Amy Schultz

March 26, 2015
Task Analysis Paper

Task Analysis of The Obstacle Course

I. Relevance and Importance
A. The age group for this activity is 7-12 years old. This is because this age group
has the motor and processing skills needed for the obstacle course. If the age group is
older, they would be bored; although they have the skills, they would have no interest
and may not feel dignified by participating in this activity. If the group is younger, they
would not have the motor and cognitive skills required to attend and perform the activity.
B. The stage of play the obstacle course is in is Dramatic, Complex, Constructive, and
Pregame. This is because the obstacle course facilitates social interaction with peers,
fine motor skills with dexterity of hands, gross motor skills, and endurance to complete
the activities.
II. Objects and Properties
A. The tools that were manipulated during the obstacle course were as follows:
stopwatch, ball and popper, scooterboard, tennis ball and racket, puzzle and pieces,
and jump rope.
B. The supply that would need to be replaced was chalk because after every use new
chalk is needed.
C.

The equipment used were the cones.

D. The stopwatch was on a phone, therefore, the cost is free, as long as a phone is
present. The cost for the ball and popper was about $1, the scooterboard was bought
as a set of 6 for $200, the tennis ball and racket were about $10, the puzzle and pieces
were about $5, the cup for the pieces was $1, the jump rope and chalk were $1 for a
box of 4, and the cones were about $30.
E. There were some safety precautions that needed to be considered. They needed
proper footwear because there is a great deal of jumping, running, and maneuvering.
There had to be enough space for the activity since it took up a large space. The
surface needs to be dry to prevent slipping or accidents. It should also be the proper
temperature because if it is too hot or cold the participants will be uncomfortable. Also,
the scooterboard needs to be flipped over so that participants will not trip over it and it
will be stationary.

III. Space Demands
A.

The size of space demanded for the obstacle course is about 20 by 10 feet.

B. The course was presented in a linear arrangement. Each segment was closely
behind the one before it to facilitate a good flow for the course. This also helps the
participant to anticipate the items and their next moves.
C. The surface should be a flat, solid, concrete surface. This is because the scooter
wheels will glide well on concrete and it is also easier to jump and hop.
D. Adequate lighting is required in order to see where the material are placed and if
retrieval for items is needed. The obstacle course took place outside, mid-day which
gave natural light.
E. A comfortable temperature range is about 65 degrees to 75 degrees outside. It is
important to participate in comfortable temperature so body functions are increased and
the amount of complaints are decreased.
F. There was a very high noise level while participating in the obstacle course and an
appropriate environment is required. The OTA students were in groups which lead to a
competitive environment and a higher noise level. It would not be socially appropriate to
carry out this activity too close to open classrooms because other classes may have a
problem with it.
IV. Social Demands
A. This activity involves a group of people. The amount of people can be open-ended
for this activity but this group consisted of about 32 peers.
B. This group consisted of peers in an OTA student group. They all have similar
interests in participating in the OTA classes, therefore, shared excitement for the
obstacle course.
C. There are some specific rules for the activity that are necessary for the smooth
continuation of the activity. It is important to take turns and to know when to start and
end each person’s turn and giving the freedom to the next person to start. Another rule
is needing to complete one task in the obstacle course before moving onto the next
steps. Without completion of a step, there is no going forward. Also, they understood
that each person had to participate in the course at least once.
D. The expectations of the participants was for them to interact and carry out the
activity with enthusiasm, competitiveness, and encouragement. The participants were
expected to heed the instructions and be focused in completing the intended purpose. It
is expected that they use appropriate verbal communication for the situation and to
have a proper attitude with no whining.
V. Sequence and Timing

A.

