Tesl602-REPLIES-Discussion Thread: Needs Assessment
Needs Analysis Process
1. Determine what kind of information is important to know and why
2. Decide how and when to gather the information
3. Interpretation of information
4. Make decisions based on the information
(Graves, 2000, p. 100)
Needs assessment is a way of finding out what the learner needs and wants out of a course, what level a learner is at in their language proficiency, a type of dialogue between all parties and it is a way to reconcile differing views (Graves, 2000, p. 100).
One explanation that sticks out the most to me from our reading is that needs analysis and assessment can and should be a dialogue between people such as “the teacher and administrators, parents, other teachers; between the teacher and learners; among the learners” (Graves, 2000, p. 98). If this approach is used, then the types of data that can be gathered are numerous.
Students preferences and wants can be ascertained through data collection such as level of comfort in the classroom and what topics students are interested in (Graves, 2000, p. 103).
Another important result from needs assessment is learning what the student’s desired goals are (Graves, 2000, p. 101).
A diverse classroom can make the assessment more difficult and result in an extremely wide range of wants and interests, which cannot be realistically met by one teacher and in the short time frame most courses provide.
This is reiterated by Graves (2000) when she states, “even when needs assessment only involves the teacher and the learners it is still a complex undertaking because different learners within the same class usually have somewhat different needs” (p. 100). Needs assessment is another important part of designing a course which determines what direction should be taken in curriculum, goals, and most aspects.
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