Front End Analysis

Front End Analysis
(Needs Assessment & Learner Analysis)
EDU 553 – Principles of
Instructional Design
Dr. Steve Broskoske
Review of remote activities.
What is front-end analysis?
Needs assessment.
Learner (audience) analysis.
Review of Remote Activities
• Thoughts/ideas/what you learned
– Design positive emotion into your
– Designing for emotion.
– Reducing cognitive load.
What Is Front-end Analysis?
• Essential part of systematic
design of instruction.
– Impacts all aspects of
instruction (approaches, media,
assessment, level and type of
language, examples, overall
look and feel of instruction).
– Makes for more effective
– Allows you to “sell” your
proposal for instructional
Instructional Design Process
Needs assessment.
Learner analysis.
Task analysis.
Objective formulation.
Method and activity selection.
Needs Assessment
Needs Assessment
• The systematic design of instruction
begins by conducting a detailed analysis
of the instructional needs of a particular
• Should be an objective evaluation of the
performance deficiencies of a target
• Culminates in a needs assessment report
(contained in the high-level design
Performance Deficiencies
• A performance deficiency exists when a
learner lacks a skill that is necessary to
perform a task.
– Learner’s background or initial instruction is
– Changes occur after a learner has received
– Changes in equipment, methods, standards,
or content can require new abilities for which
the learner has not been instructed.
Purpose of Needs Assessment
• Identifies what problems are affecting
• Prioritizes critically needed interventions.
• Provides a baseline to assess
effectiveness of instruction (“Here’s where
we started.”).
About Needs
• Needs: Gap between expected and
existing conditions.
– Normative needs: Against national standard.
– Comparative needs: Against similar
– Felt needs: Desire of target audience to
– Expressed need: Felt need turned to action.
– Anticipated needs
– Critical incident needs
Types of Needs Assessment
Discrepancy Analysis
• desired performance: Being by describing the
desired performance in as much detail as
possible, making clear exactly what the learner
should be able to do.
• current performance: Next, describe exactly
what the learner is able to do now. Try to point
out weakness and missing capabilities. Your
description may also describe confusions or
inappropriate behaviors.
Types of Needs Assessment
Input – Output Analysis
• input: Describe exactly what sort of
training and preparation learners are
provided now in terms of teaching them
the desired performance.
• output: Describe the learners’ current
performance (i.e., exactly what the
learners are able to do now as a result of
the training provided to them).
Types of Needs Assessment
Cost – Benefit Analysis
• cost: Describe exactly what is presently invested
in training learners to realize the desired level of
– Amount of instructor time, learner time, and facilities
time invested.
– Quantity of materials consumed.
– Nature of facilities required.
– Other investments/costs involved in providing the
present training.
• benefits: Describe exactly what the learners are
able to do in terms of the desired performance
as a result of their present training.
Steps in a Needs Assessment
1. Define the scope of the work.
– Problem identification
2. Implement strategies for gathering
Focus groups
Existing data reviews
Steps in a Needs Assessment
3. Implement strategies for quality assurance.
Performance checks
4. Identify assumptions.
Existing relevant conditions
5. Schedule the analysis tasks.
Process steps
Time allocations
Steps in a Needs Assessment
6. Report the results.
– Overview
– Needs matrix (immediate, one year, five
– Data gathered
– Inferences
– Recommendations
– Instructional goals/objectives
Strategies for Collecting Data
Inside Organization
Analyze performance measures. Compare to desired
performance ratings.
Talk with teachers/trainers and appropriate staff to
gather impressions of the status quo.
Talk with former students concerning what they feel
they got or should have gotten out of training.
Seek recommendations from administrators
(management) or examine requests from them for
Examine organizational records for data to support
the benefit of improved training.
Academic: GPA’s and college admissions, higher graduation
rates, better discipline.
Business: Higher production and sales records, higher
graduation rates, improved safety records.
Strategies for Collecting Data
Outside Organization
Interview instructional staff at other
comparable organizations and ask them to
rate the effectiveness of instructional
techniques they are using.
Identify appropriate instructional materials
and approaches used by other organizations
and determine how well you think they would
fulfill your organization’s needs.
Survey present practices and identify needs
that professionals in the field recognize.
Compare with existing standards.
Deeper Analysis for a Company
• Identify which needs can benefit from an
instructional intervention, and which needs
require other types of intervention.
System discrepancies.
Management discrepancies.
Motivational discrepancies.
Environmental discrepancies.
Interpersonal discrepancies.
Health discrepancies.
Skill and knowledge discrepancies.
Needs other
Can benefit
from training.
Needs Assessment Report
• Needs assessment report: The final
product of the needs assessment.
• Goal: Present and analyze the collected
data in a clear and focused manner, so
that evaluations of present instruction and
recommendations for future instruction are
readily apparent.
Needs Assessment Report
• The report should:
– Review the data collected in order to:
• Evaluate existing instruction.
• Prioritize topics for future instructional
– Describe changes and problems that are
suggested by the analysis.
– Discuss any discrepancies uncovered by the
follow-up activities.
Putting It All Together:
Needs Assessment Report
• Perform a needs analysis in order to justify
training needs and to sell your training
– Describe the need for training (the “problem”).
– Choose an analysis strategy:
• Discrepancy, input-output, cost-benefit analysis.
– Research and present data:
• Test scores, results of a survey, institutional
records, comparative data.
What topic will you teach?
