Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

needs assessment Related Abstracts

7 Examines the Proportionality between the Needs of Industry and Technical and Vocational Training of Male and Female Vocational Schools

Authors: Khalil Aryanfar, Pariya Gholipor, Elmira Hafez


This study examines the proportionality between the needs of industry and technical and vocational training of male and female vocational schools. The research method was descriptive that was conducted in two parts: documentary analysis and needs assessment and Delphi method was used in the need assessment. The statistical population of the study included 312 individuals from the industry sector employers and 52 of them were selected through stratified random sampling. Methods of data collection in this study, upstream documents include: document of the development of technical and vocational training, Statistical Yearbook 1393 in Tehran, the available documents in Isfahan Planning Department, the findings indicate that there is an almost proportionality between the needs of industry and Vocational training of male and female vocational schools in fields of welding, industrial electronics, electro technique, industrial drawing, auto mechanics, design, packaging, machine tool, metalworking, construction, accounting, computer graphics and the Administrative Affairs. The findings indicate that there is no proportionality between the needs of industry and Vocational training of male and female vocational schools in fields of Thermal - cooling systems, building electricity, building drawing, interior architecture, car electricity and motor repair.

Keywords: Industry, needs assessment, technical and vocational training

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6 Assessment of Healthy Lifestyle Behavior Needs for Older Adults Living with Hypertension

Authors: P. Sutipan, U. Intarakamhang


The purpose of this study was to assess and prioritize the order of needs with regard to the healthy lifestyle behaviors for older adults living with hypertension. The participants involved 400 hypertensive elderly individuals in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The research instrument was a 26-item needs-assessment questionnaire in a dual response format on a four-level rating scale. The data was analyzed with the use of descriptive statistics and the needs were ranked using the Modified Priority Needs Index (PNIModified). The results indicated that the three priorities of healthy lifestyle behavior were healthy eating (PNImodified = 0.36), exercise (PNImodified = 0.35), and social contribution (PNImodified = 0.34), respectively. The implications of the findings for planning the intervention phase of the project are of particular interest.

Keywords: Older Adults, needs assessment, the modified priority needs index (PNIModified), healthy lifestyle behavior

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5 Examining the Teaching and Learning Needs of Science and Mathematics Educators in South Africa

Authors: M. Shaheed Hartley


There has been increasing pressure on education researchers and practitioners at higher education institutions to focus on the development of South Africa’s rural and peri-urban communities and improving their quality of life. Many tertiary institutions are obliged to review their outreach interventions in schools. To ensure that the support provided to schools is still relevant, a systemic evaluation of science educator needs is central to this process. These prioritised needs will serve as guide not only for the outreach projects of tertiary institutions, but also to service providers in general so that the process of addressing educators needs become coordinated, organised and delivered in a systemic manner. This paper describes one area of a broader needs assessment exercise to collect data regarding the needs of educators in a district of 45 secondary schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. This research focuses on the needs and challenges faced by science educators at these schools as articulated by the relevant stakeholders. The objectives of this investigation are two-fold: (1) to create a data base that will capture the needs and challenges identified by science educators of the selected secondary schools; and (2) to develop a needs profile for each of the participating secondary schools that will serve as a strategic asset to be shared with the various service providers as part of a community of practice whose core business is to support science educators and science education at large. The data was collected by a means of a needs assessment questionnaire (NAQ) which was developed in both actual and preferred versions. An open-ended questionnaire was also administered which allowed teachers to express their views. The categories of the questionnaire were predetermined by participating researchers, educators and education department officials. Group interviews were also held with the science teachers at each of the schools. An analysis of the data revealed important trends in terms of science educator needs and identified schools that can be clustered around priority needs, logistic reasoning and educator profiles. The needs database also provides opportunity for the community of practice to strategise and coordinate their interventions.

Keywords: Evaluation, Teaching and Learning, South Africa, needs assessment, science and mathematics education

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4 Evaluating the Needs of PhD Students in Preparation of a Genre-Based English for Academic Purposes Course

