Task and audience analysis

Learning objectives

At the end of this learning unit, you will be able to:

  • Define task analysis
  • State the purpose of task analysis
  • Define audience analysis
  • State the purpose of audience analysis
  • List the decisions that may be affected by the audience profile

Task analysis

Task analysis is a method for analyzing the tasks and activities a learner must learn to do as a result of the training. If you do it correctly, task analysis helps find out exactly what your learners need to know to meet a set goal. For example, if the goal is to move into a new role, such as that of a sales manager, task analysis helps you create instruction that prepares the learner to effectively perform the new role.  

How to perform a task analysis
As you know, a task is a logical set of activities that lead to a measurable result. When doing task analysis:

Do you know Julia that teaching learners to perform the tasks in real-life conditions to meet real-life performance standards prepares them better to meet the intended goals of the training


Yes, I agree.

  1. You first prepare a list of tasks. 
  2. Then, you break the complex skills into component skills, which usually determine an operational sequence of events/subtasks. However, remember that this may not always be the best instructional sequence. 
  3. Next, you categorize these component skills as prerequisite skills, main skills that need to be learned, and advanced skills.
  4. Once you have identified the set of skills that you need to teach, the next step is to determine the conditions under which each task will be performed and the performance standards for the task. 
  5. Finally, you arrange the component tasks to design an effective instructional sequence. 

An effective instructional sequence usually follows the simple to complex, or concrete to abstract flow. It begins with covering skills that only require the learner to use and integrate already known or learned skills. The instructional sequence then proceeds to combine these new skills to cover the more complex ones, until the learner finally learns the skills that are the objectives of the training. 

Martin explains to Julia that the output of task analysis is a set of instructional goals, an operational sequence, which you can extend to an instructional sequence, and the prerequisites for the course. 

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Prepare a task list.



Break complex skills into component tasks.



Identify tasks that need to be taught.



Determine the performance conditions and standards for these tasks.



Design an effective instructional sequence.

Audience analysis

Audience analysis is finding out relevant information about the learners for whom an instructional product or training is being developed.
When you do a comprehensive audience analysis, you understand the current ability level of the learners, spot learner characteristics and make informed decisions about how to instruct effectively. A sound audience analysis results in training that is tailored to meet the learner’s requirements.

Martin tells Julia that this is generally the most ignored aspect of designing a training. He then explains Julia how to go about it and how the process helps in creating an effective training. 

How to perform audience analysis

Gather data about learners:

  • Current knowledge/skills and confidence in content area
  • Motivational level and learning ability
  • Age and educational experience
  • Attitudes towards instruction

Learner interviews, documents and records are some of the sources used to collect this information.

Decisions affected

As a result of a detailed audience analysis, you as an author can make better decisions about several things.

  1. Method of instruction
  2. Content depth and complexity
  3. Examples/scenarios/analogies
  4. Tone/language used
  5. Feedback style
  6. Media selection

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Audience Analysis


This is so helpful to decide the tasks for which I need to create recordings while creating a training documentation in ClickLearn. Also, the audience analysis will help me choose the examples and analogies for the content in these trainings. I can also select the complexity level for these tasks and the language that I can use for the additional instruction text. Thanks, Martin, for this explanation.

This is just the beginning. Let us take the assessment and move to the next topic on Instructional Objectives.



In this learning unit, you learned to:

  • Define task analysis.
  • State the purpose of task analysis.
  • Define audience analysis.
  • State the purpose of audience analysis.
  • List the decisions that may be affected by the audience profile.