Audience analysis is one of the most important steps of the ADDIE process. Before you can design a curriculum,
you need to know what your audience is required to learn. The following formula will help you in analyzing your audience.
Required Skills - Current Skills = Curriculum Objectives
Required skills are based on the assessment of what the audience must know in order to do that which is new to them. For example, if a company bought a new computer program for its employees, then there are certain skills that employees must have in order to use the new program. Identifying these skills will help you to compare them with the current skills of the employees.
The difference between the required skills and the current skills become your curriculum objectives.
Curriculum objectives are critical in building a strong and effective course or training program. Everything is base around these objectives including tests and evaluations.
How to identify Required Skills
Identifying required skills can be challenging if you lack the resources or product knowledge. The best way to identify these skills is to breakdown the topic into smaller topics. A widget, for example, can be separated into individual segments by functions, parts, sections, or components. As you breakdown the individual parts, you begin to identify key skills that must be attained to use the widget. Each topic, product, or subject brings unique challenges and offers the instructional designer an opportunity to identify specific skills that will add value to the course or training program.
Using the Audience Analysis Tool
The Audience analysis tool will help you identify course objectives for the curriculum you design. By listing the required skills and the current skills, you can determine which skills must be emphasized during the course. When starting to build a new course or training program, it can be difficult to identify what to focus on. This tool will walk you through the process to quickly identify your objectives for the course.
To use the tool, you will first list all required skills for the topic. Next, list current skills related to the required skills. If you notice differences or gaps between the required and current skills, list them in the Curriculum Objective column. Once you have completed tool, you are ready to analyze the data and to determine the objectives that you will use to design and build your course or training program.