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Needs Assessment. Materials based on Smith & Ragan (2007), Instructional Analysis: Analyzing the Learning Contex t. Needs Assessment. Needs Assessment. Analysis of the learning context involves two steps :

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needs assessment

Needs Assessment

Materials based on Smith & Ragan (2007), Instructional Analysis: Analyzing

the Learning Context

needs assessment2
Needs Assessment

Analysis of the learning context involves two steps:

  • justification of a need for instruction to help learners reach learning goals and
  • description of the learning environment in which the instruction will be used.
needs assessment3
Needs Assessment

Designers conduct a needs assessment to find out:

  • Whether instruction should be designed/developed.
  • if there actually is a need for new instruction to be developed.
when should a needs assessment be conducted
When Should a NeedsAssessment Be Conducted?

Common reasons for NA:

I. No big problem is apparent, but organization wishes to evaluate its training program.

2. There\'s a problem: Clients not satisfied; products defective; and so on.

3. There is something new (innovation)that learners need to learn: New equipment is added that employees need to operate; new employees who require remediation to do their jobs; and so on.

approaches to needs assessment
Approaches to Needs Assessment
  • Discrepancy-Based Needs Assessment
  • Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving
  • Innovation
discrepancy based needs assessment1
Discrepancy-Based Needs Assessment

Key ideas:

  • List the goals/needs. Ask yourself the question, "what should learners be able to do at the end of the instruction."
  • Determine to what extent the goal/need you identified in step 1 is being met.
  • Determine the discrepancy between "what is" and "what should be“. If there is a discrepancy, then you have a need.
discrepancy based needs assessment2
Discrepancy-Based Needs Assessment

4. Prioritize discrepancies or needs.

Rate how important or critical the needs are. The following questions can be asked:

  • What are the biggest gaps/needs?
  • What goals and associated needs are most important?
  • How many individuals are affected by the need?
  • How much is it costing to not reduce or eliminate the discrepancy/need?
  • What are the consequences of not meeting the goal or eliminating the need?
  • How probable is it that you can reduce/eliminate the discrepancy/need?
discrepancy based needs assessment3
Discrepancy-Based Needs Assessment

5. Determine which discrepancy/need requires instruction.

  • There are numerous reasons why learners may not be performing well and not all of those reasons required training or the development of an eLearning program.
discrepancy based needs assessment4
Discrepancy-Based Needs Assessment

Solutions other than training that might solve performance problems:

  • job redesign,
  • recruitment (selection),
  • job reassignment,
  • organizational development,
  • selling (motivation),
  • incentive and feedback systems,
  • facilities design, and tools design.

Thiagarajan (1984)

discrepancy based needs assessment5
Discrepancy-Based Needs Assessment

If there is a learning need:

  • In what environment will the e-Learning program be placed.
  • Instructional programs are made up of and affected by many factors including learners, instructional materials, trainers, instructional equipment and facilities, and the organization (school, company).
  • Think about the environment in which the program will be used (e.g., Web).
problem finding problem solving model
Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving Model
  • The "crisis" model.
  • Someone in management or administration has identified that a problem exists in the organization\'s achieving its mission.
problem finding problem solving model1
Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving Model

Key ideas:

  • Determine whether there really is a problem.
  • Determine whether the cause of problem is related to employee performance in training environments.
  • Determine whether the solution should be training.
  • Determine whether instruction for these learning goals is currently offered.
problem finding problem solving model2
Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving Model
  • Determine whether there really is a problem.
  • The keys to success of this activity are to ask the right questions of the right people and to get complete answers.
  • The goal of this investigation is to clarify the problem and determine how serious it is.
determine whether there really is a problem
Determine whether there really is a problem.

Some questions to ask:

  • Who says there is a problem?
  • Why do they say there is a problem?
  • Do others perceive it to be a problem?
  • Who does not agree that there is a problem? Why?
  • When was the problem first noticed?
  • Who is affected by the problem?
  • How pervasive is the problem?
problem finding problem solving model3
Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving Model

2. Determine whether the cause of the problem is related to employee performance in training environments.

  • Employee performance may not be the cause of a problem but malfunctioning equipment or other work conditions may be.
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Determine whether the cause of the problem is related to employee performance in training environments.

