ERIC Number: ED161161
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug-14
Reference Count: 0
Needs Assessment in Education: More Discrepancy than Analysis.
Kominski, Edward S.
Significant discrepancies between ideal and real methods of needs assessment need to be rectified. Essential principles for managing an educational assessment have been set down by recognized educators. Experts' recommendations include such requirements as using a clear definition of need (as opposed to want), precise quantifiable methods, an inductive approach, and both "soft" and "hard" data. A 1977 study of national local education agencies, state education agencies, and commercial organizations indicates that these recommendations are not always followed. The discrepancies between the theoretical principles and actual practice suggest some corrective measures. (1) Needs assessment should be a continuous process. (2) A clear definition of need (as opposed to want) should be formulated along with precise quantifiable methods of need identification. (3) A clear distinction between nonacademic and academic needs should be made. (4) More experimentation with the inductive approach should be performed. (5) Needs assessment studies should be multicultural and multilingual where appropriate. (6) The technical quality of survey instruments should be improved. (7) Needs identified through questionnaires should be validated with statistical data. (8) More sophisticated analysis methods for the measurement of needs should be considered. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Evaluation Network (Aspen, Colorado, August 1978)