You are on page 1of 16

Learner Analysis Kecia McGouirk Georgia Southern University

FRIT 7430 Instructional Design Dr. K. Kennedy Summer 2012

McGouirk / 2

Learner Analysis

Introduction The learning environment that served as the context for the learner analysis hypothetically took place in a public middle school in Monroe County. The middle school, named Banks Stephens, is located in Forsyth, GA. It serves grades 6-8 and approximately 450 students. The school met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the past 6 years. The learner analysis was completed on twenty-two, 8th grade students. I obtained information and data on twenty-two students from one of my 8th grade Visual Art classes. The main goal of the unit will be for the students to know and understand the different elements of art and principles of design in visual art. However, my personal goal is for my students to be able to identify these elements and principles in artwork through art criticism and aesthetic judgment. Listed below are the Georgia Performance standards (retrieved from for the learner analysis: III. PRODUCTION and RESPONSE The student creates artworks by applying media, techniques, elements, principles, and processes to formulate and to express his or her own ideas and conceptual understandings. VA678PR.1 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes. VA678PR.2 Creates artwork through a range of concepts, ideas, and subject matter. VA678PR.3 Uses the elements of art and the principles of design to produce 2-D and 3-D works of art. (Elements: line, shape, form, space, color, value, texture) (Principles: rhythm, movement, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity). VA678PR.4 Keeps a visual/written sketchbook to collect, develop and preserve ideas for productions of artwork.

McGouirk / 3

Demographics There are just over 450, 6th through 8th grade students enrolled at Banks Stephens Middle School. There is slight ethnic diversity among the twenty-two students who are classified as being regular education and special education. The students socioeconomic status runs across the continuum. The age ranges of the students are from 13-14 years old. Figures 1.1 and 1.2 (retrieved from show the demographics of the entire school, whereas table 1.1 shows the demographics of the twenty-two students based on my own 8th grade class. Figure 1.1

Figure 1.2

McGouirk / 4 Table 1.1

Students Male Female Asian African American White Hispanic Regular Ed. Special Ed. ESOL 504

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Totals





Entry Skills and Prior Knowledge In regards to students prior knowledge, the best indicator is the results from a teachermade pretest (see Appendix A). It is my assumption that they are at an average ability level and are ready for the unit that covers the Georgia standard on visual art. A couple of students seemed to be on a slightly lower ability level and will probably need additional help (modifications or accommodations). A few of them had more previous knowledge and seemed to be above the average ability level as it relates to the performance standard.

McGouirk / 5 Academic Motivation Based on my experience as a teacher in the high school and now middle school setting for the past fifteen years, I have found there is a strong correlation between academic motivation and student performance. In addition, motivation is greatly affected by a students ability level. In general, explanations regarding the source(s) of motivation can be categorized as either extrinsic (outside the person) or intrinsic (internal to the person) (Retrieved from http://www.edpsy Because ability level is a factor that can reduce academic motivation, students who have a lower ability level often need additional help or lessons modified to their learning style. Overall, the academic motivation level of the students in my learner analysis group was average. This is based on the information gathered during an activating strategy asking students what they know and what they want to know about elements of art and principles of design in regards to visual art. Some students showed an interest based on prior knowledge, whereas others showed an interest in future concepts. Motivational Strategies (John Kellers ARCS model) Attention: use of strategies to gain initial interest (Small, 1997). Through inquiry arousal, I would gain student interest by discussing any prior knowledge of the content and what the students hope to gain from the lesson. For example, throughout history, art critics have analyzed artworks using elements of art and principles of design. Why is this? Why is this important in the real-world? It is also critical to keep their attention throughout the lesson by varying the activities. For instance, I would start with an opening activity, transition to guided notes, and then work towards flexible grouping.