Some questions to ask:

  • How does employee performancerelate to the problem identified in step I?
  • When performance improves, does the problem get better?
  • Does performance appear to be impacted by other factors that causes both the problem and, the performance deficits?
  • Whatevidence is there that suggests that performance deficitscause the problem or affect it?
  • If problem appears to be caused by employee performance the designer can move on to step 3.
problem finding problem solving model4
Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving Model

3. Determine whether the solution to the performance problem is learning.

  • "Could employees demonstrate that they have achieved the learning reflected by this goal,if their lives depended on it?”
  • Are problems caused by motivation, incentives, facilities\' design, tools design, the climate of the agency, the interaction with peers, policy decisions, or other nonlearningfactors?
problem finding problem solving model5
Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving Model
  • Instructional designers should not immediately assume that poor performance on learning tasks implies a need to correct or revise instruction.
  • The designer must become a detective who delays determination that instruction is the solution to performance problems until the problem has been thoroughly investigated.
problem finding problem solving model6
Problem-Finding, Problem-Solving Model

4. Determine whether instruction for these learning goals is currently offered.

innovation model1
Innovation Model
  • Innovation Model examines changes or innovations in the organization and determines if new learning goals should be added.
  • As this process may add or change goals in an organization, stakeholders, (trainers, managers, administrators, clients) should be involved in this process.
innovation model2
Innovation Model

Key ideas:

1. Determine the nature of the innovation or change.

2. Determine the learning goals that accompany this innovation.

3. Determine whether these goals are appropriate and high priority in the learning system.

4. Begin learning environment analysis design activities.

innovation model3
Innovation Model

1. Determine the nature of the innovation or change.

  • Has there been a change in the composition of the learner population?
  • Has there been a significant change in the tools, policies, or the organization?
  • Has there been a significant change in the training philosophy of the organization?
  • How will the innovation affect the mission of the organization?
innovation model4
Innovation Model

2. Determine the learning goals that accompany this innovation.

  • How will innovation affect what is expectedin employees\' performance?
  • Does this effect significantly change what employees must understand, know, or do?
  • Can these new understandings, knowledge, or actions be taught?
innovation model5
Innovation Model

3. Determine whether these goals are appropriate and high priority in the learning system.

  • Are resources available to support this new instruction?
  • Are they adequate to design and develop this instruction?
  • Do these goals conflict with existing goals?
  • How will these goals be interpreted by affected groups (e.g., trainers, managers/administrators, clients)?
  • Do these goals represent partisan positions or vested interest groups?
innovation model6
Innovation Model

4. Begin learning environment analysis design activities

techniques for data gathering
Techniques for Data Gathering

Data can be acquired through a variety of techniques:

  • analysis of extant data,
  • analysis of subject matter,
  • interviewing,
  • observing,
  • focus groups,
  • and questionnaires and surveys.
models
Models

Identified Need/Problem

models1
Models

Identified Need/Problem

Is this a learning problem?

models2
Models

Identified Need/Problem

Is this a learning problem?

If yes then…

analysis
Analysis
  • Analyze the learning context
    • Describe the environment
    • Describe the learners
need assessment description of the learning environment
Need Assessment: Description of the Learning Environment
  • In what environment will the instructional program be placed.
  • Programs affected by many factors including learners, instructional materials, trainers, equipment and facilities, and the organization.
  • Study the environment in which the program will be used (e.g., Web).

If there is a learning need:

need assessment description of the learning environment1
Need Assessment: Description of the Learning Environment
  • Questions to guide you in understanding the environment:
    • What is the organizational culture – how does it perceive training?
    • Will media be central to the instruction or will it be peripheral and how do instructors and learners feel about this?
    • What are facilities like?
analysis1
Analysis
  • Consider the characteristics of target audience or population such as:
    • Gender, ethnicity, age
    • Prior learning
    • Cognitive style, learning style
analysis of learners
Analysis of Learners
  • Study the characteristics of audience or population
  • Not all learners are alike.
analysis of learners1
Analysis of Learners

