Needs Assessment and Program Planning

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From CTL Leadership Development …

From CTL Leadership Development
Fall meeting
Ruttger's, 2009

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  • 1. Needs Assessments and Program Planning Lynda Milne 2009 CTL Leadership Development Program
  • 2. Basic Questions of Needs Assessment
  • 3. Needs Assessment Methods Method Kinds of Data Good for ? Features Specific Uses Surveys
    • Opinions,
    • Preferences
    • Self-report of behavior
    • Easily analyzed as quantitative information
    • Aggregate information
    • Big picture
    • Comparison of sub-groups (if sufficient #s)
    • Cheap
    • Challenging to design well
    • Difficult to get high enough response rate to ensure validity
    • Identify:
    • Interest in topics
    • Prioritization
    • Levels of satisfaction
    • Stakeholder information
    • Opinions,
    • Preferences
    • Informed, thoughtful
    • Qualitative
    • Expert input
    • Details, rationale
    • Triangulation
    • Labor, time intensive
    • Permit interactive probing
    • Identify:
    • Explanatory details, esp. post-survey
    • Vested interests of stakeholders
  • 4. Needs Assessment Methods Method Kinds of Data Good for ? Features Specific Uses Focus Groups
    • Opinions
    • Preferences
    • Qualitative
    • Test concept
    • Brainstorming
    • Pre-design or pre-survey
    • Labor, time intensive
    • Permit interactive probing
    • Open-ended
    • Identify:
    • Key ideas
    • Response to new proposals
    • New solutions
    Institutional data
    • Performance indicators
    • Background information, key documents
    • Quantitative and qualitative
    • Evidence of trends, patterns
    • Explanation of context
    • Comparison of sub-groups
    • Availability dependent on resources
    • Interpretation requires follow-up (interviews, e.g.)
    • Identify:
    • Actual aggregate data both before and after intervention.
  • 5. Which source? Mixed sources, usually
    • Triangulation : multiple forms of overlapping, diverse pieces of evidence and perspectives.
    • By using multiple forms of evidence and perspectives, a truer portrait of the student can be developed (Wiggins, 1998). While the same biases in evidence collection still come into play, because more types of evidence are being used to form one's opinion about the student, there are more cross checks on the accuracy of the decision.
      • Multiple data sources (survey, observation, focus groups, interview
      • Ensure non-overlapping areas of weakness and strength
  • 6. NOAA’s 12 Steps for Needs Assessment
    • Let’s try a few steps.
  • 7. Examples and Cases
    • CTL Biennial Faculty Development Surveys
      • 2003 triangulated with survey of CAOs, survey of presidents, interviews with deans, focus groups of CTL Campus Leaders.
    • Yours?
  • 8. Reporting…and Planning a Program
    • Reporting data so that stakeholders and decision-makers feel they have enough information is key.
    • What changes in behavior, attitudes and performance are expected?
    • [How] will we get them?
    • What are the expected economic costs and benefits of any projected solutions?
  • 9. Go forth and inquire!
    • Needs evaluation: University of Texas
    • Needs Assessment: George Mason University
    • ScienceDirect - Evaluation and Program Planning : Problems in needs assessment data: Discrepancy analysis
    • Who Needs What Training? A Look Askance at Training Needs Assessment
    • Needs Assessment
    • Instructional Design Models
    • Needs Assessment Surveys: Do They Predict Attendance at Continuing Education Workshops?
    • This set of links (and more?!) at