Learner/Context Analysis

" Objectively Speaking"

Instructional Design Document



     In order to supplement the instructional designer’s personal knowledge, experience, and observations derived from teaching Inquiry into Teaching and Learning (Inquiry II) for seven semesters and from employment with the public schools, two brief surveys were developed. One was sent to five other Inquiry II instructors, with three (i.e., 60%) responding; the other was distributed in the two Inquiry classes I teach. Twenty-five (25) out of the 32 students (i.e., 78.13%) completed and returned their surveys. In conducting the Learner and Context Analysis, student surveys were given greater consideration than those completed by the instructors, since the former directly reflect the perceptions and attitudes of the immediate target learning population.


Learner and Context Analysis



Data Source



Entry Behaviors


Learners have mastered entry behaviors (e.g., reading, writing, college-level vocabulary, recognizing parts of a lesson plan.)  No remedial component is required in the design of the instruction on objective-writing. 
Prior Knowledge

Student & instructor surveys; interaction with students; observation

Prior knowledge re writing good instructional objectives ranges from none to a lot, with most learners in the a little and some categories. Instruction needs to start with the fundamentals, to prevent gaps in skill development, while also maintaining interest of more knowledgeable students. These learners may be able to assist their “novice” peers.

Student & instructor surveys

Most students recognize the importance of lesson plans. Feelings range from inadequacy and nervousness to feeling comfortable and enthusiastic about writing them. Perception of tedium and curtailment of creativity are potential hindrances. Instruction should be clear, straightforward, supportive, and interesting to alleviate learner concerns and reinforce positive attitudes. Build in “scaffolding” in the sequencing of instruction to assist less knowledgeable students. Group work may be helpful.

Student & instructor surveys; observation

Most are motivated to learn skill of writing good objectives   Instruction should be designed to capitalize on student motivation and keep interest high (e.g., tying examples to real-life scenarios, and keeping the pace fairly lively).
and Ability 

Observation of performance; student & instructor surveys

Learners have been exposed  to a variety of approaches and are functioning at an early college level. A few students need help expressing themselves clearly (e.g., word choice, sentence structure) Any number of techniques and strategies could be used to present the instruction, which needs to be clear and explicit.  Group work may be helpful so that students can share skills and experience.
Learning Preferences


Student & instructor surveys; interaction with students; observation

Active learning preferred, particularly hands-on experiences and discussion. Also, games, small-group projects, and case studies.  Design instruction to keep learners actively engaged. Possibly incorporate group work and a game or hands-on experience. 
Attitudes toward organization 

Student & instructor surveys; interaction with students

Attitudes toward KSU College of Education range from very positive to somewhat negative. Some learners have mixed feelings.  Be sure instruction is well-organized, supportive, positive, logical, and clear; objectives should be stated at the outset and activities should be consistent with objectives. Be sure students understand what they are doing and why.
Group characteristics 

Instructor surveys; observation; discussions with instructors

Most are: between 19 & about 23 years of age; of European descent; sophomore level or above; middle-class; fairly naïve/sheltered/inexperienced. Variety of education fields within the target population. Use language and examples learners can relate to while introducing them to less familiar ideas. Refer to a variety of subjects and age groups in developing sample instructional objectives. 

Context: Performance





Personal experience in public schools; interactions with instructors in College of Education, KSU; course requirements

 It is understood that learners will be expected to write objectives & will be supported in that effort by college instructors & school administrators.  This module will carefully lay the foundation needed to develop good objective-writing skills that can be used in a variety of situations.
Physical Aspects

Personal experience

Only pen/pencil, paper, writing surface needed; word processor optional  Instruction could be carried out in a variety of settings (e.g., in the classroom, library, outdoors, at home).
 Social Aspects

Observation, personal experience

Learners will likely write instructional objectives independently more often than not; however, these objectives will be shared with others & will guide activities and assessment in the learners’ classrooms. Also, learners may be engaged in collaborative objective-writing in courses and as teachers. The instructional module should be designed in such a way that the learners can apply their objective-writing skills independently or in a group setting. 

Personal experience; Praxis III guidelines

Highly relevant to education courses & workplace; time a possible constraint  Instruction should use real-life material & help learners to be efficient objective-writers. 
Context: Learning  



Compatibility with workplace

Observation Five computers are available in the room for word processing, if desired. (ratio of about 3-4 students per computer). Instruction could be designed for group work using computers instead of pen and paper. 

Ability to simulate  workplace


Since the learners are future teachers, instruction done either in the classroom or off-site will be in an environment almost identical to the work environment.

No special design accommodations are required to simulate the workplace. Easy transfer of learning is expected from performance in learning setting to other classroom environments.

Adapt to Delivery Approaches?  

Instructional Design course assignment guidelines. No “live” instructor required.  Instruction must be designed to be self-explanatory. 

Design and Delivery Constraints

Observation; personal experience No real constraints except limits on size of target audience: learning environment is large enough to accommodate about 20 students comfortably; trapezoidal tables can be arranged easily in various configurations; computers, overhead projector, and white board are available in the room. A number of options are available in designing the instruction. Students could work individually or collectively and use technological tools or just paper and a pen/pencil.














© 2003 Lisbeth K. Justice