Job Aid Development

With a temporary and part-time volunteer workforce, formal training and retraining for routine, yet critical, tasks is time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient. An informational Job Aid is the Instructional Design choice to address this performance need.


Clean and Sanitize the Food Bank Truck Cargo Area.
The Food Bank (a pseudonym) requested assistance addressing the critical need of “training” temporary and volunteer staff to support the clean safe transportation of valuable cargo to address the hunger needs in their service area. This request came just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Instructional Design Team

The instructional design (ID) project team consisted of four master’s degree students enrolled in the Instructional Design course offered by the Organizational and Workplace Learning (OPWL 537) department at Boise State University. The team conducted this instructional design as a course project.


Click the logo to visit the OSHA website for difinitive industry standards on food safety
The performance gap consisted of standardization of task performance and consistency of outcomes. Therefore, the application of the Van Tiem (2012) Human Performance Improvement model was geared toward building and sustaining task competency among the target learner group – part time, temporary and intermittent volunteer workers.

The Goal
Support the accomplishment of a critical task necessary for safe Food Bank product transportation: Clean and sanitize truck cargo areas to maintain food safety by eliminating sources of contamination.


The ADDIE and Bronco Instructional Design (BID) models (Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Boise State University [OPWL], 2019), and the adult learning principle approaches (Clark, 2008) were the main process and approaches used. By using a systematic an iterative application of Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation, the team identified the performance tasks, and developed an instructional solution to most effectively meet the need.

In analyzing the instructional need and developing this job aid, the design team implemented the Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) practice of using multiple sources of data/information. The term “triangulation” does not sit well with me here; it implies more than two, and either three or another set number of sources used to define or locate a solution. I believe that EBP uses two or more sources of data to “build” a resultant solution, with some sources contributing more or less than others (primary versus secondary or supporting sources), and some sources potentially cancelling, mitigating or overriding others, depending on the desired result. I think “collated” is a more appropriate term. Merriam-Webster defines collate as “to collect, compare carefully in order to verify, and often to integrate or arrange in order” (Merriam-Webster, n.d., expression b). In our project, at least three different SMEs had three different methods of task performance, each with strengths and weakness, none of which matched the client’s desired performance standard or constituted exemplary performance of the task. We created an exemplary performance model based primarily on the client’s input, supported by the SME input and our observations and take-aways of the performance of the actual task.
Victor McCraw
Author / Co-Designer


Identifying the Task and Task Characteristics

Through consultation with the client and initial discussions with SMEs, the design team determined the scope of target task for instructional development and identified the relevant characteristics to begin the design process.

Creating a Detailed Task List

Using a thorough and iterative process of data collection and reviews, the team compiled a task list which detailed each essential skill, tool, equipment item, and piece of knowledge needed to complete the task to the desired standard.

The task list was developed in a manner which supported any potential choice of training or job task performance support. Even though a job aid was the selected intervention in this case, this task will support the development of performance objectives and lesson plans in the future.

End of Sample Task List

This is a partial task list (4 pages of 8) for this instructional design work sample.

Critical, Difficult, and Complex Performance Elements

The identification the most important performance elements for task success and performer safety is a key final step in the ID process. Whatever the instructional solution, these points must be reinforced in ways which promote 100% success in the workplace.

Due to safety implications, the information gathered concerning the recommended use of PPEs from the manufacturers of the chemicals used in the cleaning and sanitation process was important. Similarly important was the hearing protection recommendations due to noise output while using the optional power equipment, especially within the confined space of a cargo area. Although not a current “performance gap” as far as completing the task, the team observed that PPE’s were not consistently being used by the SME’s. The team prominently addressed PPEs and safety in the job aid.
EBP ID 3 Crit Task

The integration of the multimedia and special contiguity principles (Clark, 2008) in this job aid design are supported by the need to reduce cognitive load, simplify the decision-making processes, and enhance the clarity of the task steps while providing adequate instruction.


View the Job Aid

Click the Job Aid for a larger view

Static Job Aid

This one-page infographic job aid was selected as the primary deliverable for the client. Its low cost and simplicity fosters ease of implementation and simple reproduction.

Click the Job Aid for a larger view

Static Job Aid

This one-page graphic job aid was selected as the primary deliverable for the client. Its low cost and simplicity fosters ease of implementation and simple reproduction.

Kinetic Selector Wheel Version

Developed by design team member Victor McCraw, this is an alternative version designed to display only the needed task elements based on the users' inspection of the cargo area.
(Concept development video appears here)

Please enlarge the video for better viewing. (No Sound)


Clark, R. C. (2008). Building expertise: Cognitive methods for training and performance improvement (3rd ed.). [Kindle]. Retrieved from Amazon

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Collate. In Merriam-Webster dictionary. Retrieved from

OPWL 587: About evidence-based practice (EBP) [Supplemental material]. (2019, Summer). In A. Pechloff (Comp.), OPWL 537 course materials (pp. 1-9). Boise, ID: Boise State University.

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Boise State University. (2019). Instructional design course handbook. Boise, ID: Boise State University College of Engineering.

Van Tiem, D. M., Moseley, J. L., & Dessinger, J. C. (2012). Fundamentals of performance improvement: Optimizing results through people, process and organizations (3rd ed.). Pfeiffer.