2 Front-End Analysis

Identifying an Instructional Problem


As you have read, or will read soon, the first step in the Morrison, Ross, Morrison, and Kemp model is to identify the problem. In this module, you’ll learn the several ways that problems present themselves and the three approaches instructional designers use to confirm the problem and determine whether or not instruction is the path to resolution: Needs Assessment, Goal Analysis, and Performance Assessment. For your project proposal, you most likely used instinct, observation, and/or data to determine your problem. To help flush out the problem and determine what you want learners to learn, you will conduct either a Needs Assessment, Goal Analysis, or Performance Assessment to add to your Design Document this week.

For the purposes of this course, you will most likely conduct either a Goal Analysis or Performance Assessment. A full Needs Assessment is time intensive and might require additional resources that you may not have at the moment.

A Goal Analysis should be conducted in situations like faculty creating or updating courses. Performance Assessment is used when there is a lack of knowledge or skills. For example, continuous problems occurring because welds are not being executed correctly. Either way, you want to make sure you are addressing the actual problem, not just the symptoms.

I highly encourage that data be used to justify identified problems. For a new course, data could include industry standards, field accreditation criteria, or information from a faculty member teaching a prerequisite course about where students tend to struggle. For performance concerns, data may include direct observation of the task needing to be performed. The more data you have, the better you can identify the problem and plan for how to resolve it.

Remember: If the you discover that the problem cannot be solved by instruction, the instructional design process ends and a different pathway to resolution is determined.

Other Instructional Design Models


In our last module, I shared with you the basic ADDIE framework and defined what is an Instructional Design Model. In this class, we are focusing on the Morrison, Ross, Morrison, and Kemp (aka, Kemp Model) for the basis of creating our Design Document. However, it’s important that instructional designers be familiar with other models. To help accomplish this, you will be researching a model as a part our Industry Chat exercise over the next two weeks. You’ll work in a small groups and you will be responsible for researching one of these models and sharing what you learned with your group member. More information about this activity is provided later in this module.

Here are a few common instructional design models referenced in the field. This list will be provided again with the Industry Chat activity instructions. For now, you might want to just glance at a few and start getting an idea of which ones you might like to research more.

Why do Instructional Designers need to know more than one model?

As you will learn in this course, there is no one way to develop instruction. Therefore, it is in your best interest as an instructional designer to be familiar with as many models as possible. This knowledge will help you customize your approach to every instructional design project and let you pick different strategies from the different models to form a supermodel that perfectly meets your project’s needs. Think of it like a carpenter’s tool belt.  A carpenter doesn’t show up with just a hammer, hoping it will be able to do everything needed on the job. There are several tools in the belt to choose from depending on the task. The more tools in the belt, the more tasks the carpenter is going to be able to complete without going off to buy and learn how to use a new tool.

What is a TEach-back activity?

Over the next two weeks you have a teach-back activity that serves multiple purposes from an instructor’s perspective.  Teach-back is an effective strategy for assessing student comprehension; students must know the material well enough to transfer the information to others. Using the discussion forum to share information engages social constructivism; sharing and processing new information through peer interactions and multiple individuals’ lenses.  As a student of instructional design, you can add teach-back to your toolbox of teaching artifacts. By having you work in groups with each group member covering a different model, we can also cover more information in a shorter period of time.

Businesses and industries also use teach-back to confirm learner understanding. Healthcare is known for using this strategy during patient education. Kessels (2003) reports that most patients only understand or remember up to 50% of the information their healthcare providers tell them. Clinicians are trained to gauge patient literacy and align their communication methods at the patient’s level (Tamura-Lis, 2013). Teach-back is used as a method for evaluating the level of understanding patients have regarding their care. The clinician provides information and then asks the patient to teach-back using their own words. To be non-threatening, the questioning is framed around the clinician’s teaching skills rather than the patient’s intelligence or literacy rate.  Statements such as “I want to be sure I explained how you take this medication clearly; can you tell me what time of day you will take this?” Questions that could elicit a “yes” or “no” answer are avoided. The following video demonstrates common teach-back practices that take place in hospitals.

Teach Back Activity

Activity Structure

Activity Groups

This activity will span two weeks over the course of Modules 2 and 3. You will be in small groups of 5 or less. You have been assigned a group based on the survey I sent out last week.

Activity Presentation

As with all of our Industry Chats, you have the option to engage with peers online in the asynchronous discussion forums inside of Canvas or during a live chat session on Monday or Thursday of Week 3.

Asynchronous Schedule

For those of you who chose to participate asynchronously inside of Canvas, you will spend the first week conducting research, creating your presentation, and posting it for your group (by Sunday – end of Week 2).

For the second week, you will review the presentations of your group members and respond inside the discussion forum by affirming your understanding of others’ presentations, asking questions, and answering questions others have about your model (due by Sunday  – end of Week 3).

Synchronous Schedule

For those of you who chose to participate synchronously in a Zoom meeting, you will spend the first week conducting research and creating your presentation. During our Zoom meeting (Monday or Thursday of Week 3), you will present your ID Model and answer questions. You will also serve as an audience member for others who wish to present synchronously and ask questions based on their presentations.


Tamura-Lis, W. (2013). Teach-Back for Quality Education and Patient Safety. Urologic Nursing, 33(6), 267–271. doi: 10.7257/1053-816x.2013.33.6.267


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