Authors: Heba I. Bakry


Academic writing in the tertiary education has always been a challenge to EFL learners. This proposed study aims at investigating the academic English language needs for PhD students and candidates studying humanities and social sciences at Cairo University. The research problem arises from the fact that most of them study English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or for specific purposes (ESP) in their undergraduate years. They are hardly familiarized with the different academic genres, despite the fact that they use academic resources written in English, and they are required to publish a paper internationally. Upon understanding the conventions and constraints of academic writing, postgraduates will have the opportunity to interact with the international academic spheres conveniently. There is, thus, a need to be acquainted with the generally accepted features of the academic genres, such as academic papers and their part-genres, such as writing abstracts, in addition to other occluded genres, such as personal statements and recommendation letters. The lack of practicing many of these genres is caused by the fact that there are clear differences between the rhetoric and conventions of the students' native language, i.e., Arabic, and the target language they are learning in the academic context, i.e., English. Moreover, apart from the general culture represented ethno-linguistically, the learners' 'small' culture represented in a national setting like Cairo University is more defining than their general cultural affiliations that are associated with their nationality, race, or religion, for instance. The main research question of this proposed study is: What is the effect of teaching a genre-based EAP course on the research writing competence of PhD candidates? To reach an answer to this question, the study will attempt to answer the following sub-questions: 1. What are the Egyptian PhD candidates' EAP perceived needs? 2. What are the requisite academic research skills for Egyptian scholars? The study intends to assess the students’ needs, as a step to design and evaluate an EAP course that is based on explaining and scrutinizing a variety of academic genres. Adopting a diagnostic approach, the needs assessment uses quantitative data collected through questionnaires, and qualitative data assembled from semi-structured interviews with the students and their teachers, in addition to non-participant observations of a convenience sample.

Keywords: Course Design, needs assessment, English for academic purposes, genre-based

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3 The Development of Quality Standards for the Qualification of Community Interpreters in Germany: A Needs Assessment

Authors: Jessica Terese Mueller, Christoph Breitsprecher, Mike Oliver Mosko


Due to an unusually high number of asylum seekers entering Germany over the course of the past few years, the need for community interpreters has increased dramatically, in order to make the communication between asylum seekers and various actors in social and governmental agencies possible. In the field of social work in particular, there are community interpreters who possess a wide spectrum of qualifications spanning from state-certified professional interpreters with graduate degrees to lay or ad-hoc interpreters with little to no formal training. To the best of our knowledge, Germany has no official national quality standards for the training of community interpreters at present, which would serve to professionalise this field as well as to assure a certain degree of quality in the training programmes offered. Given the current demand for trained community interpreters, there is a growing number of training programmes geared toward qualifying community interpreters who work with asylum seekers in Germany. These training programmes range from short one-day workshops to graduate programmes with specialisations in Community Interpreting. As part of a larger project to develop quality standards for the qualification of community interpreters working with asylum seekers in the field of social work, a needs assessment was performed in the city-state of Hamburg and the state of North Rhine Westphalia in the form of focus groups and individual interviews with relevant actors in the field in order to determine the content and practical knowledge needed for community interpreters from the perspectives of those who work in and rely on this field. More specifically, social workers, volunteers, certified language and cultural mediators, paid and volunteer community interpreters and asylum seekers were invited to take part in focus groups in both locations, and asylum seekers, training providers, researchers, linguists and other national and international experts were individually interviewed. The responses collected in these focus groups and interviews have been analysed using Mayring’s concept of content analysis. In general, the responses indicate a high degree of overlap related to certain categories as well as some categories which seemed to be of particular importance to certain groups individually, while showing little to no relevance for other groups. For example, the topics of accuracy and transparency of the interpretations, as well as professionalism and ethical concerns were touched on in some form in most groups. Some group-specific topics which are the focus of experts were topics related to interpreting techniques and more concretely described theoretical and practical knowledge which should be covered in training programmes. Social workers and volunteers generally concentrated on issues regarding the role of the community interpreters and the importance of setting and clarifying professional boundaries. From the perspective of service receivers, asylum seekers tended to focus on the importance of having access to interpreters who are from their home region or country and who speak the same regiolect, dialect or variety as they do in order to prevent misunderstandings or misinterpretations which might negatively affect their asylum status. These results indicate a certain degree of consensus with trainings offered internationally for community interpreters.

Keywords: training, Quality Standards, asylum seekers, needs assessment, community interpreting

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2 Glocalization of Journalism and Mass Communication Education: Best Practices from an International Collaboration on Curriculum Development

Authors: Bellarmine Ezumah, Michael Mawa


Glocalization is often defined as the practice of conducting business according to both local and global considerations – this epitomizes the curriculum co-development collaboration between a journalism and mass communications professor from a university in the United States and the Uganda Martyrs University in Uganda where a brand new journalism and mass communications program was recently co-developed. This paper presents the experiences and research result of this initiative which was funded through the Institute of International Education (IIE) under the umbrella of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP). Vital international and national concerns were addressed. On a global level, scholars have questioned and criticized the general Western-module ingrained in journalism and mass communication curriculum and proposed a decolonization of journalism curricula. Another major criticism is the concept of western-based educators transplanting their curriculum verbatim to other regions of the world without paying greater attention to the local needs. To address these two global concerns, an extensive assessment of local needs was conducted prior to the conceptualization of the new program. The assessment of needs adopted a participatory action model and captured the knowledge and narratives of both internal and external stakeholders. This involved review of pertinent documents including the nation’s constitution, governmental briefs, and promulgations, interviews with governmental officials, media and journalism educators, media practitioners, students, and benchmarking the curriculum of other tertiary institutions in the nation. Information gathered through this process served as blueprint and frame of reference for all design decisions. In the area of local needs, four key factors were addressed. First, the realization that most media personnel in Uganda are both academically and professionally unqualified. Second, the practitioners with academic training were found lacking in experience. Third, the current curricula offered at several tertiary institutions are not comprehensive and lack local relevance. The project addressed these problems thus: first, the program was designed to cater to both traditional and non-traditional students offering opportunities for unqualified media practitioners to get their formal training through evening and weekender programs. Secondly, the challenge of inexperienced graduates was mitigated by designing the program to adopt the experiential learning approach which many refer to as the ‘Teaching Hospital Model’. This entails integrating practice to theory - similar to the way medical students engage in hands-on practice under the supervision of a mentor. The university drew a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with reputable media houses for students and faculty to use their studios for hands-on experience and for seasoned media practitioners to guest-teach some courses. With the convergence functions of media industry today, graduates should be trained to have adequate knowledge of other disciplines; therefore, the curriculum integrated cognate courses that would render graduates versatile. Ultimately, this research serves as a template for African colleges and universities to follow in their quest to glocalize their curricula. While the general concept of journalism may remain western, journalism curriculum developers in Africa through extensive assessment of needs, and focusing on those needs and other societal particularities, can adjust the western module to fit their local needs.

Keywords: needs assessment, curriculum co-development, glocalization of journalism education, international journalism

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1 Assessment of Psychological Needs and Characteristics of Elderly Population for Developing Information and Communication Technology Services

Authors: Sunghyun Cho, Seung Ah Lee, Kyong Mee Chung


Rapid population aging became a worldwide demographic phenomenon due to rising life expectancy and declining fertility rates. Considering the current increasing rate of population aging, it is assumed that Korean society enters into a ‘super-aged’ society in 10 years, in which people aged 65 years or older account for more than 20% of entire population. In line with this trend, ICT services aimed to help elderly people to improve the quality of life have been suggested. However, existing ICT services mainly focus on supporting health or nursing care and are somewhat limited to meet a variety of specialized needs and challenges of this population. It is pointed out that the majority of services have been driven by technology-push policies. Given that the usage of ICT services greatly vary on individuals’ socio-economic status (SES), physical and psychosocial needs, this study systematically categorized elderly population into sub-groups and identified their needs and characteristics related to ICT usage in detail. First, three assessment criteria (demographic variables including SES, cognitive functioning level, and emotional functioning level) were identified based on previous literature, experts’ opinions, and focus group interview. Second, survey questions for needs assessment were developed based on the criteria and administered to 600 respondents from a national probability sample. The questionnaire consisted of 67 items concerning demographic information, experience on ICT services and information technology (IT) devices, quality of life and cognitive functioning, etc. As the result of survey, age (60s, 70s, 80s), education level (college graduates or more, middle and high school, less than primary school) and cognitive functioning level (above the cut-off, below the cut-off) were considered the most relevant factors for categorization and 18 sub-groups were identified. Finally, 18 sub-groups were clustered into 3 groups according to following similarities; computer usage rate, difficulties in using ICT, and familiarity with current or previous job. Group 1 (‘active users’) included those who with high cognitive function and educational level in their 60s and 70s. They showed favorable and familiar attitudes toward ICT services and used the services for ‘joyful life’, ‘intelligent living’ and ‘relationship management’. Group 2 (‘potential users’), ranged from age of 60s to 80s with high level of cognitive function and mostly middle to high school graduates, reported some difficulties in using ICT and their expectations were lower than in group 1 despite they were similar to group 1 in areas of needs. Group 3 (‘limited users’) consisted of people with the lowest education level or cognitive function, and 90% of group reported difficulties in using ICT. However, group 3 did not differ from group 2 regarding the level of expectation for ICT services and their main purpose of using ICT was ‘safe living’. This study developed a systematic needs assessment tool and identified three sub-groups of elderly ICT users based on multi-criteria. It is implied that current cognitive function plays an important role in using ICT and determining needs among the elderly population. Implications and limitations were further discussed.

Keywords: ICT, needs assessment, elderly population, population aging

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