Step 1: Break the main task into a number of steps
Break down the main task into a number of “mini tasks” or steps. Each step is an action or task that you want the learner to perform. When performed in the correct sequence, the learner will achieve the main task.
- The main task is changing a tyre.
- This main task is broken down into a number of steps.
- One of these steps would be: “Rotate the tyre lever in an anticlockwise direction.”
Step 2: Use clear, unambiguous language
Write instructions in plain English. Use wording that is clear, and include “doing words”, descriptive words and active language wherever possible.
The step “Rotate the tyre lever in an anticlockwise direction.” Contains the doing word “Rotate” and the descriptive word “anticlockwise”.
Step 3: Be detailed
Instructions should be detailed and descriptive. Describe exactly what the learner needs to do, and make sure you don’t miss a step or piece of information because you think it is obvious.
Assume the learner doesn’t know anything at all about the task. To check you’ve done this effectively, ask someone (such as a colleague) who knows nothing about the task to read through your instructions and see if they pick up any missing details.
- To make the step “Rotate the tyre lever in an anticlockwise direction” more detailed and descriptive, you might want to think about how many times the tyre lever needs to be turned…“Rotate the tyre lever six times in an anticlockwise direction.
Step 4: Sequence information logically
Order the steps in a logical sequence. Think about the order that tasks need to be performed in to achieve the main task.
If the main task is changing a tyre, the step “remove the tyre lever from the car” would need to come before the step “turn the tyre lever six times in an anticlockwise direction”.
Step 5: Number the steps
Make sure the steps in your set of instructions are numbered. This forms a reference point for learners and helps them to sequence their actions.
“Step 1- Use your automotive manual to locate the spare tyre and tyre lever.” “Step 2 – Remove the tyre lever from the car”
Step 6: Build in opportunities for practice
Build opportunities for practice and repetition into your instructions. Learners understand and remember information better when they have had the chance to repeat tasks and actions several times.
“Step 7 – Practice removing the tyre four times”
(Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)