Must examine the diversity and commonalities of target audience

…to design effective instruction…

analysis of learners stable similarities1
Analysis of Learners: Stable Similarities

Stable similarities among people that are unchanging over time – memory 7 (+ or – 2)

analysis of learners stable similarities2
Analysis of Learners: Stable Similarities

Stable similarities among people that are unchanging over time – memory 7 (+ or – 2)

e.g., Knowledge of information processing characteristics can help avoid problems due to limited capacity of memory.

analysis of learners2
Analysis of Learners

Miller’s \'7 plus or minus 2\' idea

Individuals only have the capacity to store roughly seven pieces of information in STM at a given time.

try to remember as many numbers as possible easier when grouped
Try to remember as many numbers as possible –easier when grouped

89671234159607

896 – 712 – 341 – 59607

memory
Memory
  • Hierarchical Model

Sensory

Practice and effort needed to make this transfer

Short Term

LongTerm

magic number 7 2
Magic Number 7 +/- 2
  • Value of “ chunking”

2125685382

magic number 7 21
Magic Number 7, + - 2
  • Value of “ chunking”
    • 2125685382 vs. 212DanHome
    • 10 chunks vs. 3
how many chunks in
How many chunks in . . .
  • www.bestbookbuys.com
  • 20? Not really:
    • www.
    • best
    • book
    • buys
    • .com
recognition vs recall
Recognition vs. recall
  • Why is a multiple choice test easier than an essay test?
    • Multiple choice: you can recognize the answer
    • Essay: you must recall the answer
  • Computer with a GUI allows us to recognize commands on a menu, instead of remembering them as in DOS and UNIX
memory aids
Memory aids
  • In Windows
    • ctrl- N (New)
    • ctrl- C (Copy)
    • ctrl- S (Save)
  • Favorites List and bookmarks to store URLs
  • Hyperlinks-if wording indicates content of the target page. (“Click here” is not a memory aid.)
memory aids1
Memory aids
  • In your design, give cues or memory aids for resuming tasks:
    • Back button
    • Followed links change color
memory aids2
Memory aids
  • Consistency in design helps users learn an interface.
  • May reduce cognitive load.
analysis of learners stable differences
Analysis of Learners: Stable differences

Stable differences among people that are unchanging over time – Cognitive style

analysis of learners stable differences1
Analysis of Learners: Stable differences

Stable differences among people that are unchanging over time – Cognitive style

Knowledge of one’s cognitive style can help determine types of information to present.

field dependence field independence
Field Dependence/Field Independence

Group Embedded Figures Text

field dependent learner
Field Dependent Learner
  • Experiences in a global fashion, adheres to structures
  • Learns material with social content best
  • Attends best to material relevant to own experience
  • Requires externally defined goals and reinforcements
  • Needs organization provided
  • More affected by criticism
  • Uses observational approach for concept attainment [learns best by using examples]
field independent learners
Field Independent Learners
  • Perceives analytically
  • Makes specific concept distinctions; little overlap
  • Impersonal orientation
  • May need explicit training in social skills
  • Interested in new concepts for their own sake
  • Has self-defined goals and reinforcement
  • Can self-structure situations
analysis of learners3
Analysis of Learners

Changing similarities among people that change over time, Language

analysis of learners4
Analysis of Learners

Changing differences among people that change over time, Prior learning

learning styles
Learning Styles

http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html

  • SENSING INTUITIVE LEARNERS
  • VISUAL VERBAL LEARNERS
  • SEQUENTIAL GLOBAL LEARNERS

Richard M. Felder

analysis of learners5
Analysis of Learners
  • Other things to consider
    • Gender, Ethnicity, Age
    • Prior learning
analysis of learners6
Analysis of Learners
  • Ways to find out about learner characteristics
    • Interviews
    • Observe members of target population
    • Assessment instruments (GEFT)
    • Review job descriptions
analysis of learners7
Analysis of Learners

Learner characteristics can impact:

  • Pace of the learning
  • Number of practice examples given to learners
  • Strategies for helping learners focus
  • Amount of structure and learner control
  • Response mode, visual, auditory
  • Amount of reinforcement
  • Time allowed for learning
  • Amount of guidance, cues, prompting, etc.
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