Teaching Needs Assessment

In fall 2023, Faculty Success launched a teaching needs assessment survey via Qualtrics to gather insight on the needs of our faculty related to teaching and pedagogy. The survey was followed by four focus groups to further investigate faculty needs. All UNT faculty who teach, including adjuncts, were invited to participate.

A needs assessment is a systematic process used to identify and analyze the requirements, gaps, and priorities within a particular context. In educational settings, a teaching needs assessment involves the comprehensive evaluation of the learning needs, preferences, and challenges of a target audience—faculty in this case—to inform the development and implementation of effective instructional strategies, materials, and interventions.

Conducting a teaching needs assessment offers numerous benefits, grounded in academic principles and research methodologies:

  1. Tailored Instructional Design: By understanding the specific needs and characteristics of learners, educators can tailor their instructional approaches to match the diverse learning styles and preferences present in the classroom. This customization enhances the relevance and effectiveness of teaching materials and methodologies.
  2. Focused Resource Allocation: A needs assessment enables educators and educational institutions to allocate resources efficiently and effectively. By pinpointing areas where learners require additional support or where instructional materials are lacking, resources can be directed strategically to address these needs, maximizing the impact of investments in educational initiatives.
  3. Enhanced Learning Outcomes: Through targeted interventions informed by a needs assessment, educators can optimize the learning experience for students, leading to improved learning outcomes. By addressing specific gaps or challenges identified through the assessment process, educators can foster greater engagement, comprehension, and retention among learners.
  4. Evidence-Based Decision Making: Conducting a needs assessment involves collecting and analyzing data to inform instructional decisions. This evidence-based approach ensures that teaching strategies and interventions are grounded in empirical evidence and best practices, enhancing the overall quality and effectiveness of educational programming.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Needs assessments facilitate a cycle of continuous improvement in teaching and learning practices. By regularly assessing learner needs and adjusting instructional strategies accordingly, educators can adapt to evolving educational contexts and student demographics, fostering a culture of ongoing growth and development within educational settings.
  6. Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration: Involving stakeholders, such as students, parents, administrators, and community members, in the needs assessment process fosters collaboration and shared ownership of educational goals. By soliciting input from diverse perspectives, educators can gain valuable insights into the multifaceted needs of learners and promote a more inclusive and responsive educational environment.

A summary of the results of the 2023-24 teaching needs assessment can be viewed here:

As a direct result of the data collected from the needs assessment and focus groups, several programs and initiatives have been developed in Faculty Success:

  • Websites that offer centralized university resources for teaching and pedagogy
  • Workshops and trainings including the University Teaching & Learning Forum and ACUE teaching certificate program
  • Teaching Portfolio Workshop
  • Peer Observation of Teaching Training