1. The participants line up behind the Start line; the first one is in front. --20 sec

2. Someone yells starts and the first participants begin --2 sec
3. Participant hops through hopscotch section, alternating hopping with one foot then
two feet in boxes; the participant knows to stop when they reach the end of boxes --10
sec
4. Participant pops ball up and catches it in cup five times by thrusting popper in the air
and catching ball on its descending path --20 sec
5. Participant sits on scooterboard, uses feet to pull scooter and self across cement,
and zig-zag scoot around cones that are placed in a line. They continue until they pass
the final cone --15 sec
6. Participant grasps jump rope, jumps while arms propel rope over the head and under
the feet; participant is complete after ten successful jumps --10 sec
7. Participant grasps and dumps the cup of pieces, arranges the pieces according to the
design on the puzzle base, and completes it when they are all in place --30 sec
8. Participant grasps the tennis racket and ball, places ball on top of racket, and
balances the ball there while walking to the start line --10 sec
9. Participant crosses finish line and their turn is over --1 sec
10. The next participant begins and completes steps 3-9 --2 min
11. This continues until all participants in group have gone and game ends --10 min
B. The timing for this game is about 10 minutes. This is subject to change based on
the amount of participants.
VI.
A.

Motor Skills:

1. Posture:
a. Alignment and truck control is needed so they can participate without leaning or
propping themselves on something and focus can be given to the task. Without
this, the participant would not be able to use their trunk control to keep them
aligned while trying to catch the ball with the popper without using the fence or
props to lean on.
b. Stability is needed so they can navigate through the cones on the scooterboard
without using something to lean or prop up on. Because of the necessary
navigating, they will need to anticipate the change in posture while moving trunk
different ways. Without the needed stability, they would not be able to move
through the course without knocking the cones over.

c. Positioning is important because they will have to sit on scooter in such a way
that they will be able to use their body weight to move themselves. They also
must position themselves an appropriate distance from the cones so awkward
body positioning is deceased.
2. Mobility:
a. Ambulation is needed when they walk back to the start line while balancing the
tennis ball on the racket. There should not be shuffling of feet or propping up on
something during this ambulation so they can successfully get across the finish
line without the ball falling off of the racket.
b. When retrieving the tennis ball from the ground, in-midline reaching and
extending of the arm are used. The ball and the racket were close to the previous
activity and the participant, therefore, cross-midline reaching was not needed.
c. Bending is used when grasping the ball from the ground. Flexing and rotating of
the trunk are used when grasping the ball because it is out of reach and rolling
on the ground.
3. Coordination:
a. Bilateral coordination was used in the ball popper section because the participant
needed to grasp the popper with one hand and guide the ball into the cup with
the other. Eye-hand coordination is important when the ball in falling from a
height towards the cup. Following the ball with their eyes and matching the hand
holding the cup under the ball will lead to the ball landing in the cup faster.
b. Manipulation is used when putting the puzzle together because the participant
uses palm-to-finger translation. They grasped a piece to hold while placing
another with their other hand. When it was time to place that piece, they use their
hand to move the piece from their palm to fingers and they were then able to
adjust it effectively.
c. A cylindrical grasp is used when grasping the cup holding the puzzle pieces. An
effective grasp is needed to make sure the cup does not slip so that the puzzle
pieces can be dumped to make searching through them easier. A neat pincer
grasp was also used when they picked up individual pieces from the pile. A
simple rotation was used when they reoriented the puzzle piece to face the
appropriate way. The rolling of the piece less than 90 degrees allowed for quick
repositioning of the piece so the puzzle could be completed quickly.

4. Strength and Effort:
a. The participant moves the puzzle piece across the puzzle paper base to
effectively push or pull the piece into the appropriate spot in the puzzle. Moving

