Content Analysis: Better and Faster—With POST-ITS™
Key to any content analysis is identifying all the necessary and sufficient knowledge, skills and attitudes needed by a trainee to perform on the job.
Content analysis should start with determining which kind of analysis is appropriate for a given training situation. If teaching topics have dependencies involving prerequisite learning, hierarchical analysis should be used. When teaching how to use a software program or how to operate something where people push buttons and recognize cues, procedural task analysis is a better choice. When teaching people to comprehend and use an idea (rather than a task), concept analysis should be used. There are many techniques for breaking content into usable chunks for teaching and learning. Using an appropriate technique based on the kind of learning undertaken will both speed the process and make it better in terms of identifying all the right content. (See Jonassen, D.H., Tessmer, M., & Hannum, W.H. (1999). Task analysis methods for instructional design)
One technique for aiding content analysis is to use post-it notes for displaying and sorting content. A separate task or topic is written on each note. The notes can then be arranged and rearranged in different combinations to discover how the topics and tasks are interrelated. Additions and deletions can be quickly and easily made. It is also a fast and fun way to do a task analysis with content experts.
These suggestions for making content analysis faster/better/easier can help. However remember due to the relative importance of content analysis, be sure to devote considerable time and effort to ensure all the necessary and sufficient content needed for acceptable learner performance on the job has been identified.
Until next time,
Article © 2005 Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.