When Your Content Resembles Spaghetti
Last week I was given seven PowerPoint slide decks to transform into meaningful content that adult humans could comprehend and use. Although the slides were reasonably well-organized, the content was difficult for a layperson like myself to understand.
There were unfamiliar concepts and new terms. There were twists and turns, like a good drama, only this wasn’t a screenplay. And there were confusing redundancies—the same thing being covered in multiple places.
Should I have a panic attack?
Although I considered having a panic attack, I decided against it. Particularly because I know how to do an instructional analysis, which is a way to identify the skills and knowledge that are required to reach a learning goal.
Sometimes a simple content outline will do. But when content is complex and difficult to understand, I find an instructional analysis helps me clarify the content and understand how to organize it—whether it’s for a course, performance support or something people can just learn on their own.
Video: How to Do an Instructional Analysis
Then I thought about you and decided to create a video showing how to perform an instructional analysis for a procedure or process, in case you’re not familiar with this approach. It’s based on the Dick and Carey model (see reference below). If you don’t have this method in your toolbox, watch the video. It could come in handy for many situations.
Secret: Performing an instructional analysis is one of the key ways an instructional designer can learn to work with any type of content without being a subject matter expert.
For more types of analysis you might need to perform, see Analysis for eLearning.
Let me know how you like the video or what I can do to make it better. Please leave your comments and questions below.
Walter Dick and Lou Carey, The Systematic Design of Instruction.
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