Before starting any new eLearning project we recommend that project managers and instructional designers perform basic analysis spanning 4 core project areas: Learner, Technology, Needs, and Tasks. These areas have unique characteristics and following is a high level overview of each. elearning project analysis
1. Learner Analysis
Learner analysis is crucial for determining a number of different factors, all related to the learners who will be the end-users. This can include things such as demographics, characteristics that determine audience cognition (like education level), work responsibilities, and job roles. By analyzing the audience, designers are able to not only identify groups of people taking part in the program, but can also cater to those groups using design, content creation, and content organization.
Audience analysis can be accomplished in a couple of different ways, but they primarily center on interviewing different people, including HR, individuals within the audience group, and supervisors. Field research can also be invaluable.
2. Technical Analysis
Technical analysis is an essential consideration for any eLearning project, particularly considering the widespread number of different device types in use today. This type of analysis will study the various types of technology on which the course will be displayed. Will the audience use primarily desktop computers? What about tablets? Will smartphones be used? Will the content be stored on a local server? Individual hard drives? Will it be accessed via the cloud? What type of capabilities do the devices have in terms of audio and video? This bleeds over into an environment analysis, as well – where will the employees be conducting their training? Will it be through headphones as they listen to a podcast? Will it be conducted in a group setting?
A technical analysis is best conducted with the help of the IT department or project manager, although it can also be helpful to interview audience members concerning their preferences, particularly considering the number of learners who prefer to engage in remote study.
3. Needs Analysis
Needs analysis is one of the most common types of assessments performed in just about any instructional design endeavor, and it provides the information needed to create the core of the course. A needs analysis can help define the gap between what your learners currently know and where they need to be when the course is completed. Not only will this help to identify skills and knowledge that is crucial to particular job roles (and which might be missing), but it can be invaluable for determining attitudes and issues within the organization that might affect the creation of the course. For a needs analysis, it’s best to consult with managers and specific audience members, as well as HR and IT staff, and other stakeholders.
4. Task Analysis
Task analysis helps designers create content that’s more applicable to specific job roles. By understanding the tasks inherent with each role, designers are able to create course content that speaks directly to individual needs, experiences, and daily routines. To analyze tasks, it is important to interview specific individuals in the audience (to obtain information about the tasks related to each type of position or role in the organization). It can also be important to investigate corporate training material, to conduct research into the field in general, and any documentation about specific job roles within the business.
With the right analysis techniques, creating the ideal course and content for individual organizations and even specific types of learners need not be a challenge.
From eLearning.net: 10 Step eLearning Development Process Overview