The content of this page was discussed and agreed by both authors and the page was written by Megan Dick.
A transcript of the discussion can be found in Appendix E.
The data gathered by any needs assessment must ultimately be useful to a school in their attempt to design and implement ICT training for their staff. Overall, the information gained in this assessment about staff training needs did show what training individual staff members would benefit from. It was noticed that there were specific skills that both schools needed further training in; namely file management, spreadsheets, databases, installing software, researching with ICT and school administration software. On a whole school level, the results of this assessment would be useful in determining long term training goals. It is interesting to note that this bears out Passey's (1998) point that the 'audit' process must be part of a whole pedagogic reconstruction process. Once a training programme has been implemented, it is then necessary to evaluate it, and then return to the audit process.
It is difficult to carry out an audit of teachers' pedagogic skills with ICT in a secondary school, as the questions for the whole school have to be general. More specific subject based assessments would be useful at a later stage in the process. However, a general assessment is still useful as it can encourage teachers to be reflective about methods of using ICT in teaching.
Both authors learned about questionnaire design and it was interesting to see that even though the questionnaire had been trialled on a small group, there were still problems when it was given to a whole school staff. This necessitated some rewriting before the assessment was then given out to the second school. Having carried out the assessment at two schools, we are still struggling with an effective way to clearly ask staff about their pedagogic competence with ICT in their subject and which ways of using ICT they would like further training with.
We also both appreciated the points made in our literature reviews. Their relevance became very clear when we began to analyse the results of our assessment. Discovering a teacher's stage of development with ICT is a useful way to track their progress and discover what skills and knowledge they need in order to make further progress. Marjorie Budd (1995) made a useful point that assessing training needs should be done on multiple levels in order to discover the continuing professional development needs of individuals within an institution.