Content Analysis: Better and Faster—With POST-ITs

About DSA

Darryl L. Sink and Associates, Inc. (DSA) helps organizations design and develop learning and performance solutions that get results. DSA works cooperatively with organizations to:

  • accomplish internal custom projects
  • train and educate their internal staff in Instructional Systems Development.

Check out DSA presenters and Consultants at

DSA Tips Newsletter Archive

If you haven’t visited the tips archives lately, check it out –

Darryl’s tips are now conveniently organized not only by published date, but by these topics:

  • Project Management
  • Front End Analysis
  • Design Strategies
  • Instructional Strategies/Techniques
  • Measurement/Evaluation
  • Implementation
  • Professional Development
  • Coaching with DSA Tips

We have lots of great ideas just waiting for you to use!

Tap into DSA’s expertise and experience!

Call me at 831-649-8384 or email me at

Bring our expert presenters on-site with a workshop from DSA. Click here for details. Call or E-mail Jane Sink to help you decide which workshops are right for your group.

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/tasks have dependencies involving prerequisite learning, hierarchical task 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.

See you next time,