Task Analysis

Description of the Approach
The Task Analysis Model focuses on "identifying essential content and skills, which are determined by analyzing the tasks necessary for school learning or some real world task" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009, p. 217). Ornstein and Hunkins (2009) identify two distinct types of task analysis: subject matter analysis and learning analysis (p. 218). In subject matter analysis teachers seek to identify what knowledge is most important for students to acquire; in learning analysis, teachers seek to identify activities that will encourage mastery of the content. Norton (1993) stresses the importance of also recognizing nonessential parts of the curriculum (the irrelevant and archaic) so that they may be omitted.

Process Steps in Task Analysis According to Jonasson and Hannum (Module 7):
1. Inventorying tasks
2. Describing tasks
3. Selecting tasks
4. Sequencing tasks and task components
5. Analyzing task and content levels

Main Researchers
Jonassen, Tessmer, and Hannum

Information Resources
Harden, R.M. (n.d.) Curriculum planning and development. Retrieved from http://meds.queensu.ca
Module 7: Content analysis and task analysis. Retrieved from http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/edit573/modules/module7.html
Norton, R.E. (1993). Improving training quality by avoiding the "What Errors" of curriculum development. Retrieved from
Ornstein, A.C. & Hunkins, F.P. (2009). Curriculum: Foundations, principles, and issues (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Strategies for Implementation
Those who wish to implement the Task Analysis Model should consider creating Master Design Charts (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009) for each department. Such charts allow teachers to note particular areas of importance in terms of content and skills and how much emphasis should be placed on each area. For learning analysts, instructional activities are also included. Though curriculum experts may be consulted, it is suggested that teachers, who are indeed the experts when it comes to what they teach, be allowed to guide the curriculum design.

By: Susan Hall