What Do Faculty in Health Professions Need to be Competent Educators? Results from a School-Wide Needs Assessment

J Allied Health. 2017 Winter;46(4):e77-e80.


Background: Teaching may be the one responsibility most distinctly identified with being a faculty member, but may be the one for which faculty is least prepared. We performed a needs assessment to understand the educational needs of health professions faculty.

Methods: Faculty completed a survey examining the extent to which they valued and felt competent in 36 education-related skills within six categories, including instructional methods, curriculum development, assessment, instructional design, learners and learning, and diversity and inclusion. Participants rated each item using a 1 (not at all valuable/competent) to 5 (extremely valuable/competent) scale.

Results: Ninety-five percent of faculty (n=19/20) responded. Value means per topic included diversity and inclusion (4.61±0.65), instructional methods (4.60±0.28), learners and learning (4.60±0.34), assessment (4.54±0.31), instructional design (4.27±0.50), and curriculum development (4.21±0.28). Self-rated competence was highest for diversity and inclusion (4.18±0.76), followed by learners and learning (3.76±0.75), instructional methods (3.73±0.65), assessment (3.22±0.95), curriculum development (3.07±0.88), and instructional design (2.71±0.77). All value/competency comparisons found the value of these skills skills to be significantly greater than competence in that category (p<0.001 for each), with largest discrepancies in instructional design and assessment.

Conclusions: Opportunities exist to improve alignment between valued educator skills and their perceived competency levels in these skills.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Faculty / organization & administration*
  • Faculty / standards
  • Female
  • Health Occupations / education*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Models, Educational
  • Needs Assessment
  • Professional Competence
  • Staff Development / organization & administration*
  • Teaching / organization & administration*
  • Teaching / standards