the piece is easier and quicker than grasping the piece to lift it which increases
the speed for this activity.
b. Before beginning the jump rope section, they must transport the jump rope, while
walking. The jump rope must first be carried, and not dropped, to a large enough
area that the participant can effectively jump and swing their arms and the rope
without colliding with objects.
c. The participant should be able to lift the jump rope without increased effort. They
should also be able to lift their arms and the rope over their head in a circular
motion quickly to complete this section of the course.
d. The participant must calibrate the movement of their arms and the jump rope as
it travels in a circle. They must give the appropriate force from their arms to send
the jump rope at a speed that matches the jump they can master. They must also
calibrate their jumps because they have to jump high enough to clear the rope
but not so high they are prematurely tired.
e. Smooth arm and wrist movement are important when grasping and releasing the
puzzle pieces or when moving it across the base. Without fluid movements, they
could easily bump other pieces out of their spot which would disorganize their
puzzle and slow them down in that section. They also need to use smooth
movements when pouring the puzzle pieces from the cup so they do not fly
everywhere.
5. Energy:
a. The endurance level for this obstacle course is rated moderate. The participant
needed to persist without fatigue or pausing to rest or catch their breath,
regardless of the numerous tasks, in order to receive a good time in the activity.
b. The participant must pace themselves throughout the length of the course; they
should not speed through one section and, in turn, have a slow tempo in another.
This will allow for a steady, even tempo throughout the course and the
participants will not become too tired.
B. Sensory-Perceptual Functions:
1. Sensory:
a. The sense of vision is used when scooting around the cones because it helps to
register the distance between self and cone and the rate as they approach the
cones. They use vision to recognize the cones apart from the cement and also to
notice how close their feet got to the cones while attempting to maneuver around.
b. Hearing is used when the participant hears the “Go” and knows that it is time to
start the activity. They also use hearing when listening to the encouraging cheers
of their peers which is motivational to them.

c. The vestibular system is used when the participant is hopping through
hopscotch. They alternate hopping on one foot and landing on two feet and must
rely on the sense of balance to keep them upright and continuing the course.
d. The sense of taste was only used by the victors when they were awarded their
candy; they tasted a sweet and sour while tasting their victory.
e. The sense of smell was used when smelling the chlorine of the pool that was
adjacent to the obstacle course. It was an orientating reminder that the course
was on a school campus with the pool in that placement.
f. Proprioception was used when the participant was popping the ball into the cup.
Since they had to be focusing visually on the ball and cup, they had to rely on
proprioception to know that their feet were still ambulating and balancing
underneath.
g. Touch is used when balancing the ball on the tennis racket. They can feel the
light touch of the racket handle to adjust it within the hand to keep the ball on the
racket.
2. Perceptual:
a. Stereognosis is used when the participant is holding the tennis racket with the
ball while walking towards the finish line. They must be looking where they are
going but can feel with their hands, without using vision, how to adjust the racket
so the ball stays balanced on top. Through cognition, the participant can fill in the
gaps that the lack of vision causes.
b. Kinesthesia is used when walking forward with the tennis ball and racket. The
participant can identify the power and direction of the movement through the
joints and limbs to know they are moving forward at an appropriate speed for
balancing the ball.
c. Body scheme is used during the scooter activity because the participant was
advised to kneel on the board and their body scheme tells them that their knees
are present and they are what is used during kneeling. If this was an issue, the
participant may not know which body part to bear weight through on the
scooterboard.
d. Figure-Ground Discrimination is needed while putting the puzzle together
because the participant must recognize the difference between the red puzzle
pieces and the red on the puzzle base. If those two are not distinguished from
each other, the participant will have trouble knowing if the puzzle is complete or if
the red showing is the base.
e. Visual closure is used when putting the puzzle together. From the start of this
section, the participant notices the puzzle pieces in the cup. The cup is full of

pieces and even though the participant cannot see every single piece, they know,
using visual closure, that the cup is full of pieces to the bottom.
f. Form constancy is used after the puzzle is completed because the participant
can recognize that the completed puzzle is a wagon even if it does not look like a
typical wagon that one uses. The puzzle wagon is made from shapes and is
missing many key characteristics for recognizing one but the general shape and
color give away the result.
g. Right left discrimination is used when the participant is using the scooter through
the cones. They must know if they start by turning left around the first cone, they
must go right after the second cones and so forth and so on.
h. Position in space is used when the participant places the ball on the racket to
take it back to the finish line. They must know to place to ball on top of the racket
and that the racket must be parallel to the ground in order to stay balanced on
the racket. Without the proper position in space, the ball would not stay on the
racket long enough for them to make it back to the finish line.
i. Depth perception discrimination when the participant is hopping through the
hopscotch course. They cannot hop too far into the next box or too close and not
make it into the box ahead because that will take away from any momentum in
the course.
C. Process Skills:
1. Adhere to task:
a. The participant paces when they are planning the subsequent steps to continue
an effective tempo throughout the course. They cognitively maintain a tempo and
an effective rate of carrying out the tasks.
b. The participants attend to the course by focusing continuously and not
interrupting the activity. This was especially important while putting the puzzle
together because they needed to focus on completing it so ensure that the other
team does not get ahead.
c. The participant heeds and is focused on carrying out the tasks of the obstacle
course as quickly as possible. The rules and expectations were laid out and they
followed through with the specific instructions of the course. If the participants did
not heed, it would be difficult to complete the course and determine a winner.
2. Knowledge:
a. The participant chooses the appropriate puzzle pieces while putting the puzzle
together. There were only certain colors used in the puzzle and blue was an
added color in the cup that was not included in the puzzle. The participant

