Roberta Dombrowski, Cara North, and the Purpose of Task Analysis

July 17, 2019

“Task analysis for instructional design is a process of analyzing and articulating the kind of learning that you expect the learners to know how to perform” (Jonassen, Tessmer, & Hannum, 1999, p.3).

And in this TLDCast, we had two task analysis experts discussing real application.

Hosted by Cara North, our guest was Roberta Dombrowski, an award-winning learning designer with over ten years of experience designing and delivering user-centered digital learning experiences. Roberta is currently a Product Manager for Role IQ at Pluralsight, where she brings her expertise in workplace assessments to empower learner’s technology skill development through the measurement and skilling up within a role. Roberta holds a MS in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning with Boise State University and was a 30 under 30 award recipient at Elliott Masie’s Learning 2018 conference.

Task analysis is the process of learning about ordinary users by observing them in action to understand in detail how they perform their tasks and achieve their intended goals.

According to the Instructional Design Knowledge Base, Instructional designers perform a task analysis in order to:

  • determine the instructional goals and objectives;
  • define and describe in detail the tasks and sub-tasks that the student will perform;
  • specify the knowledge type (declarative, structural, and procedural knowledge) that characterize a job or task;
  • select learning outcomes that are appropriate for instructional development;
  • prioritize and sequence tasks;
  • determine instructional activities and strategies that foster learning;
  • select appropriate media and learning environments;
  • construct performance assessments and evaluation (Jonassen et al., 1999).

So in this episode, Roberta takes us through a task analysis scenario she constructed for the Idaho Humane Society.

She also discusses:

  • Being on Eliott Masie’s 30 under 30 group
  • that Learning leadership can happen at any age
  • Her very positive experiences at Boise State University
  • The “New School” of task analysis (via an actual project from the Idaho Humane Society)
  • Building a mobile app for performance support
  • The overlap of UX, product, and learning
  • and lots more!

Check out the recording below to learn more!


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By Luis Malbas

Founder, Wrangler, Floating Tool Bar of all things TLDC.

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