Task Analysis and Instructional Objectives

Planning for learning is an essential part of any teacher’s job. This planning is even more important when planning for online delivery. This stage should consider everything related to the delivery of instruction. That includes the learners, training material, the actual learning environment and the content to be taught. As such the planning phase will have these stages all geared towards identifying the learning
objective: Needs assessment, Learner analysis and Task analysis


In this post, I will focus on the task analysis and why it is important.

The tasks analysis identifies the essential content for the online training and the sequence of that content (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015). Most importantly all essential content must be linked to learning objectives. This is the check to verify that content is not just nice to have but necessary. This is important for online learning as the goal is to reduce the unnecessary information to balance the content with the limited time available for learners to interact with learning activities (Simonson et al., 2015).

With this knowledge in mind, I created a learning matrix in preparation for an online orientation to prepare learners for a course in Inventory Management with SAP. Before embarking on the task analysis, time was spent identifying the tools which will be covered in the orientation. The next step in the creation of the online course is to use this task analysis to design the learning material for the course and set up the learning environment.

Task Analysis and Instructional Objectives Matrix


Cho, M. H. (2012). Online student orientation in higher education: a developmental study. Educational Technology Research and Development,60(6), 1051-1069

Hartsell, T., & Yuen, S. (2006). Video streaming in online learning. AACE Journal, 41(3), pp. 31-43.

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2013). Designing effective instruction (7th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Scagnoli, N. I. (2001). Student orientations for online programs. Journal of Research on Technology in Education34(1), 19-27.Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (2007). Interactive multimodal learning environments. Educational Psychology Review, 19(3), 309–326.

Shelton, K., & Saltsman, G. (2004). Tips and tricks for teaching online: How to teach like a pro. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning1(10), 53-64.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.). Information Age Publishing, Inc.


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