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Christie Edwards Durden

Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis


Summer 2009
Goal to be met:
Students will be able to complete a research project in which they will use and cite resources
correctly in order to avoid copyright infringement or plagiarism.

Standards to be addressed:
AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner
1.1 Skills
1.1.1 Follow an inquiry-based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects, and make
the real-world connection for using this process in own life.
1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions.

1.3 Responsibilities
1.3.1 Respect copyright/ intellectual property rights of creators and producers.
1.3.3 Follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information.
1.3.5 Use information technology responsibly.

3.1 Skills
3.1.6 Use information and technology ethically and responsibly.

Method: The learner analysis below was completed by careful evaluation of students’
permanent records with additional information coming from student surveys.

1. Target Population: Mrs. Durden’s 5th period Life Science class. The group consists of
25 students (15 male and 10 female) ranging in age from 11 to 13 years. Students in this
class are heterogeneously grouped.

a. Learning Styles: All students completed the Abiator’s Online Learning Styles
Inventory at www.berghuis.co.nz/abiator/lsi/lsitest1.html. As predicted, there were
several different types of learning styles within the group. Twelve of the students
were identified as visual learners, nine were identified as tactile kinesthetic learners,
and four were identified as auditory learners. See table 1.1 below.
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
Table 1.1 Learning Styles
Student Visual Learner Tactile/ Kinesthetic Auditory Learner
1 x
2 x
3 x
4 x
5 x
6 x
7 x
8 x
9 x
10 x
11 x
12 x
13 x
14 x
15 x
16 x
17 x
18 x
19 x
20 x
21 x
22 x
23 x
24 x
25 x

Learning Styles Summary: It is quite apparent that learning styles can significantly
affect students’ abilities to learn effectively from different resources. In order to
achieve the goal outlined above, lessons need to be designed that address each of the
learning styles present within the class. Effective lessons should include direct, hands
on experiences for the tactile/kinesthetic learners. Opportunities for group discussions,
lectures, and question and answer sessions should be made available for auditory
learners within the group. Demonstrations, readings, and audiovisual experiences
should be included for visual learners within the group.
b. In addition to determining students’ learning styles, specific learner
characteristics as they apply to the standards and goal outlined above were
evaluated by having students complete the student survey: Assessment of Subject
Preferences and Research Skills. See table 1.2 below.

Table 1.2 Subject Preferences and Research Skills Survey Results


Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009

Support required for


Least Favorite Subject

Computer and Internet

Hours spent surfing the

Student paraphrases

Student can cite sources

Student can cite sources


Favorite Subject

Social Preference
Student

research projects
Internet each week

at the end of paper


access at home

information

within paper
1 Math L.A. alone yes 3to4 none yes no no
2 S.S. Math 1to1 peer yes >5 none yes no no
3 Science S.S. group yes >5 some yes no no
4 Math S.S group yes 3to4 some yes yes yes
5 Science L.A group no none complete no no no
6 Science S.S. authority yes 1to2 some yes no no
7 L.A. Science group yes 1to2 some yes no no
8 Math L.A. alone no 1to2 some no no no
9 S.S. Math group yes >5 none no yes yes
10 Science L.A. 1to1 peer yes 3to4 some yes no no
11 S.S. L.A. group yes 3to4 complete yes no no
12 Science S.S. authority yes >5 complete no no no
13 Math Science group yes >5 some yes yes yes
14 Math L.A. alone no none some yes yes yes
15 L.A. S.S. group yes 3to4 some no no no
16 L.A. Science 1to1 peer yes 3to4 none no no no
17 Science S.S. group yes >5 complete yes no no
18 Science Math authority yes 3to4 some no no no
19 L.A. Math 1to1 peer yes 3to4 some yes no no
20 Science S.S. group no 1to2 complete no no no
21 S.S. Science 1to1 peer yes 3to4 some no yes yes
22 L.A. Math authority no none some yes yes yes
23 L.A. S.S. group yes 1to2 complete no no no
24 Math S.S. group yes >5 some yes no no
25 Science Math authority yes 3to4 some yes no no
Subject Preference and Research Skills Summary:
Learner Survey Results
Characteristics
Favorite subject Math: 6 Science: 9 Language Arts: 6 Social Studies: 4
Summary: Students were surveyed about their favorite subject in order
to assess their preference for completing certain types of research
projects. The results were unevenly split between Math, Science,
Language Arts, and Social Studies. Research topics from each of these
subjects could be incorporated into the unit to appeal to all students.
Least favorite Math: 6 Science: 4 Language Arts: 6 Social Studies: 9
subject Summary: Students were surveyed about their least favorite subject in
order to assess their preference for completing certain types of research
projects. The results were unevenly split between Math, Science,
Language Arts, and Social Studies. Students should be provided with a
variety of research topics from all subjects in which to choose from.
Choices would increase student motivation.
Social Preference Working alone: 3
Working with a small group: 12
Working 1to1 with peer: 5
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
Working with teacher: 5
Summary: As predicted with middle school students, most prefer to
work with a peer or with a small group. A few like to work alone or
with the teacher. Appropriate lessons and activities should be planned
and utilized in order to provide students with opportunities to work in
the social setting that they prefer.
Computer Access Yes: 20 No: 5
at Home Summary: Most students indicated that they have computer and Internet
access at home thus it can be assumed that most have at least a working
knowledge of basic computer skills.
Time spent surfing None: 3 1to2: 5 3to4: 10 >5: 7
the Internet each Summary: Most students indicated that they use the Internet some
week during the week. Several indicated that they use the Internet more than 5
hours per week. This would indicate that most have adequate
background knowledge to effectively navigate the Internet.
Support Required None: 4 Some:15 Complete: 6
for Research Summary: Some students indicated that they felt very confident
Projects completing research projects on their own. They felt that they did not
need any assistance. Most students indicated that they felt they need
some help. While 6 indicated they needed complete support in order to
complete research projects. Appropriate scaffolding will need to be
provided throughout the research project to ensure that students’
frustration levels are kept at a minimum.
Student Yes: 15 No: 10
Paraphrases Summary: Most students indicated that they paraphrase information
Information when completing a research project. It may be beneficial to those who
indicated that they do not paraphrase information to plan a lesson on
how to put information into their own words so that they avoid
plagiarism and still make sense.

