Phases of Learning Needs and Resource Assessment

I find that sometimes Learning Needs and Resource Assessment (LNRA) work can be limited to sending some questions to the people coming to a course/learning event. In my experience, it’s helpful to see LNRA work in phases. How does this strike you? Here is a chart that depicts my thoughts on this topic. What would you add, delete, change, or suggest I reconsider? What do you find in your work? Phases & Strategies of a Learning Needs and Resource Assessment

Phase One


There’s a problem or vision for which you’ve been asked to design training

Phase Two

Piloted Design Ready to be Launched

Phase Three

During Learning Event

Phase Four

Following Learning Event

Cycles of:




Cycles of piloting (see Phase Three); suggest a minimum of two cycles.

Ultimately resulting in a design led by teacher that “teaches” what is needed and promised.

ASK: Connecting with the real people who will be coming to your workshop/course through email, phone and other mediums (read Tips and Tools May 2011).

What else might you need to do (STUDY, OBSERVE) in order to feel confident that your design and teaching are engaging, immediate (useful) and relevant for this specific group? Do you have examples in mind that are directly related to the learners’ lived experience? If not, what will you?

The type and quality of dialogue that is ideally present in a learning event using the Dialogue Education approach, means that throughout the course you and the learners will be asking, studying and observing for what needs to be modified, said, seen or otherwise to increase the learning for you and the learners.

The teacher is accountable for designing and teaching in ways that ensure the Achievement-based objectives are met. The learners are responsible for their learning.

In this Phase, we are using the feedback from the learners, our assessment of the course, and feedback from whoever (or whatever) has been put into place to determine what changes are actually happening back at work or at home.*  **

*When data is identified ahead of time (indicators of learning) and gathered during the event, this information can be evaluated for level of effectiveness, quality, etc. and taken into account for any needed changes in the design.

**One time in-services or events in an ideal world are tied to the overall objectives of the organization, business, department, or program (for example: professional development), and are assessed and evaluated as it relates to the whole initiative.


Thanks to author Darlene Goetzman for this post!