• Remember for the final project:
1. High-level design for an instructional
2. Computer-based training stand-alone
PowerPoint designed for remedial, practice,
or advanced student (individual or group)
What topic will you teach?
• Topic should be…
– Definable.
– Narrow in focus.
– Task/procedure that can be taught.
Needs Assessment
• What is the current and desired
• What can you say about this situation?
– How will training help?
– How badly is training needed?
• Choose an analysis strategy:
– Discrepancy, input-output, cost-benefit
• How can you justify the investment in
Learner (Audience) Analysis
Learner (Audience) Analysis
• Conducting a learner analysis is an
essential part of designing instruction.
Learner (Audience) Analysis
• Products of the learner analysis affect all
aspects of instruction.
– Objectives must be made realistic and
compatible with the entry skills of the learners.
– Content and starting point of instruction
depend on what the learners already know.
– Learner characteristics determine the media
and method of instruction used in the product.
Answers Two Questions
In conducting a learner analysis, ask the
following questions:
1. For whom is the instruction created?
2. What are the implications?
• Learner analysis is used to identify:
– Range of possible solutions.
– Relative budgets for solutions.
– Possible constraints.
Steps in Learner Analysis
1. Analyze previous performance and
existing performance.
2. Interview associates regarding learner
expertise (if in a company).
3. Consult subject matter experts.
4. Seek input from potential learners.
5. Examine previous efforts at instruction.
How to Report Learner Analysis
• General Description
– Discuss characteristics such as age,
educational level, achievement, rank, grade
level, etc.
– Intention: To provide a general description of
the characteristics of the learners.
• You will ultimately use this information to make
decisions about aspects of the educational
How to Report Learner Analysis
• Strengths
– Describe those characteristics of the learners
that might be viewed as enablers, or
characteristics that may help them to learn the
material under study.
– Strengths may include items such as:
Previous pieces of knowledge.
Previous performances in learning.
Ways that learners were selected.
Attitudes or habits of the learners.
How to Report Learner Analysis
• Weaknesses
– Discuss the characteristics of the learners that might
be viewed as dis-enablers, or characteristics that
impede their learning the material under study.
• Areas of Potential Difficulty
– Describe the particular areas of the material under
study that learners with these general characteristics
and strengths and weaknesses may have particular
trouble with.
In effect, you are considering where learners’
strengths and weaknesses interact with the
material under study.
How to Report Learner Analysis
• Potential Strategies
– Present a list of strategies that you propose to
use to:
• Take advantage of the learners’ strengths.
• To minimize their weaknesses.
• To resolve areas of potential difficulty.
Don’t forget about brain research and how you can
incorporate that into your design document.
Some Learner Characteristics
• Basic demographics of learners:
age and maturity
attention span
demographic/social economic status
cultural focus
perceptual abilities (ability to grasp new learning)
culturally diverse learners
learners with special needs
Some Learner Characteristics
• Existing knowledge or skills in subject
– previous experiences in subject content
– existing conceptual knowledge
– misconceptions that need to be unlearned
– entry skills that may interfere with acquisition
of new skills
Some Learner Characteristics
• Attitudes toward instructional content:
– positive/negative attitudes toward entire
– positive/negative attitudes toward parts of
– motivation
Some Learner Characteristics
• Language:
– language levels
• reading level, comprehension level, expressive
language skills
– language preferences
• style, vocabulary (including jargon), sentence
types, length of sentences and paragraphs
Some Learner Characteristics
• Learning skills
– note taking, outlining, memorizing, test taking
• Learning preferences
– media choices, mode preferences (self-instruction, small group,
• Learning style(s)
– convergers: abstract conceptualization and active
– divergers: concrete experience and reflective observation
– assimilators: abstract conceptualization and reflective
– accommodators: concrete experience and active
Adult Learners
Highly motivated
Need to see the benefit
Time is a factor
Instructor must be competent
Work experience
Self-directed and independent
Want to participate in class decision making
Less flexible in changing habits
Cooperative work can be more successful
Putting It All Together:
Learner Analysis
Define your audience.
Describe the characteristics of audience.
Describe strengths.
Describe weaknesses.
List areas of potential difficulty.
Ultimately, what does this mean for training?
Learner analysis should have implications for
training (methods, approaches, examples,
motivation, etc.).
Learner Analysis
• Who will your audience be?
• What are the characteristics of your
• What are their strengths?
• What are their weaknesses?
• What are the areas of potential difficulty
for these learners?
Learner Analysis
• What strategies do you propose to use to:
– Take advantage of the learners’ strengths?
– To minimize their weaknesses?
– To resolve areas of potential difficulty?
• Importance of front-end analysis.
• Needs assessment.
• Learner (audience analysis).
Review: Needs Assessment Report
• Report should:
– Review the data collected in order to:
• Evaluate existing instruction.
• Prioritize topics for future instructional
– Describe changes and problems that are
suggested by the analysis.
– Discuss any discrepancies uncovered by the
follow-up activities.
Review: Learner Analysis Report
General Description
Areas of Potential Difficulty
Potential Strategies
Next Steps
• Select a topic to teach (if you have not already
done so).
• Start preparing the front-end analysis:
– Needs assessment.
– Learner (audience) analysis.
• Reminder: Final project information.
– High-level design for an instructional module.
– Computer-based training stand-alone PowerPoint
designed for remedial, practice, or advanced student
(individual or group) work.

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