Analysis is an essential part of any instructional design project. It defines the purpose and focus of the training effort and sets project goals, objectives and limitations. There are multiple types of analysis performed at every stage of instructional design, but job and task analysis are central tools used by most instructional designer and curriculum specialists in the development of an instructional element.
In general, the scope and purpose for the analysis define the difference between a job and a task analysis. The methods used for these types of analyses are very similar since both methods examine what is needed for success.
A Job Analysis develops an occupational profile that includes all skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to succeed at a specific occupation. A job analysis is useful in the development of a large instructional unit such as a certificate program, degree plan or an extensive training program. Due to the extent of the analysis, results often include foundational content analysis and attitudinal requirements as wells as procedural or skills-based knowledge sets.
A Task Analysis examines a specific skill, content set or attitude required to complete a defined task. Once a job analysis is complete, task analysis can refine the results of that analysis, or analysis may begin with a task analysis if the training program is limited to procedural or basic contextual knowledge sets. Task analysis is less likely to include foundational content analysis or attitudinal requirements. The results often form the basis for job aids, or other instructional elements summarizing a procedure.
The linked examples in this section include a job analysis for claim examiners and a task analysis for the selection of cost categories in a software product.