needed to choose which pieces they needed and choose which pieces to
disregard. The quicker they decide that, the quicker they can finish the puzzle.
b. The participants used the tennis racket to balance the tennis ball on. Normally,
the racket is meant to hit the ball in a game of tennis, but in terms of the obstacle
course, the proper use was the balance the ball on it.
c. The participant handles the tennis racket while balancing the ball on top because
they cognitively plan how fast they can walk and still deliver the support and
stabilization that the racket needs so the ball does not fall off.
d. Inquiry was used when some participants asked about the required technique
of the ball and popper. Since some of the students had used different methods,
some participants asked others how it needed to be performed.
3. Temporal Organization:
a. The participants use initiating the activity when someone yells, “Go!”. Whoever is
at the start of their group must start the first activity immediately to commence
the obstacle course and the stopwatches.
b. The participant continues the activity when they are scooting around cones. They
know that once they scoot around one cone, they must still scoot around the
remaining cones to complete that task.
c. The participant uses sequencing of the activity when they must put the puzzle
together. They must plan ahead to grasp the cup, dump the pieces, then place
each piece where it belongs. If proper sequencing is not used, the activity would
be more difficult.
d. The participants used termination when the obstacle course was ended. Since
there were 5 participants in a group, the activity could not be completed until the
last person on the team was done. The stopwatches could not be stopped until
the last person finished.
4. Organizing space and objects:
a. The participants searched for and located the correct puzzle pieces from the
variety of pieces given. They had to locate the pieces depending on the shape
and color. If they had trouble with this, the puzzle would have been done
incorrectly or it would have taken a longer amount of time to complete.
b. The participants gathered the tools needed and placed them by the activity area.
They also gathered the chalks that had been used and returned them to their
box.
c. The participants organized the materials in the linear set-up that the instructors
had previously designed. It was a logical pattern because it followed the way of a
smooth obstacle course.

d. The participants restored the activity space to its original condition during the
activity. After one participant completed the scooter section, there were
volunteers that entered the course area, grasped and relocated the scooter back
to its original spot. This is important because the next participant will need to
have the scooter waiting for them at the start of that section. It would not be
appropriate to have the participant ambulate to the end of the section to retrieve
the scooter then proceed with the scooter activity.
5. Adapt:
a. The participant navigates around the cones on the scooterboard without bumping
into them. This is especially difficult because they are sitting on scooterboards
that are meant for smaller people and the steering occurs with hands and feet.
b. The participant that has their turn next must respond to the non-verbal cues of
their peer ahead of them. When their peer crosses the finish line and drops the
ball into the pitcher they are non-verbally telling the next peer to start their
section of the course.
c. The participant modifies their strategy when they popped the ball and were not
able to catch it the first time. After the first time, they know to aim the ball straight
up and guard the side of the cup with the other hand to guard the ball from
bouncing out of the cup. After accommodating their strategy, they are able to
complete the following catches at a quicker and more effective rate.
d. The participant benefits from the prevention of the ball not landing in the cup and
the subsequent attempts are better and the task can be completed quicker.
D. Social Interaction Skills:
1. Communication:
a. The participants gesticulates to a peer when they have decided they want them
on their team. They gesture to them by pointing at them and waving them over to
their area and it is an inviting, welcoming gesture.
b. The participant turns toward the instructor as the instructions are given. This is a
sign of respect and it makes it easier to hear the person that is speaking.
c. They make eye contact with their peers when they discuss the order of the relay.
When they are looking at their peers, it facilitates a more effective conversation
because the eye contact is engaging.
d. The participants positions themselves an appropriate distance away from their
peers while discussing the rules of the obstacle course. They do not get too
close, like they may if they were inside, and invade other’s personal space but
they do not stand so far away that communication is awkward or difficult.

