Master's Level Educational Psychology: Program Needs Assessment

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Write a 4–6 page needs assessment for evaluation of the program you chose in Assessment 1.

The mission of a needs assessment is to establish why a project or a program should be undertaken or what priorities should be set. A needs assessment identifies problems, unmet needs, gaps, and opportunities. Assessment of community needs could be used to justify sustenance or expansion of a program. A needs assessment may also be designed to convince decision makers of the value of a program evaluation itself.

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Because of the costs in terms of time, effort, and expenditure of resources associated with conducting program evaluations, evaluators must devote time to properly conducting a needs assessment to answer questions such as these:

Who is affected by the program?

What are the desired outcomes of the program?

Are there any risks?

What types of information should be collected to determine that the program is successful?

Answers to the needs assessment are translated into the program goals that will drive the focus of the program planning, which in turn will lead to the program evaluation.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Design a program evaluation.

Analyze measurable benefits of a program for participants.

Analyze program procedures.

Project reasonable costs and benefits of a proposed program evaluation.

Competency 2: Manage interpersonal dynamics of the program evaluation process.

Analyze ethical considerations for a proposed needs analysis.

Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the psychological professions.

Write clearly, with correct spelling, grammar, syntax, and good organization.

Comply with APA guidelines for style and formatting.

While a needs assessment can be used to identify the need for a community service or some other program, the needs assessment you will complete for this assessment will focus on establishing the need to evaluate the program you have chosen to work with. This document should be designed to convince decision makers that allocation of resources to a program evaluation is worthwhile.

As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.

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Are a program’s goals important?

What would successful program outcomes look like?

What are some ways that program outcomes could be measured?

Could a program be more efficient?

What would it take for a program to address important unmet needs?

What ethical issues should be considered in research with human subjects?

What ethical issues should be considered in relation to program implementation or outcomes?

To successfully complete this assessment, write a 4–6 page needs assessment for the evaluation of the program you chose in Assessment 1. You document should include the following:

Program Participants.

Describe all the direct participants in the program. What are their roles and functions?

Program Outcomes.

Describe the needs that the program was created to address. (If need be, infer plausible details.)

Analyze what the desired benefits of the program would be for each type of program participant. How could each of these outcomes be measured?

Describe any risks or possibility of unfavorable outcomes that might result from the program. How could the importance or likelihood of these be assessed?

Program Procedures.

Analyze the procedures you think would be required to run this program. You may elect to use a Logic Model diagram to clarify the processes. (Note that while you have latitude in this assessment to make educated guesses about program details, in actual professional practice you must be rigorous in only including verifiable facts.)

Proposed Program Evaluation.

Drawing from your previous analysis of the program and all its stakeholders in Assessment 1, determine what should be the focus and desired outcomes of your proposed evaluation. In other words, what questions do you seek to answer about the program, and how do you think these answers can be used to justify or improve the program?

Cost/Benefit Analysis of Proposed Program Evaluation.

Project reasonable costs and benefits of the proposed program evaluation.

Ethical Considerations.

Analyze any ethical concerns that should be considered in the proposed needs analysis or in the program itself. Relate these concerns to the ethical standards and information on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) Campus page linked in the Resources.

Conclusion.

Summarize your proposal and make a compelling appeal for its implementation.

Additional Requirements

Your assessment should meet the following requirements:

Written communication: Written communication is well organized and free of errors that detract from the overall message.

APA style: Comply with current APA style and formatting.

Number of references: Minimum of three academic resources.

Length: Submission includes 4–6 typed, double-spaced pages, in addition to a cover page and references page.

Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 points.

 

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