Working with the
Instructional Analysis Section


The Instructional Analysis section contains placeholders for the following information.

  1. Course Entry Knowledge and Experience
  2. Course Goal

  3. Learning Objectives

How to Add Course Entry Knowledge and Experience

  1. Place your cursor in the gray shaded area under the Course Entry Knowledge and Experience heading.
  2. Type in a description of the prior training, knowledge, or experiences that learners must possess in order to attend this new training program.

  3. Because you are in a Word document you can also copy content from another document and paste it in.

If you Copy and Paste

  1. Place your cursor in the spot where you want to add the copied content
  2. Click the Paste Unformatted button, which is in the Text Formating group on the LDT ribbon

  3. This will add your copied content in a style consistent with your Design Document style guide, for the most professional appearance.

How to Add a Course Goal

  1. Place your cursor in the gray shaded area under the Course Goal heading.
  2. Type in a description of the goal of this course.

  3. Because you are in a Word document you can also copy content from another document and paste it in.

How to Add Learning Objectives

Tempting as it may be to start typing in the available spots in the Learning Objectives table, do not type into the table.

  1. Click Learning Hierarchy on the LDT ribbon
  2. Use the dialog box that will appear on your screen to add your terminal and enabling learning objectives for this course. 

How to Use the Learning Hierarchy Function to Add Learning Objectives

After you click Learning Hierarchy on the LDT ribbon you will see the Learning Objective Hierarchy dialog box, shown below.

  • The top part of the box will fill in with your learning objectives as you add them, using the bottom half of the box.
  • The expectation is that you will add your learning objectives in a logical order, starting with terminal objective 1.0 and listing the enabling objectives for 1.0 immediately below, numbered as 1.1, 1.2, etc.

  • Each objective will start with an Action Verb, which you will choose from the list provided.
  • The Action Verbs are associated with the Learning Level and Learning Type you select, which relate to the domain you have selected.

Learn about customizing the Domains.

How to Add the First Terminal Objective and then the Rest

For help in the moment as you are using this dialog box
click on the Learning Design Tool logo.
  1. In the Ref # box type in 1.0
  2. Under Objective Type make sure Terminal is selected
  3. Select your Domain
  4. Select your Learning Level
  5. Choose from the list of Action Verbs that will appear
  6. Add a measurement criteria, if needed
  7. After your learning object statement is formed by typing additional text into the Learning Objective box after your Action Verb and measurement criteria, click Add
  8. After all of your terminal and enabling objectives have been added, click Done


Detailed Information about the Learning Hierarchy Function


1) The top part of the form is the area that fills in as you add learning objectives.

The LDT uses this information to perform its functions.

2) The second part of the form is the editing pane and your primary working area.

3) The final part of the form contains the built in instructions, accessed by clicking the logo.

  • To the right of the logo is the feedback/message area.
  • Messages are delivered in blue text.
  • Click OK to indicate that you are done.
    • This finalizes the top part of the form and feeds that content into the Learning Objectives table on the Instructional Analysis page of your Design Document.

Example of a completed Learning Objectives table


Begin working in the form by adding a reference number for the first learning objective.

  • Each learning objective must have a unique reference number
  • The first reference number is always “1.0”
  • The format of the reference number is ##0.0##  
  • The maximum reference number is:
    • 3-numbers to the left of the decimal point
    • and 3-numbers to the right. 

When the decimal place of a learning objective’s reference number is 0, it means the objective is a Terminal objective.

All Enabling objective decimal place numbering begins with #.1

  • For example, the first listed terminal objective would be 1.0 and its enabling objectives would be 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.
  • The second terminal objective would be 2.0 followed by its enabling objectives of 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, … and so on.


The next item to select when adding new learning objectives is the Learning Domain.

Based on your selection, all the other available learning objective attributes, including Learning Level, Type, and available action verbs are automatically adjusted.

The action verb list only populates after you make a Learning Level selection.


Knowledge (Cognitive): Learning level selections for the knowledge domain are based on Bloom’s taxonomy. Learn more about the version of Bloom’s taxonomy you can use, and how to customize the Learning Design Tool to your preferences.

Skill (Psychomotor): The skill domain is based on the Dave (1975) taxonomy.

Attitude (Affective): The attitudinal domain is based on Krathwhol (1964). Making a Learning Level selection from the control box in the Editing Pane, auto populates the Learning Type control, however, the Learning Type can be adjusted to any of the available selections.


