Evidence-Based Practice: Task Analysis

Overview of Task Analysis

Task analysis is the process of breaking a skill into smaller, more manageable steps in order to
teach the skill. Other practices, such as reinforcement, video modeling, or time delay, should be
used to facilitate learning of the smaller steps. As the smaller steps are mastered, the learner
becomes more and more independent in his/her ability to perform the larger skill.

Task analysis meets the evidence-based practice criteria with five single-subject design studies,
demonstrating its effectiveness for promoting appropriate behavior and communication skills for
children at the preschool, elementary, and middle school levels.
With what ages is task analysis effective?
Task analysis can be used effectively with children with ASD, regardless of cognitive level
and/or expressive communicative abilities. The evidence base shows that task analysis is an
effective intervention for learners at the preschool (1 study), elementary and middle school
levels (5 studies). It is reasonable to assume that it would be an effective practice for older
learners as well. Task analysis can also be used to train professionals on how to interact with
and/or teach their students with ASD.
What skills or intervention goals can be addressed by task analysis?
The research that constitutes the evidence base demonstrates that task analysis can be used to
address issues in the academic, behavior, communication, and social domain. Any skill that can
be broken down into smaller steps for teaching is an appropriate target for task analysis.
In what settings can task analysis be effectively used?
Task analysis can be used in school, home, or community settings. Generalization of skills is
most likely when teaching occurs in multiple settings.
Brief Package:
 [PDF, 734268KB ] 10/01/2010

Brief Components

 [PDF, 50941KB] 10/01/2010
Evidence base:
 [PDF, 16149KB] 10/01/2010
Steps for Implementation:
 [PDF, 111810KB] 05/29/2009
Implementation Checklist:
 [PDF, 128585KB] 10/01/2010