e. The participant uses touches when they high-five their peers because they did
well in the course. They are socially appropriate when they respond to the touch
with a smile and continued conversation.
2. Information Exchange:
a. The participant uses approaches when they initiate a conversation with their new
group. They are socially appropriate when they discuss the obstacle course and
their excitement for the task.
b. They appropriately produce speech to discuss the order of the group for the
course. The participant speaks clear and they talk around the group to decide the
preferences.
c. When planning out the best way to use the scooterboard, the participant speaks
fluently to their peers. They do not talk too fast and they keep an even pace so
their peers can clearly understand.
d. The participant asks questions when they are unsure of the rules regarding the
ball and popper. When some of their peers do it one complicated way and the
others do it a simpler way, they question their peers to decide which is correct.
e. The participant’s peer replies to the question and answers it appropriately and
this keeps the conversation going between the two.
f. The participant discloses their opinions when they express their anxiety about the
jumprope. They notice that it is a short one that is made for kids and it may be
difficult for adults who are taller. This is appropriate information and feelings to
disclose in an activity such as the course.
g. The participant uses the words, “Thanks man” to convey gratitude for the
encouragement given during the obstacle course.
h. The participant transitions within the conversation when they first talk about the
obstacle course and the difficulty of the ball popper to the encouragement for a
peer as they cross the finish line. It was an appropriate transition because
everyone had said their piece about the first topic and the incoming peep took
over priority for the participants.
i. The participant used appropriate time response when the team leader called their
name and they responded with enthusiasm without delay but also not interrupting
their thoughts.
j. The participant used appropriate time duration when they spoke for a reasonable
amount of time within the ball popping conversation. Each participant in the
group discussed what they thought would be easiest and they each spoke shortly
to give everyone a chance to give their opinion.

k. The participants matched language within the obstacle course group because
they matched the level of understanding and the level of volume. Since all of the
participants are students they can talk with a certain language and library of
terms because they all understand the topics. Also, since they were outside, the
group naturally got louder and each group matched that volume level and it got
increasingly higher.
l. The participant clarifies for their peer when they are asked about the end of a
turn. The answer is clarified when the participant tells their peer their turn ends
when the tennis ball is dropped in the pitched at the start line. Their peer is then
up to speed on the rules of the course.
m. The participant concludes the social interaction, with their peer, about the end of
a turn when they ask and clarify that they understand the topic. This ensures that
the conversation was understood and no further questions need to be asked.
3. Maintain Appropriate Relationships:
a. They used regulation when they were upset over losing but did not demonstrate
any impulsive behaviors because that would be socially inappropriate.
b. The participant expressed appropriate emotion when they cheered for their peer
as they crossed the finish line. Smiling, cheering, and encouraging their peers is
a socially acceptable way to express their emotions of excitement.
c. The participant expressed their differences with their peers when they disagreed
with their plan for the scooterboard. The participant expressed their opinion and
explained why they prefer sitting on their bottom instead of their knees while
scooting.
d. The participant used taking turns with their peers when they let others go ahead
of them before their turn arrived and then they let their other peers carry out their
turns afterwards. They performed their tasks at the appropriate time and gave
their peers the freedom to go when they needed to.
e. They acknowledge the encouragement from their peers when they cheered and
gave approval for the completed tasks. They also encouraged their peers to
continue the cycle of cheering for their classmates.
f. The participant empathizes with their peers when they express their anxiety over
their turn that is coming up. They explained how they understood because they
were anxious for some of the obstacles as well.
g. The participant heeds and is focused on completing the activity. They
communicate to their peers to facilitate their completion of the obstacle course.
h. The participants and their group accommodated to prevent inappropriate social
interaction. When they first began setting up the obstacle course, they realized

