts we might find thorught interviews or obeservation that
experts use following information processing procedure:
1. Recall the characteristics of a rhombus.(mant experts do this unconsciously)
2. Determine if the figure is polygon.if yes,contine on the step 3 if no ,go to step 5
3. Determine if the figure is parallelogram.if yes,contine on the step 4 if no ,go to
step 5
4. Determine if the figure’s sides are equal in lenght(the figure is equilateral).if
yes,contine on the step 5 if no ,go to step 5
5. The figure is not a rhombus
Procedures
Learning goals that are prosedures are the easiest goals upon which to conduct an
isntructional analysis generally,aplication of procedures involves these steps:
1. Determine whether a particular prosedure is applicable
2. Recall the steps of the prosedure
3. Apply the steps in orders with decision step if required
4. Confirm that the end result is resonable
The information-processing analysis for such a goal might follow this pattern:
1. Determine if application of the fry readability graph is appropriate to thw
reading materials
2. Recall the steps in the prosedure
3. Select reprentative passages
4. Calculate the number of sentences for each hundred-word passage
5. Determine the number of syllables in each passage
6. Determine the aveerage number of sentences and average number of
syllables
7. The intersection of average number of sentences and average number of
syllables on the graph
8. Read grade level from graph
9. Confirm that value is reasonable(chek answer)
Principles
Applying a principle involves doing the following:
1. Determine which concepts or variables ar involved
2. Determine the principle that relates those concepts or principles
3. Recall the principle
4. Determine which concepts or variables has varied and the direction or
magnitude of its variation
5. Determine which concepts or variables has been affected
6. Then Determine the magnitude and direction of the effect on the affected
conscept or variable
7. Confirm that the value is reasonable
Domain – Specific Problem solving
Information – processinf analyses for domain –specific problem solving
generally include the following major procedural steps:
1. Determine the knowns,the givens
2. Determine the unknowns ,the problem
3. Determine the class of problems to which this problem belongs
4. Determine the relational rules that relate the knowns and unknowns in the
situation
5. Determine the procedural rules thats Determine the application of the
relational rules
6. Apply the procedural rules and the ‘’nested’ relational rules
7. Confirm that the problem is solved ;unknowns are determined
Cognitive strategiesn
The information-processing analysis of a cognitive strategy outcome resembles
that of a problem –solving analysis. Typically the steps in applying a cognitive
startegy involve the followimg:
1. Determine the ‘characteristics and requirements of the learning task
2. Select or invent strategies appropriate for the task
3. Select the optinum strategy
4. Apply strategy
5. Evaluate effectiveness of strategy
6. If effective,continue using strategy if neffective return to first step
Attitudes
Althought Attitudes are seldom a major learning goal,they frequently play an
important role in courses,units,and lessons.information –processing analysis of
atitude objectives has not been researched a great deal. we suggest that such an
analysis include the following:
1. Evaluate the situation and consider possible courses of action
2. Determine which course of action is valued
3. Choose that course of action
4. Perform that course of action
Psychomotor Learning
An information –processing analysis for a Psychomotor task is very similar to
an analysis for a procedural rule it usually involves the following steps:
1. Determine whether a particular Psychomotor action is required (although
this may be automatic)
2. Recall the steps of the procedure(although this may be unconscious)
3. Execute the steps of the Psychomotor procedure in order,with decision step
and consequent action ,if required
4. Confirm that the steps have been correctly applied
EXERCISES
Complete an instructial analysis on one of the following learning goals:
1. Look for a book on a certain topic in the library
2. Change the oil in a car
3. Find the average of five numbers
CONDUCTING A PREREQUISITE ANALYSIS
Once you have decomposed the learning goal into its information –processing
tasks ,you have made much progress in determining what the content of the
instruction must be.
Example Prerequisite Analysis :Locating journal articles on a topic
Let’s trace the process of prerequisite analysis by using the first step of
information processing from the previous library examples.for the task of
locating journal articles on the topic ‘instruction’given the resources of a
college or university library we determined the first stop to be as follows:
1. Locate the ERIC thesaurus .if we were to conduct a prerequisite analysis
on this first step,we would find that to locate the ERIC thesaurus ,the
learner must do the following
a. Knows what ERIC means and its purpose
b. Knows what a thesaurus is and its purpose
c. Knows what an ERIC thesaurus looks like and where to locate it
d. Knows what the term refence means with regard to library usage
e. Be able to locate reference books in the library
We might break down any of these prerequisites into its prerequisites.for
example the step know what a thesaurus is and its purpose requires what
the learner understand to the consept synonym we would examine other
prerequisites for step 1 to see if we could identify any additional
prerequisites.when finished step 1 might look like this:
Examples Prerequisite Analysis for the consept’ Rhombus’
Recall the characteristics of rhombus .(mant experts do this unconsiuly
a. List the four major attributes of rhombus (polygon,parallelogram
,equilaterial sides and oblique angles)
WRITING LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Now that you have identifield the prerequisites for a learning goal and have
begun to think about what type of learning each prerequisite represents
,you are ready to convert each of these prerequisite statement and the goal
statement into more precise,concrete and spesific terms you will be
converting prerequisite statements and the goal statements into learning
objectives.
How to Write Learning Objectives
Objectives can be written at the lesson level the course level or various
intermidiate levels such as units blocks or chapters we will demonstrate
how to write the simplest form theree component objectives as first
described by robert mager (1962) there component ojectives are verbal
statements of learning outcomes that include three parts:
 A description of the terminal behavior or actions that will
demonstrate learning
 A description of the conditions of demonstration of that action
 A description of the standard or criterion
EXAMPLES OF LEARNING OBJECTIVES
FOR VARIOUS LEARNING OUTCOMES
In the following section we have included a discussion and examples
of objective for each of the major categories of learning outcomes
Declarative Knowledge
Declarative knowledge objectives need to reflect whether learning will
be recognition (choosing from options) or recall verbatim or
paraphrased amd listed or summarized.
Concepts
Concepts objectives should reflect the learner ability to classify and
label ideas,object and events as examples /nonexamples of a concept
Principles
Principles objectives should reflect the intention that learner can use
the Principles to predict,explain,or control something,the objective
may require that learners explain their application of the Principle