Student can cite Yes: 6 No: 19


sources within a Summary: Most students indicated that they have difficulty citing
paper sources within a paper. It is obvious then that students will need
instruction on how to perform this task.
Student can cite Yes: 6 No: 19
sources at the end Summary: Most students indicated that they have difficulty citing
of paper sources at the end of a paper. It is obvious then that students will need
instruction on how to perform this task.

c. The following information was pulled from students permanent files.

Table 1.3 Student Data


Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009

Race
Student #

Gender

Age
Entry STAR Entry Entry
Level Reading Level Level Skill
Skill Level Skill (Language
(STAR) (Reading Arts
below, CRCT) CRCT)
on, Does not Does not
above meet, meet,
meets, meets,
exceeds exceeds
1 M B 11 below 3.9 DNM DNM
2 F W 12 below 4.3 DNM DNM
3 M W 12 on 6.8 Meets Meets
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
4 M W 12 on 7.3 Meets Meets
5 F W 12 on 7.6 Meets Exceeds
6 M W 13 on 7.4 Meets Meets
7 F B 12 below 5.4 DNM DNM
8 F B 12 below 4.7 Meets Meets
9 M W 13 above 9.2 Exceeds Exceeds
10 M W 13 above 8.4 Exceeds Exceeds
11 M W 12 on 6.9 Meets Meets
12 F W 12 on 6.4 Meets Meets
13 M W 11 below 4.7 DNM DNM
14 F W 12 on 7.2 Meets Meets
15 M W 13 on 7.8 Meets Meets
16 F B 12 below 2.1 DNM DNM
17 F B 12 on 6.9 Meets Meets
18 M A 12 on 6.7 Meets Meets
19 M B 13 below 4.3 DNM DNM
20 F W 12 below 5.4 DNM DNM
21 F B 12 below 2.3 DNM DNM
22 M W 13 on 6.9 Meets Meets
23 M W 12 below 5.8 DNM DNM
24 M W 13 above 9.8 Exceeds Exceeds
25 M W 12 above 8.9 Meets Meets

Student Data Summary: Within the class there is a wide range of reading and language
arts abilities. Although most students meet or either exceeded on the 2009 language arts
and reading CRCT’s, nine did not. This would indicate that these students may need
additional support to find reading material that is on their level. Their STAR reading level
is also indicative of this observation. (Note: actual numeric scores for the CRCT’s were
unavailable at the time of this survey. Students had only received preliminary scores.)

2. Learner Differences: Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences – There are many types of


intelligences. All students have strengths in certain areas. In order to determine the
most predominant types of intelligences within the class, all students completed the
online multiple intelligence questionnaire at
http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/index.htm. The

following pie chart is the class summary of the results.


Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009

Learner Differences Summary:


As indicated by the results these seventh grade students have strengths in many
areas. In order for students to fully demonstrate their strengths, a variety of lessons and
activities should be incorporated throughout the unit.

3. Special Needs/Accomodations of Learners: Although all students are seventh


graders, there is a wide range of abilities within the group. The class is a collaboration
class with several of the students receiving special education services. Specific
accommodations for these students are outlined in the table below.

Table 4: Accommodations

Special Student Accommodations Suggested Activities/Interventions


Needs
Asperger 4 • frequent redirection • Provide a predictable and safe
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
Syndrome • short specific instructions environment
• breaks when frustration levels are • Minimize transitions
high • Offer consistent daily routine: The
• peer tutor whenever appropriate. child with AS must understand each
day's routine and know what to expect
in order to be able to concentrate on
the task at hand
• Avoid surprises
Mildly 16, 21 • substantial teacher assistance • Extended time for completion of
intellectually • shortened assignments assignments or tests
disabled • instruction and testing over essential • Additional time for reading
content only assignments
• short specific directions • Study sheets/summary sheets/outlines
• frequent checks for understanding of most important facts
• text is read to students when • Supplemental aids (vocabulary,
necessary multiplication cards, etc.)
• Presentation of material in small steps
• Allow for oral report using tape
recorder
Attention 2, 14, • 1 or 2 step instructions • bodily-kinesthetic cues
Deficit 19, 24 • extra time for responses • posters
Disorder • clarify instructions or directions • drama
• provide warning prior to calling on • dances
student • look for positive characteristics in the
• repeat directions child diagnosed with ADD/ADHD
• check for understanding
• redirection as needed

Special Needs/Accommodations of Learners Summary: In a class of this size it can be


extremely difficult to meet the needs of such diverse learners. With this in mind it is important
to remember that all students can achieve. They may not achieve at the same rate or at the same
level, but they can learn. With students that have been diagnosed with ADD, there has been
much success in treating them as kinesthetic learners. “A kinesthetic learner requires body
movement and action for optimal results: they need to move around, use their muscles, explore.
Kinesthetically oriented children find it stressful to be asked to “look and listen” for long
periods of time” (Linksman, 2007). It is suggested that during the course of this unit students
be provided with opportunities that allow for movement and interaction with peers. Having
said this, we must keep in mind student 4 who is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. The
following is a list of characteristics that the typical student with Asperger would manifest as
taken from the following website http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/behavior/supportiASP.html :
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
o Insistence on sameness: easily overwhelmed by minimal changes in routines, sensitive
to environmental stressors, preference for rituals.
o Impairment in social interactions: unable to understand the "rules" of interaction, poor
comprehension of jokes and metaphor, pedantic speaking style.
o Restricted range of social competence: preoccupation with singular topics such as train
schedules or maps, asking repetitive questions about circumscribed topics, obsessively
collecting items.
o Inattention: poor organizational skills, easily distracted, focus on irrelevant stimuli,
difficulty learning in group contexts.
o Poor motor coordination: slow clerical speed, clumsy gait, unsuccessful in games
involving motor skills.
o Academic difficulties: restricted problem solving skills, literal thinking, deficiencies
with abstract reasoning.
o Emotional vulnerability: low self- esteem, easily overwhelmed, poor coping with
stressors, self- critical.

If opportunities for movement and interaction are planned, student 4 would need to be given
clear guidelines for these types of activities. It is suggested that the student be assigned to one
or two other responsible students who he could go to for assistance and/or direction. It may
also be helpful to let this students know a day ahead of time if routines or procedures will be
changed. For students labeled mildly intellectually disabled it is clear that they have different
learning rates. It may be necessary to alter the research assignment to a certain extent. For
example, The Learning Disabilities Association of Texas suggests shortened assignments,
functional level materials like allowing students to create an oral report using a tape recorder,
and one to one assistance with the teacher or tutor.

4. Culture and Ethnicity of Learners: The class consists of seventeen Caucasian students,

seven students of African American descent, and 1 student of Asian descent. The parents of the

Asian student do not speak English very well. Because communication is limited with the

parents, the student does not receive much help with homework at home. During homeroom

and study hall he typically will seek out his teachers for additional assistance with work that he

finds challenging. It may be helpful to consult with this student prior to the end of class about

any questions he may have if there is an assignment to be completed at home. The student is

self conscience about his Asian heritage and does not like this brought to light with other

students. Students of minorities such as African Americans may come into the classroom with
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
what Caucasian teachers perceive as an attitude. Often, however, this attitude is more of a

defense mechanism that the student has developed as a result of years of inequality in the

school system. This “attitude” can even be a misconception on the part of the teacher. Students

of different cultures can have a different set of rules for communication and response to

authority than the majority. It is our jobs as teachers to recognize that this attitude is not

necessarily defiance (Finn, 1999). Students’ socioeconomic status ranges from the poverty

level to middle class. Most students in the class reside within a two parent household.

