In the needs assessment process, the broadest possible set of people who are affected should be included. The list will include students, professors, and school personnel from academic institutions from those who are implementing semesters and trimesters. The views of these people will then be used to assess the debate between these two schedules of academic year and also assess the feasibility of this study. Just like the story of the six blind men and the elephant, different people recognize different pieces of the puzzle but when taken together, these views will contribute to a holistic understanding of this debate. The breadth of experiences and viewpoints will enrich the understanding of the problems that exist in the organization. Likewise, the ideas that will be generated will shed light about other dimensions of this debate that might not have been highlighted before.
A combination of research tools and strategies will be utilized in order to get the views of these people as effectively as possible. A preliminary understanding of the problems facing the organization is called for. As such, content analysis of what have been written before may be undertaken to arrive at a summary of discussions and arguments. This will aid in the creation of a questionnaire and writing of interview questions.
Using questionnaire is more time efficient since more people will be reached and if closed questions are utilized, then the analysis will be easier. However, open-ended questions yield more varied insights and responses although they are more difficult to quantify and analyze (Gall, Borg & Gall, 2002). Interviews, on the other hand, yield what Stringer (2003) called epiphanies and illuminative experiences. Interviews are also very personal and will dig the personal views and attitudes of the respondents regarding their preference in the debate and the various reasons behind these preferences.
Gall, M., Borg, W., and Gall, J. (2002). Educational Research: An Introduction (7th ed.). Pearson, Allyn, & Bacon.
Stringer, E. (2003). Action Research in Education (1st ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.