Assessing Learning Needs and Outcomes in Lifelong Learning Support Systems


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.

Publication Title

The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning