Skip to main content


Conducting a needs assessment for Cochrane Learning

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Bryony Urquhart

Contact person

Andrew Bryant
Abstract text
Background: Conducting a needs assessment is the essential first step in creating accredited educational content. All educational activities within Cochrane Learning will follow this rigorous process to ensure the educational materials created are of the highest educational quality. The needs assessment will inform both the selection of Cochrane Reviews included in the Cochrane Learning programme and also the activity type – multiple-choice questions, patient vignettes, webinars, and so on. Objectives: To highlight the needs assessment process as the first step to creating high quality educational content. To conduct a needs assessment and report upon the number of Cochrane Reviews selected for inclusion in a Cochrane Learning programme together with the appropriate activity type recommended. Methods: We conducted needs assessments for the Cochrane Learning programme, based upon the criteria from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and selected both the relevant Cochrane Reviews and the appropriate activity type to meet any discovered needs. Results: The needs assessment process was followed for two topic areas. We will present a description of the process followed, including insights from the Editorial Team. We will also present the results of the needs assessments, including the number of Cochrane Reviews meeting the stated needs and also the activity types recommended. We aim to present a matrix to assist in the selection of activity type based upon our experiences. Conclusions: When establishing an online learning programme it is essential to select content that meets the needs of participants to ensure that the participant can make the best use of the new information in their clinical practice. Needs assessments are therefore an essential part of high quality learning programmes. We will learn from our initial experiences to ensure that we are able to apply the needs assessment process to all programmes within Cochrane Learning.