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Training Intervention Strategies

Documenting Tasks and Skills

Job descriptions should contain basic information on job performance requirements and skills required, but a finer level of task analysis may be required to develop training on specific skills needed to perform the job. For example, a single task identified in a job description for a peer support specialist that requires the person hired to “collaborate with members of the ACT team to develop a long-term plan for supporting the client,” assumes the person hired for the position possesses knowledge of the roles of other team members, how to develop a long-term plan, elements of the plan, understanding of process by which this collaboration will occur, and ability to contribute constructively to plan development from a specific point of view. Training on this task would need to break down these elements.

Instructional designers use a wide variety of methods to gather information on job tasks, including observation of work performance, surveys, focus groups, and interviews with “expert practitioners” who perform tasks. The task analysis becomes a “blueprint” for training that defines tasks, skills, and abilities required. In addition, the instructional designer may gather information about “critical incidents” that reveal problem-solving methods, case studies, examples of barriers or issues commonly encountered and strategies for addressing them, as well as other data that can help prepare learners to perform these tasks in a real-world context.
Task Analysis Methods for Instructional Design is a purchased handbook that provides detailed guidance on various types of task analysis and methods for accomplishing them, including descriptions and examples of domains of task analysis, task analysis and outcomes, and task selection worksheet, among other areas. Authors David H. Jonassen, Martin Tessmer, Wallace H. Hannum and was published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates in 1999.

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