Instructional Design Project

Design Project Guidelines

Phase 1: Needs, Task & Learner Analysis


Before launching into the design document project, spend some time brainstorming and thinking about possible options you’d like to do. As you’ll recall from the course text, an effective instructional design first begins with determining whether there is a need for instruction. Begin by considering questions such as

  • What problems have I observed or heard about while working here (e.g., business, school)?
  • Are these problems learning-related?
  • Which of these problems seem more pressing than others?
  • Which problems draw my interest? Why?

After doing some preliminary brainstorming, then compare the results of that to the general criteria for this project (below) and decide on the learning-related problem that you think offers the most potential in terms of doing the major design project for this course.

General Criteria for the Design Project

  • It must be instructional in nature – i.e., it must teach/train on some content
  • It be large enough in scope to be worthy of using as a possible candidate for the capstone project
  • It must have a strong technology-based component. This would be in addition to any sort of paper-based materials (manuals, handouts, job aids) that you may need to create
  • It must identify a learning-related problem

Content Requirements

Once you have identified a learning-related problem, it’s time to move on to building the foundational elements of your instructional design document, namely, the Needs, Learner and Task Analysis. Develop your analysis by including the elements outlined below.

  • Needs Analysis: use the questions on p. 63 to develop your needs analysis (e.g., “What problem exists or what change is being requested?”)
  • Learner Analysis: use the questions on p.95 to develop your learner analysis (e.g., “Who is the intended audience for the instruction? …”)
  • Task Analysis: use the four questions on p.74 to inform or develop your task analysis (e.g., “What is the task … What are the key components? …”)
  • Supporting Data: your analysis should use and incorporate real data that provides support for the existence of the problem you’re addressing (e.g., annual reports, surveys, interviews). In order to reduce the length of your document, you can attach your supporting data as appendices and then refer to it in the body of your document (e.g., “85% of staff in this department have not achieved satisfactory scores on their certification exams for the last three years (See Appendix A).”)