Instrument designers will always want to know if instruction is an effective intervention.
| Needs assessment is a tool instrument designers use to identify ''needs'' and collect data that will assist
them in determining if instruction is an effective intervention for resolving the need, (Hirumi,2000). Dick and Carey 1996) , further explains that a needs assessment is a study conducted to determine the exact nature of an organizational problem and how it can be resolved (18). Hirumi op cit. , concluded that a needs assessment is a systemic and systematic process for identifying alternative solutions to performance problems based on analysis of system ,theory, research, and best practice.
Why the writers' organization would want to conduct a needs assignment?
The organizations to which reference is made in this paper are educational institutions. These institutions are responsible for training young teachers, and are constantly concerned with their ability to meet the needs of their clientele. If they are not doing so an effort is made to alleviate the perceived problem.
These institutions conduct needs assessment and analysis process to identify the problem. If the perceived problem indicates that there is a need to upgrade in-service teachers in terms of interpreting and implementing the new integrated curriculum in the public school system or using/ integrating information communication technology as an instructional tool then such a perceived problem would be referred to the Department which is responsible for training.
In such a situation, the training Department would undertake a needs assessment, to acquire information on each of these cases in order to verify a need and identify possible solutions. If the solution to the perceived problem is training to sharpen the teachers' skills, then plans for a training schedule, workshop or seminar is designed or developed.
When is a Needs Assessment conducted?
These institutions conduct a needs assessment when there is the need to review an existing program /project, when there is a perceived problem, to evaluate the learning materials and resources in the education system; when new instructional systems and technologies are introduced into the system and prior to the implementation of a national student assessment examination. The writers' institutions organize and manage data collection in order to determine the need for trained persons throughout the economy and communicate this to the Joint Board of Teacher Education. They also review existing data and documentation regarding these problems and how should it be conducted.
How are these Needs Assessment conducted?
Needs assessment surveys are conducted by the writers' institution through on-site observations, consultations, with stakeholders, questionnaires, appraisals and evaluations, survey instruments, interview schedules, and small group discussions. The additional data collected should ultimately contribute to the satisfaction of the identified needs.
A Comprehensive Goal Statement:
The analysis of the needs assessment data collected and collated by the writers' institutions reveals that , the "new" integrated curriculum that has been implemented into the Preparatory, Kindergarten , Primary, Junior High and Secondary schools and Teachers' colleges has an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) component added in it. Training college tutors, in-service and pre-service teachers have not gotten the necessary skills required to effectively manage and deliver this new curriculum.
Technology is ever-changing. In order to integrate technology into today’s classroom, both writers’ institutions recognize the need to continue to provide training and access for staff and students. The teaching-learning environment should include a variety of technological tools which will allow the student- teachers to learn the essential skills to carry them into the future.
Fewer than 1000 of the 6000 teachers in the secondary school system have been trained to use the technology in other subject areas or to manage a computer-assisted instructional environment, and that the number of pre-service and in-service ICT trained teachers entering the profession from teachers' colleges is still very small.
To address the identified need the writers' institution will develop a technology based instructional material and programs that utilize computer, the internet and intranet, electronic- mail, and other appropriate technologies which encompass virtual classroom and distance education. To effectively address the specific needs of participants, the writers’ institution will conduct workshops which will be held over a six - week period, one hour per week with each week focusing on different target group.
The program will address two major problem areas. The first relates to the fact that only a small number of teachers and tutors are currently equipped to use information communication and technology (ICT) to assist in instructional and training delivery. Therefore the goal is to increase the number of teachers and tutors who are equipped to use ICT to assist in instructional and training delivery.
Additionally the project will train a cadre of Tutors/Trainer of Trainers to become proficient in the delivery of the training program offered by the teachers' colleges and to manage the technology environment.
The trained lectures will then be able to train other lecturers in their institutions in the use of this technology, as well as to offer on-line training programs to their students.
The teachers' colleges will therefore be able to expand their offerings to in- service teachers in secondary schools. The overall goal of these institutions is to provide on-going development of ICT for the training tutors in teachers' colleges given the technologies to equip tutors with the necessary skills in using interactive systems in instructional delivery and to produce knowledgeable workers and enhance the capability of human capital to function effectively in a global economy.
Dick, W. & Carey, L. (1996). The systematic design of instruction: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
Hirumi, A. (2000). Enhancing Dick and Carey Model for instructional systems design. Supplemental readings.
Hirumi, A. (2000) ITDE 8001/8002. Systematic design and development: Course overview Nova Cluster 10.Cluster notes, Spring 2000.