Overview | Objectives | Resources | Events


In education, teachers often believe that they “know” their student population and classroom well enough to design effective instruction. In a orthodox instructor-led, teacher-centered classroom, this may have been the case, but for teachers attempting to develop innovative learning environments that utilize a variety of resources, apply more student-centered techniques, and even incorporate youth voice within the context of the classroom, it is often necessary to gather data about students’ needs and interests, as well as key contextual and sociocultural factors. Moreover, this change requires teachers to have the courage to (re)imagine the acts of teaching and learning in the context of school, as well as (re)imagine systems that incorporates, honors, and sustains students’ cultural and linguistic competencies (Marsh 2021; Paris 2012). In business and industry, instructional designers often do not know much about the target audience, nor do they necessarily know the instructional and/or performance setting for which they are designing training. Therefore, learner and context analyses are critical for identifying and describing key learner and contextual factors that may affect the design of instruction. Completing a learner and context analysis is a relatively straightforward process.

If you do not have all of the information necessary to complete your analyses, you DO NOT have to actually go out and collect the data. Just be sure to note areas that still need further analysis, specify the technique you would use to gather the additional information and provide a brief rationale for your selected technique. The online reading assignment is a bit more extensive than previous units, so be sure to allocate your time accordingly. It should take you and your design and development team members approximately 5 hours to complete Unit 3.



Terminal Objectives. Given an instructional situation:

  • describe key learner characteristics that may affect their learning and performance and thus should be addressed during the design, delivery and assessment of instruction by conducting a learner analysis.
  • describe key factors associated with instructional and performance settings by conducting a context analysis.

Enabling Objectives. Given an instructional situation, you should be able to:

  • identify key learner characteristics that are to be addressed when conducting a learner analysis;
  • identify key factors that are to be addressed when conducting a context analysis;
  • recognize the type of information that should be provided for each major learner characteristic and contextual factor;
  • recognize proposed revisions to the Dick, Carey and Carey (2022) method for conducting learner and context analyses;
  • identify reasons for the proposed revisions;
  • recognize various techniques for gathering data about learner characteristics and contextual factors; and
  • recognize performance criteria for conducting both learner and context analyses.


Required Resources

To complete this unit, you will need access to subject matter expertise. One or more members of your design and development team should be an expert on your selected subject matter and have experience teaching the content information.

Recommended Instructional Events

  1. Review Dick, Carey and Carey (2022) Chapter 5 – Analyzing Learners and Contexts.
  2. Complete practice items provided at the end of Chapter 5.
  3. Read Unit 3.0 – Learner and Context Analyses Supplement.
  4. Complete optional Quiz 3 to self-assess and monitor your own acquisition of key concepts.
  5. Work with teammates to gather information from your service learning partner to draft a Learner and a Context Analyses.
  6. Discuss drafts with your teammates. Either select or generate one that represents your team’s best efforts for Assignment 1 (Analysis Report).
  7. Post any questions or comments you may have about the information covered in this unit in the proper location on the course bulletin board system.


Last Updated 08/19/23


Instructional System Design Copyright © by Atsusi Hirumi. All Rights Reserved.

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