In order for true learning to occur, the instructional unit must be designed to meet the needs of the learners represented within the group. During a learner analysis, a curricular designer examines the learners as a group. Since comprehensive curricular units designed to teach the foundational skills of keyboarding are not readily available, a full learner analysis will give the curricular designer a blueprint for creating such an instructional unit. This learner analysis will identify key areas that are instrumental to be included within the instructional unit; thus, increasing the likelihood of student success by meeting the individual needs of each student, as well as the group in entirety.
The student focus group for this learner analysis consists of 15 students who are currently enrolled in the 6th grade at Elkin Elementary School located in Elkin, North Carolina. Elkin, North Carolina is a rural community located in the Piedmont Area of North Carolina. Elkin was established as a town in 1889. With a current population of 4,111 in 2008, Elkin has been a primarily industrial area. With current economic conditions, local manufacturers have significantly decreased in work forces, thus having a dramatic impact on local economy. As a result, the current student population receiving free and reduced lunches has increased to 46% in the most recent years.
Most local educational agencies in North Carolina include grades 6-8 on a middle school campus. Elkin City Schools consists of three schools. Elkin Elementary School includes grades Prekindergarten through Grade 6 on one campus. Grades 7 and 8, as well as grades 9-12 are located at the middle/high school complex. The overall student body of Elkin City Schools (PK -12) is comprised of 1,154 students; with 610 students attending the elementary school, 177 students attend the middle school, and the high school has a current enrollment of 367. Of this student body, 79% of the students are Caucasian, 17% Hispanic, and 4% Other. The Hispanic student population of this district is significantly higher than the state average of 5.9% (Kasarda, 2006). Those included in the “Other” category include the ethnicities such as Black, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Multiracial.
Relevant Group Characteristics
The students in this focus group consist of fifteen 6th grade students from Elkin Elementary School. In order to ensure that the focus group in a comparable representation of the overall student population of Elkin City Schools, the focus group will consist of 11 Caucasian students, 3 Hispanic students and 1 student to represent the Other ethnicities. Of the 15 overall students, economically disadvantaged students will be represented by a minimum of four students. It is understood that students from economically disadvantaged homes are at risk for failure. This is likely due to a lack of educational materials in the...