Instructional Designers: Remember These Factors When Prioritizing Tasks
When I develop training, I always focus on making it task-based because I believe that if you’re not learning how to do something it’s not training, it’s a presentation. To make my content task-based, I follow a process I’ve outlined before (How to Do a Task Analysis Like a Pro) to conduct a task analysis. But I’ve had several community members ask me: What happens next? How do you prioritize the tasks you’ve outlined in your task analysis?
How you prioritize your tasks is going to depend on several factors. Let’s have a look at those factors and why they matter. And keep in mind, these factors are all subjective, and opinions for these will vary from one person to the next.
Factor #1: Task Importance
First, you want to consider the importance or significance of the task. The more critical the task, the higher it will go on your list of priorities. Importance or criticality of tasks is probably the most important factor to consider when you’re looking at prioritizing all of your tasks.
Factor #2: Task Frequence
How often is the task performed? If rarely, do you think learners are more or less likely to need training for it? If you guessed “more likely,” then you’re right, and those tasks should move up the list in terms of priority.
Factor #3: Task Difficulty
You’re also going to want to consider how difficult the task is to learn. If more difficult, it should be moved up in terms of priority and how much emphasis you put on it. If it’s a very easy and straightforward task, you can spend less time focused on it.
Factor #4: Learner Experience
Something else to consider is how much experience the learners have with the tasks. If they have been doing a task day in and day out for a long time, its training priority will decrease, since the learners already know how to perform the task. Keep in mind that when you’re thinking of learner experience, you should also consider whether they have done similar tasks.
Next time you have a training project, look at your list of tasks and remember to assess where they fit in for each of the factors listed above. Hopefully these will help you prioritize those tasks in a way that makes sense for you and your learners. Do you have tips of your own about doing a task analysis or how to prioritize them? What tricks do you like to use? Let me know in the comments below.
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