Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Paul S. Brantley

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Gottfried Oosterwal

Abstract

A Central African society consisting of two local ethnic groups, as well as Europeans, Asians [Pakistanis and Indians), and North Americans, provided a milieux for the evaluations of five needs-assessment methodologies as to their appropriateness in a multi-ethnic environment. Five methodologies, a questionnaire, a job analysis log, audio and video interviews, and an informal indigenous contact, were used in a needs assessment for the computer science department of the Adventist University of Central Africa, a private church-operated university, located at Mudende, Gisenyi, Rwanda, Central Africa. The five methodologies were evaluated in two different manners:

1. An evaluation of the appropriateness of the methodology based on 12 modified standards selected from those suggested by The Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (1994), designed to assess the complete evaluation process (In this dissertation, the 12 selected standards were chosen and adapted to examine the impact of culture on the methodologies and to determine the appropriateness of the use of the methodologies in a needs assessment in the Fourth World.)

2. A comparison of the number of recommendations provided by each methodology. The numbering included the total count of recommendations provided by each methodology, the number of nonunique recommendations, as well as the number of unique recommendations. The recommendations were classified in "new," consider." and "improve" categories. The recommendations were also examined as to how they were implemented.

The results of the study indicate th at all five methodologies had their own set of unique strengths and weaknesses when used in a Fourth World setting. In fact, no one methodology would have been appropriate if used by itself. In this study, reducing the number of methodologies would have resulted in a loss of vital information needed for decision making. The greatest amount of information came from methods th at allowed the researcher to develop a researcher-respondent relationship prior to collection of information. The single most productive methodology was the audio interview, with its greater use of affective communication.

Subject Area

Computer science--Study and teaching (Higher)--Rwanda.

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