Identifying Learning Needs LO13961

Vana Prewitt (
Sat, 14 Jun 1997 11:00:15 -0700

Replying to LO13937 --

Gary: your questions fall into 2 very well researched areas (a) needs
assessments and (b) learner profiles. There is an abundance of books,
journal articles, and software out there that can help you with this. In
short, you need to determine what the peformance goals are for individual
tasks (how well are they expected to do what they do/ know what they know
/ in measurable terms) and assess the gap between existing skills /
knowledge and the goals. This also means realiably measuring the existing
skills/knowledge of your intended learners.

You mention, however, that you are looking for ways to identify "unknown"
knowledge or skill needs. To whom are they unknown? The learners? The
"trainers", the management? The customer? If there is a legitimate need,
it will be evident. As for prioritizing, that should be a business
decision around criticality (who is affected the greatest / where is the
cost-benefit ratio, etc.)

On the other hand, there is another wave of learning which is NOT directed
at TODAYS performance, but future capacity to meet unknown needs. If this
is what you are talking about, I would look into the areas of Industrial
Psychology and areas for developing critical thinking, problem solving,
group analysis, etc.

I don't have any idea if what I've said will help, but good luck.


Gary Foreman wrote:

> Is anyone aware of any resource information, systems, or tools that will
> help us to identify our unknown learning needs?
> Is anyone aware of any resource information, systems, or tools that will
> help us to prioritize all identified learning needs?


Vana Prewitt <>

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