CORVALLIS, Ore. – An associate professor of education at Oregon State University has co-written the second edition of the best-selling book “A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment,” a resource for human resources and training professionals.
Darlene Russ-Eft, who focuses on adult education in the College of Education at OSU, co-wrote the thorough update with Catherine M. Sleezer, the manager of learning and organization development at Baker Hughes-Centrilift. The book is published by Pfeiffer and co-published by ASTD.
“The original author (Kavita Gupta) was not willing to be involved in revising it,” Russ-Eft said. “We expanded the book quite a bit. The original book only contained an overview and chapters four through seven of our book.”
Needs assessment can be described as a diagnostic process that relies on data collection, collaboration and negotiation to identify and understand gaps in learning and performance and to determine future actions.
“A needs assessment is done if there is believed to be a performance problem with a worker, a team, a process or an organization,” Russ-Eft said. “Too often if there is a performance problem, people think more training is needed. A lot of times that’s not it. The assessment identifies what are the needs and if the issue is based on training or the system itself.”
Russ-Eft said the book is meant to be for working professionals.
“It’s not an academic book. It has theoretical and practical applications, so you can pick it up and use it,” she said, noting that it contains a “tool kit” near the back that includes sample needs assessment worksheets and surveys. Those are also contained on the CD-ROM that comes with the book.
This is the second book Russ-Eft and Sleezer have written together. They co-wrote the 1997 book “Human Resource Development Review: Research and Implications” with Hallie Preskill, published by Sage.