McGouirk / 6 Relevance: concept of linking the content to the learners needs and wants (Small, 1997). While gaining the students attention is important in helping them to become more intrinsically motivated, so is making the subject relevant and familiar to their everyday lives. For example, I would ask students how visual art can affect emotions in people. How can the art element, color, affect how we feel? How does this affect the way we live? I would point out all of the objectives for the unit and discuss with the students why the objectives are important to know and why they are useful. In other words, making the material learned more relevant will give students the opportunity to gain knowledge and know how art can affect their daily life. Confidence: provides a sense of self worth and ones success in their ability to complete challenging tasks (Small, 1997). Providing meaningful learning, performance rubrics, and consequential feedback to students will build their confidence in their ability to learn, retain, and reflect their knowledge about visual art. Based on the learners needs and ability level, I can tailor the activities through acceleration or remediation. Experiencing that sense of accomplishment by completing a task will assist a student to build their confidence. However, the most effective strategy is to give students immediate feedback on their progress. With feedback, students know what they have learned and what areas they need to improve on (Small, 1997). Satisfaction: strategies used to increase the natural consequences for use of the content, provide positive consequences (both intrinsic and extrinsic), and assure equity of rewards so that they match achievements (Small, 1997). For example, I will give students an extrinsic reward such as candy, sticker, or a reward ticket for an excellent effort. Another extrinsic motivator is the grade that the student earned for his efforts. Also, students like receiving praise from a teacher or peer for a job well done because it adds to their sense of accomplishment. However, it

McGouirk / 7 is my hope that the intrinsic motivator such as self-efficacy or self-competence will give the greatest satisfaction to my learner analysis group. If students are self-motivated to learn, then they will be able to remember the concepts, apply the concepts to new or prior knowledge, and truly experience meaningful learning. Learner Characteristics All learners are individuals who are designed differently. Therefore, it is the teachers job to discover and use strategies to meet each learners need. Each learner-type comes with a unique set of instructions that is essential for academic success. Teachers assist their learners when they design their lesson using a variety of learning styles in order to meet the needs of their students. Howard Gardner stated that there are seven multiple intelligences see Figure 1:3 (retrieved from intelligences tests). Figure 1:3

McGouirk / 8 In order to account for the different learning styles of the twenty-two students, I used a Learning Styles Questionnaire (see Appendix B) which is based on Gardners theory of multiple intelligences (retrieved from .htm#multiple intelligences tests). After reviewing each students results, varied intelligence preferences represented throughout the group. It was concluded that all aspects of learning styles need to be incorporated into my unit of instruction in order to effectively reach each student. This mainly includes verbal, auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Mixing things up and constantly varying the activities and learning opportunities will also help those students from with special needs and with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Accommodations (Special Needs) Some students require additional accommodations or interventions in order to improve their ability to learn various concepts. With the learner analysis, there are a total of five students who receive accommodations (see Table 1.1). Special education students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) which states the type of classroom as well as standardize testing accommodations. 504 and ESOL students can also receive classroom and testing accommodations based on their individual needs. With the pressure for high-stakes testing and performance standards, it is the expectation that all learners, including those with disabilities meet and master the content areas (Deshler et al., 2008). For example, there is a broad range of testing accommodations: presentation, response, timing, and setting (Salend, 2008). Presentation accommodations involve changes in how the material or questions are presented to the student such as clarifying/simplifying language or repeating directions. Response accommodations refer to the way students respond to the material or questions or determine their answers and timing and setting accommodations deal with where, when, and with whom the students take tests.

McGouirk / 9 In the classroom, a teacher can provide a variety of instructional accommodations to the learner such as preferential seating, reading aloud, peer support, graphic organizers, and assistive technology (Johnston, McDonnell, & Hawken, 2008). For instance, I would allow my students to listen to their textbook audio as they follow along. Also, teachers need to incorporate learning strategies into lessons as well as specialized, direct instructions (Deshler et al., 2008). For example, while unpacking the Georgia performance standards, I would have students paraphrase or rewrite the standards in their own terms and then explain the importance of this technique. Accommodations (Culture/Ethnicity) With the population fluctuating from year to year, it is essential for teachers to be aware of the various culture and ethnic backgrounds of their learners. Teachers have to be able to relate the concepts to all of their learners no matter their ethnicity, culture, or religion (Cole, 2008). All students want to be accepted by their teachers and peers. Through modeling, teachers promote acceptance among students with diverse backgrounds. The first step is for teachers and students treat each individual student with the same respect (Davis, 1993). A teacher must create an inclusive environment in their classroom. Visual art classes allow students the opportunity to share about their culture. Since students will be learning about the elements of art and principles of design represented in all artwork, then students will be able to compare and contrast their own culture to the various artworks they will be studying. An effective strategy to meet the needs of diverse populations within a classroom is knowledge of your own culture as well as learning about the diverse cultures of your students (Davis, 1993; Trumbull and Rothstein-Fisch, 2008). All cultures are different, so they view and place importance on a variety things. Therefore, they offer different viewpoints and strengths to

