Chapter 2: Identifying Instructional Goals Using Front-End Analysis

Here are the thing I highlighted when I read the chapter 2:
“The instructional goals established by SMEs often contain words such as know and understand with regard to content information. This approach to the teaching–learning process assumes that students need to learn what the SME knows, and emphasizes the communication of information from instructor to student in the instructional process.” (p.16)

“Another danger is assuming that new instruction or more instruction will solve the problem when, in fact, the problem may be because of lack of accountability, lack of incentives, outdated tools, organizational culture, or some other factor.” (p. 16)

Is instruction the right solution to the problem?

“Instructional designers favor a fourth approach, performance technology, in which instructional goals are set in response to problems or opportunities within an organization. This is also referred to as human performance technology and performance improvement.” (p.16)

“The model we use throughout this text is to guide the design, development, and revision of instruction. It has long been accepted that careful analysis is absolutely critical prior to initiating the design of instruction. This analytical work is sometimes referred to as front-end analysis, and typically includes performance analysis, needs assessment, and in some cases job analysis.” (p.17)

“An important consideration in selecting a solution is cost, and instruction is often one of the more expensive alternative solutions. Experience has shown that under careful analysis, many organizational problems that previously were addressed by training are now solved via multicomponent solutions that may or may not include training.” (p.21)

“The logic of needs assessment can be summarized as a simple equation:
Desired status – Actual status = Need
Needs assessment is sometimes called discrepancy analysis. The discrepancy is the observed difference between the desired status and the actual status.” (p.23)

“Careful descriptions of both desired and actual status are required, because a gap or need is defined as a comparison between the two.” (p. 23)

“If performance analysis indicates that training is one of the best solutions for a performance problem, then needs assessment is used again, and is called training needs assessment or learning needs assessment, and results in instructional goals for beginning an instructional design project.”(p. 23)

“Needs assessment is a critical component of the total design process. Trainers and educators must be aware that the creation of unnecessary instruction has a tremendous cost in dollars and encourages detrimental attitudes in students involved in pointless learning activities and managers paying for training that does not solve problems.” (p. 24)

“An important component of front-end analysis is job analysis, or the process of gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing descriptions of what people do in their jobs.”(p. 24)

“In summary, instructional goals are ideally derived through a process of performance analysis that establishes rather broad indications of a problem that can be solved by providing instruction.” (p.25)

“A fuzzy goal is generally some abstract statement about an internal state of the learner, such as appreciating, having an awareness of, and sensing. These kinds of terms often appear in goal statements, but the designer does not know what they mean because there is no indication of what learners would be doing if they achieved this goal.”  (p.26)

“To analyze a vague goal, first write it down. Then indicate the things people could do to demonstrate that they had achieved that goal or what they would be doing if they were performing the goal.” (p.26)

“Whereas the most important aspect of an instructional goal is the description of what learners will be able to do, that description is not complete without an indication of (1) who the learners are, (2) the context in which they will use the skills, and (3) the tools that will be available.” (p. 26)

“Likewise, from the very beginning, a project designer must be clear about the context in which the skills will be used and whether any aids or tools will be available. We refer to this as the performance context.” (p. 26)

“A complete goal statement should describe the following:

  • The learners
  • What learners will be able to do in the performance context
  • The performance context in which the skills will be applied
  • The tools that will be available to the learners in the performance context” (p.27)

“Any selection of instructional goals must be done in terms of the following three concerns:

  1. Will the development of this instruction solve the problem that led to the need for it?
  2. Are these goals acceptable to those who must approve this instructional development effort?
  3. Are there sufficient resources to complete the development of instruction for this goal?” (p.27)


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Foundations of Instructional Design by Rebecca J. Hogue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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