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Background - Immersion Program - George Mason University

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					                        Needs Assessment


                               Submitted to
              Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center
                            Arlington, Virginia



                                  Prepared by the

                       National Science Foundation Team
Steve Arrington, Amy Bolton, Andrea Chen, Rebecca Clark, Christina Glenn, Peter Huffer,
        Shelton Jewette, Tim Lewis, Soo Park, Marcella Simon, Karen Zolkiewicz




                 Instructional Technology Immersion Program
                           George Mason University
                               December 11, 2002
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                                                                        2


                                                         Table of Contents
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 3
Background ..................................................................................................................................... 3
  Wesley Housing Development Corporation ............................................................................... 4
  Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center .................................................................. 4
  The Buckingham community...................................................................................................... 5
  Additional Staffing...................................................................................................................... 5
  Current Programs and Resources ................................................................................................ 5
Project Overview ............................................................................................................................ 5
Data ................................................................................................................................................. 6
  Research Method ........................................................................................................................ 6
  Participants .................................................................................................................................. 6
  Data Collection ........................................................................................................................... 7
  Instruments .................................................................................................................................. 7
  Data Analysis .............................................................................................................................. 8
Audience Analysis .......................................................................................................................... 8
Performance Analysis ..................................................................................................................... 9
Research ........................................................................................................................................ 10
  Optimal Conditions ................................................................................................................... 10
  Current Conditions .................................................................................................................... 11
Findings......................................................................................................................................... 11
Recommendations ......................................................................................................................... 13
Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 14
References ..................................................................................................................................... 15
Appendix A ................................................................................................................................... 16
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                      3


Executive Summary
The NSF team, part of the Immersion Program at George Mason University’s Graduate School
of Education, undertook this project to discover the critical factors in the emergence of a self-
directed learning environment in underserved communities. In order to achieve this objective, the
NSF team selected a representative neighborhood based on the following criteria:

        Residents are considered to be part of an underserved population
        A neighborhood community center is in its first year of existence
        Proximity to George Mason University

To that end, the NSF team entered into an educational partnership with Whitefield Commons
Community Resource Center (WCCRC) to document the needs of the residents living in the
neighborhood and discover trends in their use of technology to address those needs.

The vision of this project is to empower underserved communities to unlock the potential of
technology and to contribute to the creation of sustainable learning environments. Its mission is
that through research and analysis we will create the foundation for a sustainable, informal
learning environment that fosters and supports capacity-building and learning opportunities in
underserved communities.

The team gathered information from the target audience, which included learners, administrators,
providers, advisors and socializers. Given the vision and mission of the project, the learner is the
primary audience, although any resulting product should be created with the others in mind.
Factors and barriers relating to the existence of a self-directed learning community (SDLC) were
considered, as well as the needs and wants of potential users. At the end of the three-month
observation period, findings showed that:

        Importance of learning is recognized
        Accessing resources is not a simple task
        Communication is in demand
        Social experience is a critical part of life

For the most part, there were no significant differences in the wants or needs across groups,
including race, gender, ethnicity, and age group - position being the exception.

In order to meet the needs of the audience and allow ease of accessibility and integration of
technology into the everyday processes of the community, the team recommends that a system
be created that will be housed in an online infrastructure. To date, the system is in its
preliminary stages, and its completion is anticipated in May 2003.


Background
Whitefield Commons Community Center (WCCRC) is operated by the Wesley Housing
Development Corporation. Although originally established for residents of Whitefield Commons
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                   4


and Knightsbridge Apartments, WCCRC is available for all members of the Buckingham
community.

Wesley Housing Development Corporation
Wesley Housing Development Corporation (WHDC) operates and manages 16 affordable
housing communities in the Northern Virginia Area. WHDC's mission is to “develop, own,
operate and maintain affordable housing communities for low and moderate-income persons in
Northern Virginia.” Its vision is to “sustain quality communities and provide housing enriched
services that support individual and family stability.” WHDC’s philosophy on building
community includes the following elements:

        Identify multi-family properties that can be used for affordable housing
        Negotiate a reasonable price per unit with the seller
        Arrange financing by combining tax credits, available governmental funding, and loans
         from commercial institutions
        Work with the community for acceptance of affordable housing
        Rehabilitate properties and develop new communities
        Oversee management and maintenance to assure quality communities
        Provide social services and programs to meet residents' needs and empower adults,
         children, and families

As part of the social services and programs, WHDC has started an enriched housing initiative by
implementing Community Resource Center-based Programs at three of their housing
communities. The Community Resource Centers are part of HUD’s Neighborhood Network
programs and reside within the vicinity of the housing neighborhood to foster support services
for the residents.

Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center
Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center (WCCRC), located in Arlington, VA, is the
most recent addition to the Community Resource Center-based Program. Opened in the spring
of 2001, the center resides in the Whitefield Commons apartment complex, which consists of 64
rehabilitated garden apartments, 27 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units, and two 3-
bedroom units designated for low- and moderate-income persons. The center also serves another
WHDC property, Knightsbridge Apartments, which is in close proximity of the center. The
demographic breakdown for the properties of Whitefield Commons and Knightsbridge
Apartment is as follows: African-American 29%, Asian 25%, African 18%, Caucasian 14%, and
Latino 14%.

The mission of WCCRC is to respond to the needs of residents of Whitefield Commons,
Knightsbridge Apartment, and the general Buckingham community by providing quality,
culturally sensitive educational opportunities, social services, and access to community resources
that encourage greater economic and social self- sufficiency and full community participation.
The Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center is staffed with one full-time employee,
the Director, Kimberly Fodor. She is assisted by Janice Wright, a part-time employee who
serves as Youth Services Coordinator. Konovia Mikeal is the Director of Family Programs for
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                      5


WHDC and oversees all the centers that are part of the Community Resource Center-based
Program.

The Buckingham community
The Buckingham Community that the WCCRC serves consists of 3,910 households, of which
80% are rental units. This area is linguistically and culturally diverse. Recent data from WCCRC
show the demographics as 46% Hispanic and 11% Asian/Pacific Islander. According to
Arlington County Public School statistics, 78% of the children from the Buckingham
neighborhood attending the local grade school qualified for the free or reduced lunch program
(Buckingham Neighborhood Strategy Area Plan). Approximately half of the community
members speak a language other than English in the home. Twenty-seven percent of
Buckingham residents over the age of 25 have not earned a high school diploma. Most of the
residents work as blue-collar or unskilled laborers.

Additional Staffing
Volunteers fulfill various staff functions at WCCRC and many provide services to the center.
They are recruited from a variety of sources, including: VolunteerMatch (online service), Mt.
Olivet United Methodist Church, the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau, local colleges, and local high
schools. After a period of time, the center attained consistency in their volunteer staff. There is
occasional turnover for volunteers generally due to varying levels of commitment and
motivation, as well as degree of availability. WCCRC is struggling with the challenge of finding
volunteers with specialized skills in response to community needs. For example, it is difficult to
fill their need for bi-lingual volunteer staff during the day and hours of operation.

Current Programs and Resources
WCCRC provides educational opportunities that encourage greater economic and social self-
sufficiency and full community participation. Current programs include adult basic education,
GED preparation, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), computer classes, after-
school tutoring and learning enrichment programs, a reading program, and teen leadership
training. In addition, WCCRC runs programs in partnership with the public library, resiliency
project, 4H, and area churches.

Among its resources, WCCRC provides a network of 20 Pentium III computers with Internet
connectivity. Elementary school aged students and teens use computers that have educational
software during after school programs, and computer classes are offered in the evening for
adults. Classes are offered in English and Spanish, and topics include basic computer skills, the
Internet, Microsoft Word I and II, Excel I and II, and MS Office tutorials.


Project Overview
The vision of this project is to empower underserved communities to unlock the potential of
technology and to contribute to the creation of sustainable learning environments.
With the mission of creating a sustainable learning environment that fosters and supports
capacity-building and learning opportunities for underserved communities, the NSF team is
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                         6


working in conjunction with the Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center to
understand the needs of the Buckingham community.

The NSF team completed a detailed needs analysis of the community in order to answer the
following:

         How is technology currently used?
         Based upon the daily process of life in the community what are its needs, and can
          technology – specifically, a self-directed learning community (SDLC) - meet them?
         What are the necessary factors surrounding the emergence of a SDLC?
         How can a SDLC be used to foster and support capacity-building while providing
          learning opportunities?

Sources for collecting this data included WCCRC users, WCCRC Staff, WHDC staff,
community leaders, community members, and experts on community technology centers. The
team also researched best practices for virtual communities, online learning communities, and
resources that address the technology gap in underserved communities. Results of the findings
and the process used to support the findings are summarized in the Data, Findings, and
Recommendation sections.


