Front-end analysis (FEA) is the “blueprint” for creating project requirements focused instruction. A FEA, conducted early in the process, will save time and money. A FEA defines project requirements, describes the ideal performance or instruction to meet the project requirements, and identifies acceptable alternatives.
Well-defined project requirements at the beginning of a project usually produce an excellent product. Subject-matter experts (SMEs), instructional systems designers (ISDs), workers, and instructors are some of the potential participants in a FEA. FEA is a process that determines whether a problem may be amenable to solution by training, or whether you need a different solution.
In this two-part presentation of Front End Analysis, I will show you:
The FEA process and its rationale, outcomes, and benefits (Part 1)
An explanation of the many elements that may be part of an FEA (Part 1)
- Methods for gathering information (Part 2)
- How to conduct an FEA (Part 2)
- Producing the FEA Report (Part 2)
[Note from the Editor: This is a bit different from tutorials we have run in the past. You might consider this article and the next as checklists, or as a summary of items to consider in the design process, after you have determined that instruction is the appropriate course of action, rather than or in addition to task redesign, a job aid, reference materials, or other interventions. Although we have many more ways to support learning, top-down design is still effective for many requirements, and in fact front-end analysis may help the designer determine the optimum blend of learning pathways. If you are new to eLearning design, look on what you find here as more tools in your kit, not as an obstacle course.]