Roberta Dombrowski, Cara North, and the Purpose of Task Analysis

“Task analysis for instructional design is a process of analyzing and articulating the kind of learning that you expect the learners to know how to perform” (Jonassen, Tessmer, & Hannum, 1999, p.3).

And in this TLDCast, we had two task analysis experts discussing real application.

Hosted by Cara North, our guest was Roberta Dombrowski, an award-winning learning designer with over ten years of experience designing and delivering user-centered digital learning experiences. Roberta is currently a Product Manager for Role IQ at Pluralsight, where she brings her expertise in workplace assessments to empower learner’s technology skill development through the measurement and skilling up within a role. Roberta holds a MS in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning with Boise State University and was a 30 under 30 award recipient at Elliott Masie’s Learning 2018 conference.

Task analysis is the process of learning about ordinary users by observing them in action to understand in detail how they perform their tasks and achieve their intended goals.

According to the Instructional Design Knowledge Base, Instructional designers perform a task analysis in order to:

  • determine the instructional goals and objectives;
  • define and describe in detail the tasks and sub-tasks that the student will perform;
  • specify the knowledge type (declarative, structural, and procedural knowledge) that characterize a job or task;
  • select learning outcomes that are appropriate for instructional development;
  • prioritize and sequence tasks;
  • determine instructional activities and strategies that foster learning;
  • select appropriate media and learning environments;
  • construct performance assessments and evaluation (Jonassen et al., 1999).

So in this episode, Roberta takes us through a task analysis scenario she constructed for the Idaho Humane Society.

She also discusses:

  • Being on Eliott Masie’s 30 under 30 group
  • that Learning leadership can happen at any age
  • Her very positive experiences at Boise State University
  • The “New School” of task analysis (via an actual project from the Idaho Humane Society)
  • Building a mobile app for performance support
  • The overlap of UX, product, and learning
  • and lots more!

Check out the recording below to learn more!


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Community Discussion: WOL – Working Out Loud

There’s probably no one better than professional learners to talk about WOL – Working Out Loud.

Why is that? And what is Working Out Loud?

From Working Out Loud author John Stepper’s website, it’s “a way to build relationships that can help you in some way, like achieving a goal, developing a skill, or exploring a new topic. Instead of networking to get something, you invest in relationships by making contributions over time, including your work and experiences that you make visible.”

It’s connecting, it’s sharing, it’s getting better at something you want to get better at. All while connecting with others, building relationships, collaborating, and creating a sense of connectedness that can carry over into other goals, skills, or topics you’d like to explore or achieve.

So in this Community Discussion, we had Cara North, Jonathan Rock, Alan Natachu, Jonathan Hill, and Simon Fogg discussing Working Out Loud, and much more. This was a very busy episode with some amazing commentary and insights that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.


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Community Discussion: Social Media for Career Development

Want to know how some of your fellow L&D Professionals use social media for work and professional development? We had a GREAT Community Discussion episode discussing just that! Cara North, Rubina Halwani, and Alan Natachu answered these questions:

  • Are there any platforms you avoid on social media? Why or why not?
  • How do you manage your social media connections?
  • Burner accounts: Do you have one? Do you keep your personal and professional accounts separate?
  • How do you evaluate your posts from a professional level?
  • Best social network for finding a job?
  • What is your overall preferred platform?
  • Do you regularly use social media at work?
  • How often do you post? And do you maintain a schedule?

Check out this discussion and don’t miss the audience chat — it doubles the value of the conversation!

And as a special bonus, check out and add to this document Alan created — which is a quick listing of people to follow, generated by the crew in TLDChat. Fill out the information and put your own info in!


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A Customer Service Training Project with Guest Lisa Crockett and Host Kristen Hayden Safdie

This TLDCast episode features guest Lisa Crockett and Host Kristin Hayden Safdie discussing a case study based on a project Lisa took on. This project required building customer service training for a health insurance company. That training was multi-faceted; there were several departments involved, all of which needed their own customized version of the training based on what that department’s role in the organization was.

What makes this case study particularly intriguing is that Lisa’s varied background as a multimedia specialist, HR professional, instructional designer, and more, were integral in building a solution.

View the recording or listen to the podcast to get more detail about this excellent case study discussion.


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Andrew Hughes and Julie Dietrich of Wyndham Destinations: A Fun, Engaging, Compliance Training Program

This TLDCast episode features Designing Digitally President and CEO, Andrew Hughes, discussing an eLearning Case Study with Julie Dietrich of Wyndham Destinations. They talk about their partnership and how they worked together to create something a little different – a fun, engaging, compliance training program.

Listen to the recording and learn more about:

  • The eLearning course (3 modules, Level 3)
  • The purpose of the training and who it was designed for
  • The previous method of delivery
  • The major drawbacks were with the previous training
  • The goals to accomplish with the new training
  • How often the training is delivered
  • Why eLearning was the right solution for the learning objectives
  • The challenges creating the training
  • Managing translations
  • and more!


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Community Discussion: Experience or Education? What is your YOE?

Experience or Education – what gets you the job? And what if you have the education but not the experience? Join us for a Friday Community Discussion with Rubina Halwani where we’ll discuss years of experience (YOE) & how to set yourself up for success.

The Years of Experience Conundrum
You go to apply for an instructional design position. The job announcement states the candidate must have x amount of years of experience. This can feel frustrating when you are fresh out of college without a ton of experience. What do you do if you don’t have enough YOE? What counts for YOE? If you still fall short, how can you still sell yourself?

What do you do if you don’t have enough YOE?

  1. Mention exactly how many years you DO have. Every candidate has a different number of years, skills, salary requirements, etc. Always apply and try. For example: Instructional Designer with 2 years of experience, seeking….
  2. If you did just graduate from college, and have been applying around, not hearing back for a while, go back to your college for feedback, advice, contacts, an internship, anything. Especially if you graduated in ISD. Many college campuses have career centers. Go. Hound them.
  3. Apprentice. Find an ID in the field and ask to apprentice. Ask for old project samples, instructions, shadowing opportunities, mentorship, etc. This is an investment of time that will accumulate and work to your advantage.

What counts for YOE?

  1. Add projects from college/training into your YOE, IF they relate. If you took coursework in ID and have pieces in your portfolio, then add that to your timeline. You invested in learning and applying theory, methods, processes, and have a final product. That took time. Include it. Many people segue into ID from other fields. If you have ISD knowledge + experience, it counts! For example, Professional Development: 2 months of training in Adobe Captivate; 2 months of Vyond animation development

If you still fall short, how can you still sell yourself?

  1. Offset YOE with your mad skills. You know authoring tools so well you draw icons in your sleep. You have a certificate in Captivate, and portfolio pieces galore. Instead of placing skills on the bottom of your resume, elevate that section above work experience so employers scan this first. They’re more apt to call you if they know you are ready to apply newly learned skills. If you don’t have enough YOE, especially, then learning the latest tech tools can up your chances for hire.

Check out the recording to hear the full discussion!


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