that their location proved to be an ineffective spot because it was next to a
classroom and the noise level of the group was a bit high. To prevent this, the
group moved a ways away from the classroom and proceeded.
i. The benefits were reaped after the participants moved to the location away from
the classroom. This prevented social problems from occurring and the group
could proceed as they desired.
VII. Adapt Activity:
To grade this activity harder, the puzzle pieces could be a random set of colors, instead
of being color coded. In this activity, each shape of piece was a certain color. This
guides the participant by giving them one more cue as to which piece is correct. By
eliminating that cue, the participant must only choose their pieces by way of shape. The
performance skill being graded harder is the process skill, chooses.
To grade this activity easier, the puzzle could be With the heightened borders around
the border of the puzzle, the performance skill being graded easier is the performance
skill, flows. If the participant is has impairment in terms of flow and does not have
smooth, fluid arm and wrist movement, the borders of the puzzle will help block the
pieces. It allows for the participant to repeatedly practice the fluid movement and the
borders block the pieces from moving far, therefore, the puzzle can be completed which
leads to a sense of pride and competency for the participant.

Extra Credit:
ADL: The performance skill bending can apply to the ADL area of occupation. The
participant bends, by flexing and rotating their trunk, to reach for a ball and that can
apply to the personal hygiene section of ADL’s. They used bending between 5 and 15
times while reaching for the ball, therefore, this activity could be therapeutic to a person
focusing on bending as task. The participant would like to bend and rotate their trunk to
apply a hairdryer and moose to their hair. For them, that requires being able to bend
and be in that position to get full coverage of their hair.
IADL: The performance skill grips can apply to the IADL area of occupation. The
participant grips the ball popper with a cylindrical grasp which is much like the cylindrical
grasp used when holding jars of spaghetti sauce. The participant was required to use
this grasp for the entire time they were in the ball and popper section so the activity
could be used as a therapeutic means. In terms of the IADL of meal prepping, the
participant would like to hold jars with a firm cylindrical grasp so they can be
independent in preparing a meal for their family.
Education: The performance skill manipulates can be applied to the Education area of
occupation. The participant would like to be able to fully engage when their classmates
are using the play money during math time. The participant has trouble with in-hand

manipulation and palm-to-finger translation. When the participant was grasping for the
puzzle pieces, they used palm-to-finger translation which would be a therapeutic means
in terms of manipulation the play coins at math time.
Work: The performance skill Aligns can apply to the Work area of occupation because
the participant would like to make coffee at work without needing to prop themselves
against the counter. While using the ball and popper, the participant used their trunk
control to align themselves accordingly, wherever the ball was located. That could be
used as a therapeutic means to assist with using trunk control when making coffee at
work.
Play: The performance skill, endures, can apply to the Play area of occupation. In the
obstacle course, the participant needed a moderate endurance level to complete the
activity. They would like to be able to endure the length of a basketball game after
school. This requires a moderate level of endurance with all of the jogging, jumping, and
shooting with their arm over-head. The endurance level is comparable and the activities
completed are as well.
Leisure: The performance skill flow can apply to the Leisure area of occupation. The
participant needed to use steady and fluid arm and wrist movements while placing the
puzzle pieces where they belonged. Unsteady movement can easily destroy the
progress they made. Also, since the puzzle consisted of about 10 pieces, it required
flow the entire time; therefore, the activity could be used as a therapeutic means. The
participant would like to be able to perform with fluid arm and wrist movements while
they enjoy a game of chess. Without flow, the undesired movements could knock over
the chess pieces and destroy the game.
Social Participation: The motor skill, moves, can be applied to the Social Participation
area of occupation. The participant moved the puzzle pieces by pushing and pulling the
pieces across the puzzle base; there were about 10 pieces needing placement so this
activity could be used as a therapeutic means. The participant would like to be able to
effectively move poker chips and game pawns across the appropriate surfaces in order
to be able to engage with their friends on game night.