Needs assessments are a form of data gathering that all learning, training and education professionals should conduct when learning is needed.
This may look different between K-12, college and adult education but the idea of collecting data remains the same, what is the gap, why does the gap exist and what can we do to close the gap.
It is very common that instructional designers will just jump straight to the content creation phase, but to skip the assessment robs you of gathering important information that will inform your training content, or if training id required at all.
A needs assessment is about working with your learners, stakeholders and leadership team, to understand what the learning needs are and using this data (quantitative and qualitative) to understand the path forward in teaching employees or students to reach and surpass their goals and goals of the organization.
Check out our posts below, to learn more about needs assessments criteria and to build a greater knowledge on this nuanced and sometimes unclear subject matter.