The Racine Unified School: Task Analysis


Elementary students at the Racine Unified School district are required to sit for the Wisconsin knowledge and concept exam (WKCE). Most students actually fail to complete or take the constructed section of the reading and math exam. The constructed sections weigh up to 20 percent of the exam in each and every subject. The inability to form a constructed response by many students makes them to perform poorly in the exam by falling below average.

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The type of analysis chosen in this task analysis is a topical one. This is because the task analysis being developed is directed towards formulating the academic course content that is geared towards improving the performance of the students. Even though it handles both the content and procedure, more emphasis is laid on the content hence rendering it more topical than procedural.

The topical analysis is chosen on the ground that this is an academic undertaking. It involves various classroom and outside class lessons that should be acquired by the students in order to gain the required knowledge to help them in appropriately handling the Wisconsin knowledge concept exam in reading. This will in turn go a long way to boost their performance.

Three questions a designer should ask himself

During the analysis process the designer should ask himself three major questions which include the following:

  1. What is the context or environment in which the learning process will take place? Understanding the environment is very important to the designing process because it helps in determining the exact activities that will be included in the curriculum. Some lessons are better learnt in the classroom while others are better done outside the classroom environment.
  2. What are the skills and knowledge that should be achieved by the learners? The curriculum designer should know the objectives of his or her instruction design. Understanding the exact skills and knowledge needed to be acquired by the learner helps in putting in place activities that are fruitful. If this is not understood clearly, the designer may put in place some procedures that are irrelevant.
  3. What is the Content that should be taught in order to acquire or gain the intended skills? (Pinnar.2008.p.207). once the designer understands the environment and skills needed, he/she can now be able to put in place the desired content that handles the topic very well.

One important thing to note is that the three questions that need to be asked by the designer work hand in hand. This is simply because the curriculum designer needs to put in place a program that consists of the best content that maximizes the acquisition of the needed skills and knowledge, given the environment in which the leaning takes place.

After the designer has asked himself these important questions. He is now ready to go through the task analysis process. Each point in the analysis should at least answer one or more of the questions. A question that does not meet with the above criteria could possibly be an irrelevant one.

The designer should therefore make sure that his activities are in line with the objectives of the curriculum. The questions help in this assurance, this is simply because, as the designer answers the questions, he links the activities to the objectives directly. The three questions of content, context and the knowledge and skills desired cant are taken for granted by any designer while designing a curriculum.

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Step one-Defining curriculum design goals

Given the above problem that is evaluated in the introduction part, the main goals of this curriculum design are:

  1. To improve the 3rd grade constructed response in reading on the Wisconsin knowledge and concept exam.
  2. To improve 10 % of the students who score 0-1 on the WKCE constructed response rubric by at least one point that will lead to improved test scores.

Step two-Task analysis

Curriculum analysis is a set of steps that once applied to the curriculum objective leads to coming up with the specific actions for carrying out the objective and the underlying skills needed for the learner to attain the objective. The approach of this task analysis is to describe what the learners will be doing in order to improve their WKCE skills under each category.

Read the question

  1. Comprehend and apply reading with understanding
  2. Understand what you have read.
  3. Understand what the question is all about
  4. understand all the sentences in the question
  5. Understand the key vocabulary used in the sentences
  6. Link suffixes prefixes, cognates and root words in the question
  7. Re-read the entire question once more

Understand the question

  1. How to answer the question
  2. Put down sketch points on a rough piece of paper
  3. Synthesize what you have put down in the mind and then
  4. prioritize the points in order of importance from the first to the last
  5. Put down sub points to be used in explaining each point after every main point.

Start putting down the main answer from the points noted down

  1. Keep on referring to the sketch points as you write
  2. Pick the points in priority order as you continue with the main writing
  3. Put every point in its paragraph and explain it very well
  4. Make good use of new key vocabulary learnt in class
  5. Put more emphasis on functional words as you answer the question
  6. Make good use of elements like suffix and prefix
  7. Give examples in the writing as you answer the question
  8. Use a good handwriting

Be very clear with your points

  1. Go direct to the point
  2. Use short and precise sentences
  3. Use a handwriting that is readable
  4. Avoid irrelevant phrases
  5. Make sure every point contributes to the question
  6. Avoid unnecessary repetitions
  7. Make a good choice of words
  8. .3.7 Let your points flow from one to another

Finish answering the question

Proofread all that you have put down

  1. Note all the grammatical mistakes that could be included in your answer correct all the mistakes noticed
  2. Confirm that there is flow in your work
  3. Check that commas and full stops are in the right places

Question answering complete

Hand over the paper to the instructor

  1. Start marking the work
  2. Mark the work step by step
  3. Show all the grammatical and writing mistakes made
  4. Encourage the student to be engaged in writing activities more often (Willis.2007.p.62)
  5. Develop learning materials that handle the mistakes made by the student
  6. Give the learners some examples- Students that don’t know how to put down 4.1.4 Show the benefits of revisions to the students (Willis 2008.p.47)
  7. Give the marked paper back to the student.

Marking complete

Revise your work

  1. Note each and every mistake mentioned
  2. Analyze each and every mistake noted
  3. Collect materials relevant to the mistakes noted

Put what you have learnt in practice

  1. Read more in areas where mistakes are noted
  2. Use the examples given by the instructor
  3. Use visual presentations to revise in such problematic areas
  4. Intercede and meditate on the learning
  5. Learn again the key reading vocabulary

Identify your old beliefs about learning in reading

  1. Change your old negative beliefs about the reading topic
  2. Take note of all the mistakes you made
  3. Analyze each commend made by the instructor
  4. Collect relevant information pertaining to the mistakes made
  5. Make use of reading material to gain more knowledge
  6. Make use of dictionary that has materials relevant to the topic
  7. Correct all the mistakes noticed in your work

De-link yourself from environments that affect your learning negatively.

  1. Identify environments that encourage your leaning
  2. Spent most of your time in such environments
  3. Impress change even if it comes in a way you dint expect

Step three-Performance objectives

The main performance objectives of this topical curriculum design are:-

  1. To make students become stronger learners by improving their abilities.
  2. To make 10 percent of the students who score 0-1 on WKCE constructed response rubric increase by at least one point
  3. Improved overall test score on WKCE exam


Arends & Ann, (2010). Teaching for student learning, Abington. Oxford: Taylor & Francis Library.

Ashman.F.A & Conway R.N, (1993). Using cognitive method in the classroom. Canada: Routledge.

Pinnar.W. (2007), Understanding curriculum, New York: Peter Lang publishing.

Wilis, J. (2008). Fluency building for the brain, Rosewood: Association of Supervision and curriculum development.

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Wilis, J. (2007). Brain friendly strategies, Rosewood: Association of Supervision and curriculum development.

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