Learning needs assessment: assessing the need



Janet Grant, professor of education in medicine
Open University Centre for Education in Medicine, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA. j.r.grant@open.ac.uk

Learning needs assessment: assessing the need.

 BMJ. 2002 Jan 19;324(7330):156-9.


Learning needs assessment is a crucial stage in the educational process that leads to changes in practice, and has become part of government policy for continuing professional development. Learning needs assessment can be undertaken for many reasons, so its purpose should be defined and should determine the method used and the use made of findings. Exclusive reliance on formal needs assessment could render education an instrumental and narrow process rather than a creative, professional one. Different learning methods tend to suit different doctors and different identified learning needs. Doctors already use a wide range of formal and informal ways of identifying their own learning needs as part of their ordinary practice. These should be the starting point in designing formalized educational systems for professional improvement.
 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC64520