Data
Research Method
The NSF team employed the Grounded Theory method of qualitative research. The Grounded
Theory method is an inductive approach, using a systematic set of procedures to arrive at a
theory about basic social processes. The aim of this approach is to discover underlying social
forces that shape human behavior, by means of interviews with open-ended questions and
through skilled observations (Royal Windsor Society for Nursing Research, 2002). The
grounded theory methodology is based on the inductive concept of developing new theories
based on new data. Four important characteristics of a grounded theory are: fit, understanding,
generality, and control. Fit refers to the fact that the theory must fit the data if it is to be useful;
theory must correspond closely to the real-world data. The second characteristic, understanding,
means that the theory should be clearly stated and readily understandable to researchers and non-
researchers alike. Generality means that the scope of the theory should not be so specific that it
only applies to a small set of people in a specific situation. Lastly, control refers to having
enough control over the creation of SDLCs to make the application worth attempting (Clark,
2001).


Participants
Buckingham Community members that contributed to the data findings included both current
users of the WCCRC, as well as potential users of the center. A potential user of the center
includes any person living in the Buckingham neighborhood. The ages of the members ranged
from elementary school age to senior citizens, with the majority of the subjects falling in the
youth and adult category. Most of the youth were users of the center, involved in the after school
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                        7


program. The adults were students of the classes offered at WCCRC, parents of the youth, and
non-users encountered in the community.

Community leaders were also a source for collecting data. Many sources included local
elementary school teachers, counselors, and family coordinators. Community advisory board
members, residency council members, church leaders, community center experts, community
center staff, and WHDC staff also served as a source of data.

Data Collection
The two principle sampling methods used to support the qualitative analysis strategy were
convenience and stratified sampling. Convenience sampling is the utilization of readily
accessible subjects for data collection. This included the center users, center staff, and advisory
board. Stratified sampling involved gathering information from randomly available and willing
individuals from Whitefield and Knightsbridge apartments and the greater Buckingham area.
Through this method, subgroups were identified and boundaries were broken down, which
provided a broader perspective of the users and non-users in the community.

Depending on the questions being asked, a number of data collection strategies were used to
acquire information. These procedures included interviews, direct observation, questionnaires,
focus groups, key informant groups and competency assessments. Field notes and observations
were recorded from each interaction and compiled throughout the course of the study. Most of
the direct observations were of the users in the center. By volunteering with the youth programs,
open access hours, and adult education classes, the observations were executed in an unobtrusive
manner. Competency assessments explored other CTCs that have attained a successful learning
community and that have been successful at building capacity.

Instruments
Extensive field notes were used as the primary collection tool, based on interviews, observations
and focus groups. Although questions were asked to provide data for the field notes, they
generally were not predetermined and depended upon the audience. In order to keep field notes
organized for later analysis, a data sheet was created (See Appendix A). This form tracked such
criteria as gender, ethnic background and age group. Ages were divided accordingly: senior,
adult, high school, middle school, elementary school and were recorded for purposes of trend
analysis (See Data Analysis). The following questions focused the scope of field notes:

        How is technology currently used?
        Based upon the daily process of life in the community what are its needs, and can
         technology – specifically, a self-directed learning community (SDLC) - meet them?
        What are the necessary factors surrounding the emergence of a SDLC?
        How can a SDLC be used to foster and support capacity-building while providing
         learning opportunities?

The following are example questions in surveying community leaders:
      Describe the everyday life of people in the neighborhood.
      What are some of the challenges facing the residents of the neighborhood?
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                  8


        What would you suggest as a way to help meet the challenges in the neighborhood?
        What is your general impression of the neighborhood? The residents' impression?
        Is there a core group of active member? Describe the group and how it functions.
        Have you been to the center? What is your impression?
        Have you heard residents talk about the Center? What are their impressions?
        How do you think a self-directed learning environment at the center will help the
         residents of Buckingham?
        If a self-directed learning program were designed at the Center, what would you like to
         see incorporated in that program?
        Have you suggested using technology to residents of Buckingham? How? For what
         purpose?

