What is a Needs Assessment

A needs assessment phase is the first step toward actualizing concrete goals for adult learning. The phase needs to address what is the exact problem and what is an appropriate level of subject appreciation for the student's experience.

What is a Needs Assessment?
Needs assessment is a tool for adult learning programs to assess what the course curriculum must focus on for its students. This is usually because a previous assessment showed that the education institution is lacking in specific dimensions for fruitful and appreciative learning for students.

A needs assessment phase is the first step toward actualizing concrete goals for adult learning. The phase needs to address what is the exact problem and what is an appropriate level of subject appreciation for the student's experience. The first part then comes from asking what administrators think needs to be changed. Understanding this view will help the assessment stage see what the administrators deal with their adult students.

The administrator and teacher information is then compared to city, county, state, and federal education variables. For example, if the problem is the adults report that their post-curriculum skills are not appreciated in the workforce, then the assessors should compare and contrast how other adult learning centers in the county, state, and federal level do concerning this issue. This comparison also includes assessing how the material in the classroom compares to these other variables. If the material is below or above state or federal standards, teachers may be challenging or boring their students with the course material. Besides viewing this hard data, assessors should also observe classes to see how material is given out and absorbed by adults in the classroom. The assessors might see that many students are not too active in the classroom or are explicitly not engaged by the material.

Once assessors add observation data to why there might be problems in the education institution or course curriculum, the assessors can discuss the backgrounds of students. Are they working, especially part time or full time? Do they have children or family to take care of? If they are physically or mentally challenged, do they have proper home care? What is their previous educational backgrounds? Such questions can help assess how the students expectations on the home front are met.

At that point, the assessment phase can begin with some suggestions for the educational institution. For example, some learning issues may be because proper skills needed before a course curriculum are not well known to the students. On the other hand, the curriculum may not be providing the students with the necessary professional skills needed for the business world. Once these suggestions are given to educational administrators, they can be enacted or revised as seen fit.