My Course Wish List

Your list is empty.

Explore online education in Tennessee

PRST 5420/6420/7420 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

PRST 5420/6420/7420 - Organizational Needs Analysis

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the processes and techniques used to conduct an organizational analysis and then identify training needs in private and public organizations. This course is designed to build theoretical as well as practical knowledge and skills for employees who are not necessarily human resource professionals. 

Course Outcomes:

The goals of this course are to introduce

1. a systems-thinking approach to organizational analysis

2. models that can explain human performance gaps in organizations

3. plans to guide analysis

4. analysis of data and methods for reporting

At the completion of this course, the student is expected to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

1. explain the relationship between strategic planning and organizational analysis

2. describe the theoretical foundations underlying organizational analysis

3. identify trends affecting performance gaps

4. describe problems and barriers of conducting a needs analysis

5. describe different types of data to collect for a needs analysis

6. present the process of analyzing performance problem(s) at either organizational, departmental, or individual levels or present the process of reporting findings and recommendations.


Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:

Planning and managing the following: needs assessments pre-assessment planning assessment processes post-assessment analysis methods for conducting a needs assessment records and social indicators surveys and interview techniques basic group process data gathering and analysis of performance diagnostic tools power structures decision making and consensus building techniques reporting findings and recommendations 

Specific Course Requirements:

There is no specific software required for this course.  

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

No supplementary materials are needed for this course. 

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

All testing is conducted online with starting and closing times and dates. No proctoring is required.

Grading Procedures:

The grades are directly related to the course objectives and learning outcomes. See Assignments and Participation for details. The following chart documents what is required for achieving high achievement in this course. 

Excellent (Full Credit)Acceptable (Partial Credit)Unacceptable (Minimal to no credit) 
Follows all assignment requirementsDoes not follow all assignment requirementsDoes not follow assignment requirements
Express concepts and ideas fluentlyExpress concepts and ideas adequatelyExpress concepts and ideas poorly or not at all
Synthesis of course contentSome synthesis of course content Little synthesis of course content
Has no mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, syntax)Has some mechanical noticeable errorsHas numerous (more than 5) mechanical errors


Grading Scale:
90--100%396--440 pointsA
80--89%352--395 pointsB
70--79%308--351 pointsC
0--69%0--307 pointsF


Assignments and Projects:
ModulesAssignment/ProjectDescriptionDescription Objective/Learning OutcomeEvaluation Points
Module 11Resource Identification ActivityStudents will identify and catalogue 50 off-the-shelf organizational needs analysis materials/references designed to address needs that may be typical within a group, organization or industry; identify their uses and probable efficacy (or the lack thereof)Objectives:1 and 2 Learning Outcomes:A, E, and Fapplication and scope of the resources identified100
Module 1 through 14Threaded Group DiscussionsStudents must participate in the 14 discussion boards posted through the D2L Discussion board. Students must respond in such a way to demonstrate their familiarity with the course content.Objectives:1, 2, 3, and 4 Learning Outcomes:A, B, C, D, E, and Fquality (not quantity) of responses: clarity, focus, creativitydiscussions at 10 points each (140 points total)
Module 13Formal Group Project/PresentationStudents will be placed into groups of three. They may choose a topic of interest to them, which must be approved by the instructor. The topics must pertain to either the process of analyzing performance problem(s) at either organizational, departmental, or individual levels or the process of reporting findings and recommendations. Clarity and creativity are expected. The topic will be developed into a PowerPoint presentation which will be presented to the class via D2L. Students will conduct all meetings and place all materials and correspondence through D2L.Objectives: 3 and 4 Learning Outcomes:D, E, and Forganization, detail, clarity of presentation, evidence of synthesis of course content, and evidence of group participation100 
Module 14Final ExamThe final exam will be a comprehensive essay instructing students to detail and discuss 5 specific topics from the course.Objectives:1, 2, 3, and 4 Learning Outcomes:A, B, C, D, E, and Fdetail, quality of explanation, and synthesis of content to course 100


Class Participation:

Students must participate in all interactive aspects of the course. Students must communicate with other students in the chat room, threaded group discussions, and in preparation of the formal group project/presentation. Students are also expected to communicate with the instructor as a learning resource. In addition, students must check the course bulletin board and calendar frequently for announcements. 

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on May 15, 2017