Term of Art: Task Analysis

“task analysis: A teaching strategy in which a learning activity is broken down into small sequential tasks. It is an effective strategy used to teach students with a learning disability because it takes a large learning activity and breaks it down into smaller, more easily accomplished tasks. Task analysis is also used as an assessment tool to see precisely at what stage a skill breakdown is occurring. For example, if a student is given an assignment to define 10 vocabulary words, a task analysis might include the following steps:

  1. understand, record, and remember the assignment
  2. read/decode the vocabulary words
  3. use a dictionary/textbook
  4. paraphrase the definition
  5. write the definition

Breaking an assignment into the five steps can make a difficult and overwhelming project become more manageable.

Similarly, task analysis can be used for instruction where larger skills are broken down into subskills and each subskill taught until mastery.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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