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What are Needs?

  • Tuesday, February 09, 2016
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • World Learning, 1015 15th Street NW, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20005


  • student, retired, or unemployed only

Registration is closed

What are Needs?

Ryan Watkins, Ph.D.
George Washington University

About the Program
Simple questions frequently lead to complex answers. This tuned out to be the case once again when 15 international scholars from 12 varied disciplines were asked this question, "What are needs?" From economists and social workers, to educators and philosophers, this basic question has become the focus of an exciting interdisciplinary dialogue that is challenging and changing how needs are conceptualized, defined, and measured.

In this session, Dr. Watkins will describe what he has learned from the conversations, how we can improve our assessment of needs for HPT practice, and the lessons he discovered on the importance of diversifying and expanding our perspectives. This session will also explore the critical role of on-going personal and professional growth, a core competency for anyone working to improve human and organizational performance. Dr. Watkins will present ways to keep abreast of the latest research from many of the disciplines that should influence our work, and develop strategies for improving professional practice.

  About Ryan  

Ryan Watkins, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the George Washington University. Recent publications include The Art of Knowledge Exchange, available for free online, and A Guide to Assessing Needs: Essential Tools for Collecting Information, Making Desiccation, and Achieving Development Results, also free online. In 2013, A Guide to Assessing Needs was the most read online book available through the World Bank, with more than 57,000 reads. Other works include:

  • E-learning Companion: A Learners' Guide to Online Success for Improving Performance in the Workplace - Vol. 2
  • Performance by design: The systematic selection, design, and development of performance technologies
  • 75 E-learning Activities: Making online course interactive

Ryan is an active member of ISPI, AEA, and CREAD. He was a visiting scientist with the National Science Foundation. He frequently works with the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank on applying needs assessment, instructional design, and performance improvement to international assistance programs.

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