Data Analysis
All data sources, including field observations, questionnaires, notes from interviews, and
document reviews, were examined for commonalities and threads, through a qualitative analysis
of trends. In this research, emphasis was placed on the recurrence of similar observations.
Recurrence is qualified as either appearing in more than one submission of different researchers
for the same instance or the reappearance of information for the same field researcher on many
instances. Similarities between observations were recognized as reinforcement of the data
accuracy. The trends, needs, and important factors gleaned from the data collection were
evaluated in collaboration to answer the questions put forth at the outset, referenced in the
Instruments section. These concepts were used to formulate the prototype recommendation for a
sustainable learning environment.

The team was again broken up into sub-teams for the in-depth analysis of the data. Each
submission of data was examined for congruencies or emerging themes. For the purpose of
synthesis and summarization, further examination was done to find the themes that emerged as a
whole.


Audience Analysis
In order to better grasp whom the audience of the current system and any future system would
be, the team divided into sub-teams. The audience was then divided up into three sub-groups:
current center users, community members who do not use the center, and community leaders.
Each sub-team observed and talked to a segmented part of the population.

After completing the data collection and analysis phase, each sub-group defined the users, called
role models, of their group. Each sub-team considered race, gender, ethnicity, age group, and
position when determining the characteristics, wants and needs of these role models. Each role
model is a composite of many users who share similar characteristics. For the most part, there
were no significant differences in the wants or needs across groups, including race, gender,
ethnicity, and age group - with position being the exception. Given that there could be many
users of the system, five composite role models were created which would aid in the
development of the system.
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                  9


        Socializer – Looking for socialization/communication. Wants to meet people and make
         friends
        Learner – Looking to learn. Wants to gain skills, knowledge
        Provider – Provides information and resources. Contributes to the system/community.
         Includes staffers and contributors.
        Advisor – Works cooperatively with the system and all involved. Looks at big picture
         and does not deal with day-to-day details. Includes the likes of consultants, educators,
         and social servants.
        Administrator – Ensures/moderates the system. Committed to the system. Needs
         resources to lighten the load.


Performance Analysis

The team was able to determine some chief drivers and barriers to the successful implementation
of a self-directed learning community. For the purposes of this project, a driver was viewed as
some tangible or intangible factor that would aid or promote the success of the project. Barriers
work to the contrary. They are viewed as unchangeable factors that, if not taken into account,
could impede the successful implementation of the program.

Drivers:
      The WCCRC staff is dedicated to the mission of creating capacity-building and
         learning opportunities within the Whitefield-Buckingham community. Both WCCRC
         and WHDC have expressed support for research and analysis to identify the needs of
         the community and to provide solutions for sustainable, informal learning
         environments.
      WCCRC is a growing and dynamic center. It opened in a temporary location in March
         2001 and in its permanent location in October 2001, and in that time has seen
         participation and interest increase for almost all programs and services. Outreach and
         marketing efforts are ongoing in an attempt to more widely disseminate information
         about the center and encourage greater utilization of its facilities and services.
      WCCRC has the technical infrastructure, the committed personnel, and the vision to
         empower the people in its community and to help them build sustainable learning
         environments.

Barriers:
      Limited access hours to use the center are a potential impediment, although the
          opportunity to come during the day is flexible. Technology classes are only offered
          two nights per week. Open access hours for residents to use computers are limited to a
          couple of hours per day and total only eight hours in a week. However, access is still
          available during non-staffed hours.
      Another barrier may be financial, although discounts and scholarships are available.
          The nominal fee charged for classes that may be needed to create a sustainable learning
          community ($30 to cover materials) may constrain some people’s use of the center.
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                  10


         Additionally, difficulty in finding bi-lingual volunteers may pose another barrier.
          Potential bi-lingual volunteers are not always available during WCCRC’s hours of
          operation.


Research
The NSF team used the following working definitions to guide our research and findings on self-
directed learning communities (SDLC) and community technology centers (CTC).

         A self-directed learning community is a vibrant, participative and culturally
         aware human environment that promotes learning opportunities to enhance
         the potential of its members (Clark, 2001).

         Community technology centers are places where informal learning can take
         place. They hope to address the problem of access to technology as well as
         access to intellectual development by expanding access to technology,
         providing opportunities for education uses of technology, and developing
         model programs (Clark, 2001).

Based upon these definitions, we believe that a SDLC can be implemented through a CTC,
which is just one manifestation of a SDLC.

Optimal Conditions
The NSF team examined the necessary criteria for the emergence of a self-directed learning
community, as well as researched the topics of community technology and online learning
communities. As a result, the NSF team identified the following factors toward success.

