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Faculty Development

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Self-Assessment Activities

Learning activities


Select one or more of the activities below to develop your skills in assessing educational needs.


If you are registered on the site, you can write up your reflections in the ‘reflections area’. Click on the ‘my area’ link at the top of the page to access your personal pages. Please note you must be logged in to do this.


1. Significant event analysis




Select one occasion when you are formally required to work with a learner to help them identify their learning or educational needs. Examples might be appraisal of a qualified practitioner, review with a student at the end of a clinical placement or a learner failing a written or clinical assessment.


With the learner:


1. Ask them to choose a significant event that has made them think ‘this is what being a

health professional is all about’, has caused distress or anxiety, has reinforced their sense of being a ‘good’ or ‘effective’ practitioner, or has evoked another type of emotional response. Be prepared to deal with any anxiety or distress as they recall and recount the incident.


2. Guided reflection: ask the learner to reflect on the chosen significant event and note:

  • their initial thoughts and feelings
  • what they think was happening (evaluation and/or analysis)
  • what they think are the immediate implications for their learning/development.


3. Next steps: with the learner:

  • identify specific learning/development needs
  • consider how these map onto broader programme or professional outcomes
  • identify and list learning opportunities and activities that might help the learner to ensure their development needs are addressed.

List some of the advantages and difficulties you encountered.



You might wish to use the Significant Event Analysis as a development tool for you to reflect on your teaching or facilitating learning. This might be an event when things went really well as well as one which did not work so well. Use the steps above and apply these to a teaching situation (it need not be a recent event), clearly identifying your learning or development needs and the activities you will set in place to ensure these are addressed.




2. Assessing educational/learning needs


While working with learners you will have many opportunities, both formal and

informal, when it is important to assess their educational needs.


Use the ‘plan – do – reflect – review’ cycle to identify changes that you will make to your

teaching practice.


  1. Using some of the background learning and techniques covered in this module, plan how you will build in opportunities in day-to-day clinical teaching for assessing learners’ needs.
  2. Build these opportunities into two or three teaching sessions or set up an opportunity to observe another clinical teacher.
  3. Reflect on how this worked in practice. Did it help to make the learning more effective? Did it make your teaching more difficult? What were the key practical effects on the teaching?
  4. Review your teaching practice and plan how you will change your teaching to incorporate the learning from this activity.