However, four of the students reside with a single parent and one student resides with

grandparents. Teale and Gambrell, authors of “Raising urban students’ literacy achievement by

engaging in authentic, challenging work” offer a solution for helping students from middle

class and poverty achieve academic success. They state that we must “relate literacy to our

students’ lives and the lives of their parents.” In doing this, we will “give students a reason to

engage in explicit, context-independent language and school discourse.” In other words we

must help students see how the knowledge that they will gain in school will be relevant to their

everyday lives. In dealing with a culturally diverse class it is also beneficial to allow student

choice and freedom of expression as strategies that promote student success (Carey, 2007).

5. Motivational Strategies:
The ARCS model will be utilized to increase students’ motivation.
• Attention: Student’s attention will be gained by posing the following question:
What have you always wanted to learn more about? The teacher will call upon
students to share their responses. Students will then be asked to generate a list of
at least 5 topics that they would like to do some further research on.
• Relevance: The teacher will ask the following question: Why is it important for
people to be able to find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer
questions? The teacher will call upon students to discuss their responses.
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
Through this class discussion students will understand that the research project
that they will be working on will be relevant to what they are interested in
themselves and to their real-world needs now and all throughout their life.
• Confidence: Students’ confidence will be addressed as the assignments that
students will be asked to complete during the project will be developmentally
appropriate for their age and previous knowledge. The project will be
appropriately scaffold. In other words, students will receive step by step
instruction and feedback throughout the research process. This will eliminate
any anxiety students might feel at the thought of completing a lengthy research
project.
• Satisfaction: Students will be allowed to research the topic of their choosing.
They will be able to answer questions that they are interested in. In addition
students will be able to demonstrate the research skills that they have learned
throughout the unit in their finished product.
6. Appropriate Technology Resources: Most students in the group indicated that they
spend an hour or more on their home computer each week. Most students should be
very comfortable with using the computers on campus to complete their research
project. For those students who may not be as comfortable with computer use, they can
be paired with a peer to complete parts of the research project. Most students enjoy
being able to use the computers. Students will also use personal response systems in
order to interact during one of the lessons. All students are well versed in the use of the
PRS as they have been utilizing them all year long in their science classrooms. Students
respond positively to the PRS. They enjoy being part of the lesson instead of just
listening and watching the teacher.
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009

Assessment of Subject Preferences and Research Skills


1. My favorite subject is:
a. Math
b. Social Studies
c. Science
d. Language Arts
2. My least favorite subject is:
a. Math
b. Social Studies
c. Science
d. Language Arts
3. I prefer to work
a. by myself
b. with a friend
c. with a small group
d. with help from the teacher
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
4. Do you have a computer at home?
a. yes
b. no
5. How often would you say that you spent surfing the Internet each week?
a. none
b. 1 to 2 hours
c. 3 to 4 hours
d. more than 5 hours
6. How do you feel about completing research projects that require you to cite
resources?
a. I am good at completing research projects. I don’t need any help from the
teacher.
b. I am okay at completing research projects. Sometimes I need a little help
from the teacher.
c. I am not so good at completing research projects. I can’t complete it by
myself.
7. When you complete research projects do you paraphrase or put in your own words the
information that you find?
a. yes
b. no
8. Do you know how to cite your sources within your research paper?
a. yes
b. no
9. Do you know how to cite your sources at the end of your research paper?
a. yes
b. no

Resources:

Buckmann, S., Pratt, C. (1999). Supporting students with Asperger’s Syndrome who present

behavioral challenges. The Reporter, 4(3), 6-10, 14. Retrieved June 6, 2009, from

http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/behavior/supportiASP.html.
Christie Edwards Durden
Assignment # 1 – Learner Analysis
Summer 2009
Finn, P.J. (1999). Literacy with an attitude: Educating working-class children in their own

self-interest Albany: State University of New York Press.

Linksman, R. (2007). The fine line between ADHD and kinesthetic learners. Latitudes, 1(6).

Retrieved June 6, 2009 from http://www.latitudes.org/articles/learn01.html.

Paugh, P., Carey, J., King-Jackson, V., Russell, S. (2007). Negotiating the literacy block:

constructing spaces for critical literacy in a high-stakes setting. Language Arts, 85(1), 31-42.

Teale, W.H., Gambrell, L.B. (2007). Raising urban students’ literacy achievement by

engaging in authentic, challenging work. The Reading Teacher, 60(8 ).

Williams, K. (1995). Understanding the Student with Asperger Syndrome: Guidelines for

Teachers. Focus On Autistic Behavior, 10(2). Retrieved June 5, 2009 from

http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/.

The Learning Disabilities Association of Texas. Classroom Modifications and

Accommodations For Students With Learning Disabilities. Retrieved June 6, 2009 from

http://www.ldat.org/ld_info/accommodations.html