According to the Morino Institute (2002), eight ways to cultivate a learning community are:

   1.    Create critical mass
   2.    Influence funding levels and focus
   3.    Invest in Out-of-School-learning programs
   4.    Integrate families and adults into learning programs
   5.    Build networked learning centers where the impact will be greatest
   6.    Invest in building organizational capacity
   7.    Provide Internet infrastructure and support
   8.    Support and leverage the educational system

The NSF team also examined models of community technology centers (CTC). The team elicited
feedback from the client to identify local examples of successful CTCs. Two main CTCs were
identified—Gateway at Edgewood Terrace and Gateway at Buckman Road. Based upon on-site
observation and discussions with CTC directors and staff, several commonalities were found,
including:

         Stable funding
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                    11


           Support from parent organization
           Resident involvement and ownership
           Programs and activities relevant to residents’ needs
           Available access hours at the center
           Professional and well-trained staff

Current Conditions
Following completion of the analysis, the NSF team found that WCCRC is headed toward
creating a successful, self-directed learning community. They are employing many of the critical
factors including:

          Investing in Out-of-School learning programs: WCCRC has an active after school
           program for children and teens
          Integrating families and adults into learning programs: Classes are offered during the day
           for the children and in the evenings and on weekends for adults. In addition, WCCRC
           holds family dinners and activities for both children and adults.
          WCCRC is an attempt to “build a networked learning center where the impact will be
           greatest.” WCCRC has the opportunity to serve not just the Whitefield property but the
           surrounding underserved area as well.
          Provide Internet infrastructure and support: WCCRC provides networked computers
           with Internet access
          WCCRC has the full support and backing from its parent organization, WHDC.
          Programs are designed with the residents’ needs in mind: GED classes are held for those
           who need a high school diploma, ESOL classes are held at varying levels for residents
           who do not speak English.
          The staff at the WCCRC is professional and capable of both meeting the needs of the
           community and helping the community meet their own needs.


Findings
Through observations and trend analysis, we were able to answer the four questions presented at
the outset as well as document the tasks that the users want to the SDLC to provide.

How is technology currently used?
Technology is currently being used for entertainment, learning opportunities, communication,
and resources. Entertainment takes the form of online games or various interest-focused
websites. ESL classes take advantage of the technology by using computer software, such as the
Rosetta Stone, as an aid in practicing English. There are also opportunities for community
members to learn about technology and how to use a computer of the Internet by taking a hands-
on computer class. Resource access includes instances of using the keyboard to practice typing
for a new job or accessing banking online. Technology also provides a way of socialization
through the use of e-mail. Chat rooms, however, are blocked from use at the center.
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                     12


How can a SDLC be used to foster and support capacity-building while providing learning
opportunities?
Technology is fostering capacity-building and learning opportunities when it is being used in
conjunction with classes that are being taught, such as the aforementioned ESL/GED classes.
Technology allows learning to be customized to the needs of the user and be flexible with time,
be asynchronous, and provide options by being able to store information and not be as people-
dependent.

What are the necessary factors surrounding the emergence of a SDLC?
These factors include: integrating families and adults into learning programs, providing support
and education, involving residents, holding programs that are relevant to the users and
availability of the resources.

Based upon the daily process of life in the community what are its needs, and can technology
meet them?
The daily needs of the community are for learning opportunities, information/resources access,
communication, entertainment, and social interaction. Technology provides the infrastructure
that houses the initiatives to meet the needs of the community with the right information at the
right time to the right people.

      The importance of learning is recognized.
       The degree to which the individual pursues a learning environment varies for different
       reasons, but the sentiment of the community is that education has great value. The
       motivation for learning is the desire to improve the quality of life. A family coordinator
       at a community school indicated that the parents value education despite their own
       struggle with gaining an education in America or their homeland as well. Some adults in
       the community are illiterate in their native language as well as English, and are unaware
       of how to access learning opportunities. Adults need literacy, ESL, and GED classes.
       The ESL classes have a few participants who have taken multiple classes to enforce their
       English language proficiency. One ESL class member indicated that even the work
       environment was not conducive to practicing English. Technology is viewed as the
       stepping-stone to the increased quality of life. One individual in the computer class
       commented that anyone who is not learning about technology is ignorant. The majority
       of the participants in the center come to the center to gain skills. Participants who attend
       the center testify to the ubiquitous need for the betterment of the quality of life. Time is a
       factor in the adult’s ability to attend classes. Many adults have two or three jobs to make
       ends meet. Until their essential life needs are met, further enrichment comes second in
       priority. Community leaders also commented about the family challenges to meet basic
       life needs. The youth, elementary and teens, are also very interested in improving their
       quality of life and showed interest in a career development activity. Academic support,
       in forms of tutoring or other assistance in studying, are also influencing factors to their
       learning experience. Observations of the after school program recorded the challenges
       children had with their homework assignments. They need to give more attention toward
       their studies and received more attention in creative, entertaining activities. From the
       data it was also observed that the children were excited about activities that are creatively
       stimulating.
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                     13



