Module 1 Needs Assessment of the Student


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Think about inviting a group of people over for dinner. If you were to just decide what to cook for them without making sure that not one of them has an allergy to what you are cooking, or whether one of them is just recovered from illness, then your dinner party will have problems with last minute arrangements and could produce smells or dishes that are offensive to the recently ill person or the one with the allergies. This would be highly inconsiderate. Many courses, training programs, and even public health projects fail because the target audience, the students, or the trainees were not profiled for their actual particular needs. The planning would then be missing the criteria for designing learning objectives in a manner that promotes students control of their learning.

As you study this webpage, consider more questions, which you could ask to get a complete understanding of your students in relation to the course they will be taking.

Course: What subject is being taught and what does it require to master it?

Here in reference to Needs Assessment an instructor needs to see the gap between what the courses requires and what the student is capable of learning.

Teacher: What do teachers need to know about how the students can master the subject?

Different ages, profession, cultures all have an effect on how we learn. So when analyzing the students profiles, it is good to get a clear idea about character, gender, age and as some open-ended questions to get an idea about their individual concerns about starting the course.

Student: What kinds of learner abilities are required?

Particular physical capabilities
Certain level of intelligence to analyze information or to philosophize
Prior knowledge and work experience
Motivation to communicate and collaborate or join physical activities

Who are the students?

Your attempt to get a profile can help you identify learning preferences of your students as you consider the way that they share information with you.
Step 1: Define: Age, sex, matrimony, parents,
Step 2: Describe the type of work / profession they do?

What characteristics of students influence lesson activities?

Age can affect technical adeptness: Age 35-50 - / / male and female students Men and women sometimes need different activities or different questions: usually more women than men in these courses

EXAMPLE Student body is often a mix of married, unmarried, divorced, and parents

Some students are doing research, running a clinic, or have a private office

What is the Educational Level of your course? In reference to that, who should be your students?

Average education is often equivalent to Master or Doctorate level depending on actual education and experience. Some students have only a Bachelor’s Degree and work experience

What are the Pre-requisites for the Course?

Step 1. List the Pre-requisites for your course.

Step 2. Describe students who must meet those pre-requisites.

What kind of Pre-requisite courses or training is required of the students in Homeopathy Courses?

All are required to have previous courses: Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, and Psychology, for the most basic levels of courses. In addition, zoology, botany, and mineral sciences are required by the second year of study. Many medical professionals do not have formal psychology courses.

Suggested Resources

Book: Shambaugh, R., Magliaro, S. Mastering The Possibilities, A Process Approach to Instructional design


A great website video lecture on design of needs assessment can be found at:

This is a brief introduction to David M. Merrill PhD thoughts about instructional design, which gives us much to think about in our fast media-driven world..

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the most important characteristics of the course that you want to teach?
  1. Describe the students for your course.
  1. What knowledge or skill are required prior to taking your course?

Journal Questions

  1. Why do you want to teach this course?
  1. What kind of people (students) would you be most comfortable with?