Educators have understood pedagogy, the process of helping children learn, for a long time. It wasn’t until 1970, however, when Malcolm Knowles coined the word andragogy to describe how adults learn, that we really started to think about how adult learning differs from the way children learn. Adults bring specific characteristics to the learning environment. They have life experiences that they want to be incorporated into their learning. They are motivated to learn when they have a problem to solve. Therefore, they are more interested in the specifics of a topic than in its generalities. For adults, being a learner is often not their primary role; it is secondary to their other life obligations. Combine these adult learner characteristics with their various learning styles, add a sprinkling of learning theories, and the result is a complicated mix that trainers must consider for the training to be well received and meet the needs of the adult audience (Gusdorf, M.L., 2009). As you can see there are a lot of things to take into consideration when developing a training program.
Utilizing a needs assessment is important in order to gather the facts about training needs and approaches. A training needs assessment is conducted to identify the gaps between the employees’ actual performance and desired performance. Careful analysis of performance gaps determines what training needs to be done or if there is a need for training at all. In some cases, the performance gaps are not related to training deficiencies and other interventions may be needed (Gusdorf, M.L., 2009).
Continue reading for your assignment instructions.
This week, time is of the essence. You will be creating a needs assessment which will consist of three (3) parts. 1) design the online needs assessment survey for your client 2) conduct the survey with 10-20 participants and 3) analyze your results. Your work will be submitted using Trello. See What is Trello? IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS on page one of this document for Trello tips.
Here is a sample timeline to consider to complete this part of your project in one week:
- Step 1 Monday and Tuesday -read your textbook, design the needs assessment survey, and select 10-20 people who will participate.
- Step 2 Wednesday and Thursday – conduct the survey with 10-20 participants (1 must be your instructor)
- Step 3 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – analyze your results and submit your work
- (15 points) Design the necessary online needs assessment survey for the organization you selected.
- Google Forms is recommended as an easy to use online survey assessment tool. It will gather all of your responses and create graphs, etc. for you. Click here to learn more about how to use Google Forms.
- SurveyMonkey is another online survey tool that is easy to use. Click here to learn more about using and to login to SurveyMonkey.
- Keep your assessment short for this project, remember you do not have a lot of time. We recommend no more than 15-20 questions, this includes any demographic questions you might ask.
- Make sure to include all resources utilized for your research, cite your sources. Put this information in the last question or the Confirmation Message at the end of your survey.
- (15 points) Next, you will conduct the needs assessment with at least 10-20 participants, they do not have to be employees of the organization. Participants can be your family, friends, employees of the organization if you know them, coworkers at another organization, anyone you know. However, one of the participants needs to be your instructor. Make sure to invite your instructor to participate in your needs assessment survey. Allow participants only 24 to 48 hours to complete your survey so you can thoroughly analyze the results.
- (20 points) Once your survey has closed it is time to analyze your results and determine what training program you will focus on developing for this organization. Create a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation that details the results of the needs analysis. Include a slide for each of the following questions, make sure to include the question along with your response:
- How many people were invited to participate in the needs assessment? How many people responded to the needs assessment? What percentage responded?
- What training needs have you identified?
- Who is the training audience?
- What, one, training will you focus on developing for the remainder of this project? Why did you select this training need over the others?
- Are there other issues identified that are not training issues?
- What advice as an independent training consultant would you give to Ryan regarding the non-training issues?
- If you could implement any type of needs assessment instrument(s), not just a survey, within the organization which techniques from our textbook would you utilize? Explain your rationale. If you would only use a survey explain why. See the Noe textbook Chapter 3 Table 3.2 for examples.
- Optional – you are welcome to include any other interesting results from your needs assessment analysis that may be helpful for Ryan to consider.