Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fenwick W. English
Needs assessment is a term that covers several different types of analyses. It sometimes refers to a process of discovery, for example, going out and sampling some facet of public or professional opinion. This is essentially a perception check of sorts. Some questions might be: Survey teachers and determine what materials they think they need for teaching reading next year Ask parents what electives they would like to see in the school's curriculum Survey principals to determine how they rate the three different kinds of computers that might be purchased for the school district The responses to these questions represent feelings and perceptions of a designated group of respondents. Needs assessment was an activity of discovering the state of such feelings and perceptions. There is another use of the term needs assessment, which is quite different. In this approach, the process is more formal and is based on a discrepancy ...