          Accessing resources is not a simple task
           The first challenge that the community has is in knowing that there are resources
           available to help them in their daily life needs. Health, economics, and legal advisement
           are all examples of resources to which the community needs access. They need
           advisement in various areas. Some examples are finance, parenting, and career. One
           community member came specifically to the center to access banking online. A family
           coordinator indicated that parents need help in parenting. Because of language barriers or
           literacy problems, adults have even more difficulty in finding resources in the
           community. Information could be as basic as finding the bus stop locations.

          Communication is in demand
           E-mail is the largest demand for method of communication. Being able to talk with
           family who are not in the local vicinity is most easily and economically managed by
           electronic mail. Having access to e-mail or even knowing how to use it are the
           challenges in proliferating the use.

          Social experience is a critical part of life
           Many of the community residents are of varied socio-cultural background. Being
           welcomed by their peers is an important factor in having a sense of belonging. The
           community would like to have a place to socialize and build relationships. This is
           especially important for the teens. They do not have a place to congregate for
           socialization purposes. They are looking for entertainment through interaction. Many
           teens do not go to WCCRC because their friends do not attend.

The wants and needs translate into eight essential tasks the community wants to perform.
Technology can be used to address these eight tasks, which are the following:

           Learn – User will have the ability to learn a new topic and gain feedback on the transfer
            of knowledge.
           Practice – User will have the ability to repeat activity until satisfactory performance
           Play – User will have ability to do an activity for entertainment
           Communication – User will have the ability to interact with others
           Create resources – User will have ability to create a resource to input into the system
            for other users
           Resource storage – User will have ability to store resource in the system for other users’
            access
           Track – User will have ability to track items in an organized manner
           Access Resources – User will be able to access resources that were stored in the system
            by other users.


Recommendations

In order to achieve optimal results for an SDLC, the team’s recommendation is to create an
environment, which fosters and supports learning, access to resources, communication, and
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                  14


entertainment. Based on the findings the NSF team recommends the creation and
implementation of a self-directed learning community that will be housed in an online
infrastructure. This online self-directed learning community will incorporate the eight essential
tasks from the findings. It will also serve to help WCCRC move from a successful CTC to an
optimal SDLC.

While WCCRC is a successful CTC the online system will help fill in the gaps that are keeping
WCCRC from being an optimal SDLC.

      Resident involvement and ownership can be addressed through the use of a resident
       advisory board helping to determine the design and content of the online system.
      Programs and activities can be designed and implemented by residents so as to make sure
       they are relevant to the residents’ needs.
      An online system would also mitigate the barrier of available access hours at the center,
       with the exception of those who do not have Internet access anywhere but at WCCRC.



Conclusion

In conclusion, the NSF team found that WCCRC is well on its way to becoming a successful,
sustainable, self-directed learning community. We are excited about the prospect of developing
a system with an online infrastructure that will meet the needs of the underserved community
and help them to unlock the potential of technology.
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                                                 15


References

Clark, K. (2001). Bridging the digital divide by using self-directed learning communities to
       support lifelong learning and teacher transformation. Grant proposal delivered to
       National Science Foundation.

Morino Institute. Community @Work: Rethinking how we help young people. Retrieved
      September 2002 from the World Wide Web:
      http://www.morinoinstitute.org/under_sp_pre.asp

Royal Windsor Society for Nursing Research. Grounded Theory Research Design. Retrieved
      December 2002 from the World Wide Web:
      http://www.kelcom.igs.net/~nhodgins/grounded_theory_research_design.html
Needs Assessment – NSF & WCCRC                                              16


Appendix A

Subject name:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Age group: (elementary school, middle school, high school, adult, senior)
Gender: (M / F)
Ethnicity:
First language:
Nation of origin:
OBSERVATION NOTES:




Researcher
Name:

				
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