Learning Types are a means of further describing the nature of the targeted learner’s ability that is associated with a specific level of learning.

  • For example, in the skill domain, Dave (1975) labeled level one learning as “Imitation” and we have categorized the targeted learner’s ability as “Replicating”. Where they are able to perform but only with a lot of direct guidance from others. Level two is labeled “Manipulation” and we categorize that as a “Performing” ability… in other words, able to follow written or verbal instructions.
  • Likewise, with Bloom’s original knowledge domain, the level one descriptor is “Knowledge” and the translated performance ability is “Facts” … a learner’s ability to recall facts.

Learning Types are more than just a restatement of Learning Level descriptors.

  • They define the sophistication quality of content that the learner must master, in order for them to ultimately perform at the expected level.

Learning types and learning levels are not locked stepped together.

  • An objective might have a learning level of 2 but the content that must be mastered is categorized as type 3 or 4.
  • In those situations it is imperative that you carefully choose the action verb, as well as the learning objective measurement criteria and conditions that fit the situation.


When an Action Verb gets selected it appears in the Learning Object text box where you complete the writing of the learning objective, including any criteria and conditions.

Since the software requires that the objective begin with an action verb, only add criteria and conditions to the objective’s description, after the verb. We understand that it might be more grammatically correct to place a condition at the beginning of the sentence, e.g. “Given X, Y, and Z the student will be able to…,” but for now, we need that Action Verb first so we can validate it.


Click Select to see a short list of generic measurement criteria.

When you select an item from the list, it adds a comma and then the criteria text after your Action verb or objective statement.

You can customize this list with your list of learning objective criteria.


The Dependency Reference text box is an area for you to add objective dependency references to the objective you are adding or updating.

  • These dependency reference are used later in the design document creation process when you begin to construct an optimum instructional sequence for your planned course design.
  • At this stage of your learning design construction, you are only documenting each terminal objective and all subordinate enabling objectives.
  • The reference numbering of these objectives has nothing ultimately to do with the “teaching order” of them. With that said, you should annotate objectives, both terminal and enabling, that have any dependencies on each other.

When you click the “OK” button and close out of this form:

  • the software will automatically notate each terminal objective’s dependency for their subordinate enabling objectives in the list, so you don’t have to do that…
  • however, you should annotate if a specific terminal objective is dependent on another one or if there is a specific dependency that an enabling objective has on one or more other enabling or terminal objectives being acquired first.
  • This is particularly important for enabling objectives that have content “type” level that is higher than the terminal objective’s “type” level. 

Given a situation where an enabling objective’s content “type” sophistication is greater than the terminal objective’s “type,” it begs the question, “Where did the learner gain the experience of working with that kind of content?” The answer might be from another listed objective in this document, or even some prerequisite accomplishment fulfilled outside of this course’s design. If the learner’s ability to work with this content comes from within this design’s scope, then a Dependency Reference should be marked on the enabling objective.

To annotate dependencies the format is typing into the Dependency Reference textbox a comma separated list of the dependent reference numbers. For example, if terminal objective 2.0 is dependent on terminal objective 4.0 being acquired first, then the dependency notation on terminal objective 2,0 would be 4.0 … and if enabling objective 2.5 was dependent on acquiring enabling objective 3.4 and 3.5 then the dependency on enabling objective 2.5 would be marked as 3.4,3.5 in the Dependency Reference textbox. 


Click Add to place a new objective into the hierarchy, inserting it at the end of the list.

To alter an objective you've added to the list, click to select it. It will populate the Learning Objective fields so that you can then alter them. Click Update to apply your edits to the hierarchy. The specific item you updated stays in the hierarchy at its current position.

If you need to move an item up or down, select it from the list and then click Move Up or Move Down.

Click Remove to remove a selected objective from the list.

Click Unselect to clear the edit boxes of something selected.


When you are in the process of adding objective to the hierarchy you may encounter warning messages about:

  • sequencing
  • action verb changes
  • levels not being compatible
  • and others.

Pay attention to the messages and make any corrections required.

The new or updated Learning Objectives Hierarchy list will not be placed into your Learning Design Document until all errors are resolved.


Clicking the OK button finishes the process and saves the data into the Learning Design Document.

At any time while working in the design document you can click the Learning Hierarchy button on the LDT ribbon and it will re-populate the hierarchy from the data that exists in the design document. You can then make additional edits to the Learning Objectives.



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