Content Management System (CMS)

Hierarchical Task Analysis
Task Analysis for a Content Management System (CMS)
BeachBoard is a content management system. We will perform a task analysis for
BeachBoard.

  1. Identify the system (BeachBoard) you are analyzing and its overall goal.
    a. Identify the key user groups for BeachBoard.
    b. Include the flow chart that identifies the key tasks performed by the different users
    groups (HTA)
  2. Decompose two of the subtasks into their components.
  3. Perform a Cognitive Task Analysis (use the Model Human Processor to determine
    whether each step requires the perceptual, cognitive, or motor selection processor).

Hierarchical Task Analysis
Task Analysis for a Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system is basically a computer program that allows editing,
publishing and modification of content and maintenance of the system at a central interface.
Furthermore, the system provides steps or guidance in management of workflow of the content.
Task analysis is analyzing how a given task is accomplished, including a detailed description of
both mental and manual activities. The content management system to be analyzed is the
beachboard.
The overall role of the system is to improve information accuracy as a well as users
experience. Quality of information is enhanced as information is controlled at the central
location. Furthermore, it ensures that information is comprehensive and up to date. I will also
provide a full featured rich environment for the users to enhance their experience. The quality of
the web will be well organized with adequate features that allow easy use of the internet. This
will enhance their effectiveness and experience while using the internet.

HIERARCHICAL TASK ANALYSIS 2
Beachboard will be used for students and the faculty. It will contain contents on various
disciplines that will allow students and faculty to source for their various learning resources.
Various different content management systems are set up for various people and purposes. Each
system has its different features that are important and relevant to that group of users. Some of
the content management are set for business purpose, research and any more. Therefore, this
beachboard will be aimed at students to help enhance their learning.
The beachboard provides e learning services to students in colleges and university. It
creates courses automatically for every course offered in the schedule of the college or
university. The instructor chooses whether or not to use such courses, those that choose to use
these material post their course lectures, syllabus, discussion, assignments and even their grades.
It therefore provides an interactive learning between teachers and their students.
The key tasks that are performed by the students and faculty using the beachboard in the
hierarchical task analysis can be categorized in terms of interviews, documentation and
observation. Information will be accessed through the interviews that will be posted on the
beachboard. This information enhances accessibility and flexibility, it is also purely subjective
and it is prone to bias and errors. Documentation is yet another important data source, as detailed
information will be accessed on the beachboard. It provides direction on how tasks should be
done but not how these tasks need to be done. In observation, all features and problems related
to task performance need to be discovered.
The key tasks performed by the instructors in the faculty include, creation and posting of
course syllabi, assignments and instructions. While on the other hand, those tasks carried out by

HIERARCHICAL TASK ANALYSIS 3
students would include, posting of their comments or view, accessibility to libraries, course
syllabi, course units, assignments and other important resources on the website.

Cognitive task analysis is one of the types of task analysis that is used to enhance
understanding of tasks. It requires cognitive activity for the users such as decision-making,
memory, problem solving, judgment and attention. Some of the steps involved in cognitive task
analysis include mapping of the tasks, identification of critical decision points. Clustering,
linking them, prioritizing them and characterizing the strategies that are used in the task analysis.
Creation and posting of
syllabi

Assignments

Instructions

HIERARCHICAL TASK ANALYSIS 4
In carrying out this analysis, a model of human processor is best suited to help in how tasks can
be performed easily (Jastrzembski & Charness, 2007). The perceptual subsystem in model of
human processor entails the senses both the visual image storage and the auditory image story.
Cognitive subsystem in the model of human processor entails long-term memory and cognitive
processor. This is the working memory. Motor subsystem represents movement response such
as arms, legs and mouth and eyes.
The step requires different mode of human processor. For instance, the working memory
is highly used in the creation of content by the faculty. They must be able to store information
and produce it in the required medium to the web. This mental process allows the creation and
development of information that are used by the students. There is also involvement of
perception when developing the information, the visuals and auditory storage information come
into play in developing the information. Motor processor is also applied in the steps when
developing and creating this information on the internet. The arms and eyes play a very
fundamental role in creating and placing the syllabus and course materials on the internet. To
access materials on the website, students must use their eyes to navigate across different portals
to get the information. Likewise, they will also have to use their hands to enable them access
resources on the internet and access materials that they want. Likewise, faculty staffs will also
use motor processor in developing and retrieving information. Therefore, in task analysis, these
three, perceptional, cognitive and motor processor are essential in ensuring that these tasks are
well performed to fulfill their intended purposes.
In conclusion, beachboard is one of the best content management systems that can be
used in institutions to foster learning. If well approached, it can deliver better results. It requires
incorporation of various models of human processor in ensuring that tasks are well carried out.

HIERARCHICAL TASK ANALYSIS 5

Reference

Jastrzembski, T., & Charness, N. (2007). The Model Human Processor and the Older Adult:
Parameter Estimation and Validation within a Mobile Phone Task. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13: 224-248.

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