Multi-Method Needs Assessment Optimises Learning
Background: Although needs assessment is an essential step in curricular development, postgraduate medical educators receive minimal associated training. Effective needs-assessment strategies include multi-method feedback from educators and learners. Aim: We describe the information received from three needs-assessment methods and analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each. Methods: In the process of designing an evidence-based medicine (EBM) curriculum, we solicited learner and educator feedback using: (1) an anonymous needs-assessment survey; (2) a curriculum committee consisting of volunteer learners and faculty members; and (3) a focus group containing a broader selection of learners. Results: The survey generated quantitative data useful in lobbying for resources, but did not ascertain the meaning of surprising findings. The curriculum committee created learner buy-in for the curriculum and aided in curriculum design; however, it was time consuming. The focus group identified barriers to learning that influenced the curriculum but did not provide consensus on several critical issues. Conclusion: Each needs assessment tool delivered unique and valuable information. Educators performing needs assessment can select between these and other techniques based upon the information that they require.
Published In/Presented At
Keister, D., & Grames, H. (2012). Multi-method needs assessment optimises learning. The Clinical Teacher, 9(5), 295-298. doi:10.1111/j.1743-498X.2012.00549.x
Curriculum and Instruction | Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Primary Care
Peer Reviewed for front end display
Department of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Faculty