Instructional design/Content prioritization

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About This Learning Experience[edit]

The goal of this training session is to help you understand why it is important to prioritize some learning content over other content in order to deliver concise and relevant instruction. By prioritizing your content your instruction will be focused and more relevant and interesting for the trainee.

This instructional experience will use analysis instruments and job aids as the primary instructional tools for the learning experience. The course will also provide hyperlinks that you can use to find additional information. When viewing analysis instruments, information sheets, or job aids use your browser print function to print. Use your browser Back button to return to this training session.

Introduction[edit]

Background
Have you ever taken a training course where you were unhappy with the experience? If so, ask yourself what you were unhappy with? Chances are your reasons may include one or more of the following:

  • The training was too long (or longer than advertised). If the course is listed in a course catalog as being a one hour course and it took you 4 hours to complete, you are going to be unhappy. If it is work-related and you are charging your time to overhead, your boss is going to be unhappy.
  • The training lacked focus and seemed to jump from one topic or idea to another. Most people find this confusing and frustrating and end up being unhappy with the training.
  • Too much of the course content seemed trivial or not really very important. Adults consider their time to be valuable and don’t like it when they perceive something to be wasting their time. Result: Unhappy trainees.
  • The training contained so much information that you didn’t know where to focus your efforts. Result: cognitive overload which results in frustration and unhappy students.

We could keep going, but I am sure you get the idea. To prevent the above scenarios from occurring for training you design and develop be sure to include content prioritization during the analysis and design phases. If this step is accomplished your training will be properly focused and timed to meet the student’s needs and expectations.

Discussion
Many instructional designers follow the maxim “more is better” when selecting content for inclusion in an instructional event. By following this maxim, the designer often overloads the learner with information that they don't need which impedes learning. Instead, it is better for the savy designer to narrow the scope of instruction by including less content, which in turn allows for more detailed instruction and deeper understanding.

This learning experience provides you with a process that you will use to identify and prioritize content for developing instruction. The process can be a part of either the Analysis phase or the Design phase of the ADDIE model of instructional systems design depending on how you structure the ADDIE events. This process will typically involve the following steps, which are also illustrated in Figure 1.

  1. Clarify the Goal Statement for the training
  2. Generate a list of content using the Task Analysis
  3. Select a prioritization Model to use
  4. Prioritize the content.

Prioritization Process Chart.png

Your Learning Objectives for this training[edit]

Upon completion of this training module you will be able to:

  1. Identify three content prioritization models, select the one that is most appropriate for your context, and describe its use.
  2. Use a Task Analysis Work Sheet as an aid when accomplishing content prioritization.
  3. Describe the use and application for a Content Prioritization Job Aid.
  4. Select content appropriate for inclusion in a training module.

Overview[edit]

Content prioritization is the instructional practice where you, the instructional designer, identify and select only the content that is most valuable to the student, and eliminate content that is not of the highest importance. By selecting and presenting only content that is of the highest importance the student can focus learning on the important content which enables deeper learning of the material. Once students understand the important parts of the instruction, they can explore new and additional areas as they choose.

This course consists of the topics listed below. It is recommended that you complete the training in the order provided. If you are already familiar with a topic, you may choose to skip a topic and go go directly to another.


  1. The Task Analysis
  2. Prioritizing Content
  3. Current, Similar, Subtask (CSS) and Criticality, Difficulty, Frequency (CDF) Models
  4. Using the All Critical Learning (ACL) Model
  5. Content Prioritization for Standards-based Education


References[edit]

Click here for a list of additional information.


Navigation[edit]

Click "Back" to go to the Instructional Design home page
Click "Next" to go to the Task Analysis topic page

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