Assessing Learning Needs and Outcomes in Lifelong Learning Support Systems

Kurt Kraiger and Natalie Wolfson

in The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195390483
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Assessing Learning Needs and Outcomes in Lifelong Learning Support Systems

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Educational Psychology


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This chapter describes methods of assessing the learning needs and evaluating the development of individuals within the context of a lifelong learning support system. Because lifelong learning is self-directed and informal in nature, we propose a needs assessment and evaluation design that is customized by participant. Participants are first assessed on various organizationally-relevant as well as lifelong-learning-relevant competencies and then linked, in a matrix format, to lifelong learning opportunities within and outside the organization that suit their competency needs. We then propose that, as learners engage in lifelong learning activities, they be periodically evaluated in terms of their improvement along different competencies. This information can be used to modify individuals’ lifelong learning program as well as, on the aggregate level, to inform decisions about how to allocate organizational resources and to provide evidence to support the system.

Keywords: lifelong learning; assessment; adult development

Article.  6046 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Educational Psychology

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