McGouirk / 10 the learning environment. Trumbull and Rothstein-Fisch suggest several teaching strategies such as cooperative learning, student collaboration, student storytelling, and group writing. With regards to the standard, students will complete their own visual art project reflecting a specific culture. They can create a poster with various pictures or bring in personal artifacts or objects representing their culture. In retrospect, teachers need to create a more meaningful learning environment for their students by using authentic learning approaches and activities. This allows teachers to meet the needs of all learners. When teachers provide students with real purposes and real audiences for their speaking and writing, then students feel valued and motivated to learn (Cole, 2008). Authentic learning opportunities give students a sense of autonomy which validates students experiences and bridge any existing gaps between classmates culturally and ethnically (Cole, 2008). Therefore, it is imperative that when teachers decide on the type of instructional and testing accommodations a student will receive that it is based on the actual needs of the student and not their diagnosis. For instance, all of my SLD students will not learn the same way even though they are diagnosed with the same disability. Hence, learning accommodations are specifically for the needs of the student in order to be academically successful as well as building their confidence and motivation to learn. References Banks Stephens Middle School. (n.d.). 2009-2010 Annual Report. Retrieved June 2, 2012, from 10936& Cole, R. W. (2008). Educating everybodys children: Diverse teaching strategies for diverse learners. Retrieved June 2, 2012 from &id=ixmWporsOAC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=multiculturals+teaching+strategies+in+ele mentary+schools&ots=oRDUEIZPMe&sig=SiKtD0d0Mp-TwnEXKstxuIfxtw#v= onepage&q&f=false

McGouirk / 11 Davis, B. G. (1993). Diversity and complexity in the classroom: Considerations of race, ethnicity, and gender. In Tools for Teaching. Retrieved June 2, 2012 from bgd/diversity.html Deshler, D.D., Schumaker, J.B., Lenz, B. K., Bulgren, J. A., Hock, M. F., Knight, J., & Ehren, B. J. (2008). Ensuring content-area learning by secondary students with learning disabilities. Journal of Education, 189 (1/2), 169-179. Retrieved June 2, 2012 from Ensuring Content Area. pdf Georgia Department of Education. (n.d.). Georgia Performance Standards for Visual Art. Retrieved June 2, 2012, from FineArts.aspx Howard Gardners multiple intelligences. (January, 2007). Retrieved June 2, 2012 from intelligences tests Huitt, W. (2011). Motivation to learn: An overview. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved June 2, 2012 from http://www.edpsy Johnston, S. S., McDonnell, A. P., & Hawken, L. S. (2008). Enhancing outcomes in early literacy for young children with disabilities: Strategies for success. Intervention in School & Clinic, 43(4), 210-217. doi:10.1177/1053451207310342 Salend, S. J. (2008). Determining appropriate testing accommodations. Teaching Exceptional Children,40(4), 14-23. Retrieved June 2, 2012 from Determining appropriate.pdf Small, R. V. (1997). Motivation in instructional design. ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. Retrieved June 2, 2012 from Trumbull, E. & Rothstein-Fisch, C. (2008). Cultures in harmony. Educational Leadership, 66(1), 63-66. Retrieved June 2, 2012 from =

McGouirk / 12 Appendix A

McGouirk / 13

McGouirk / 14

McGouirk / 15

McGouirk / 16 Appendix B