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Needs Assessment for SBA Elementary School:


Individual Classroom Websites

Michael Allen
ITEC 899

BACKGROUND............................................................................................................ ...............2

DESCRIPTION.......................................................................................................................................2
PURPOSE.............................................................................................................................................2
OBJECTIVES.........................................................................................................................................2
TARGET AUDIENCE...............................................................................................................................2
METHODS............................................................................................................................................2

DATA COLLECTION METHODS.................................................................................... .........3

SAMPLING PROCEDURES........................................................................................................................3
SAMPLING DESIGN.................................................................................................................................3
SPECIFICATIONS FOR INSTRUMENTS AND PROTOCOLS...............................................................................3

DATA ANALYSIS.................................................................................................... .....................3

SURVEY RESULTS: TEACHERS...............................................................................................................3


SURVEY RESULTS: PARENTS.................................................................................................................4
SURVEY RESULTS: STUDENTS...............................................................................................................4

RELIABILITY OF DATA............................................................................................... .............5

FINDINGS.................................................................................................................................. ...6

RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................................................ ..............6

PARENT SURVEY RESULTS................................................................................................ .....8

STUDENT SURVEY RESULTS.................................................................................. ..............10

TEACHER SURVEY RESULTS............................................................................... ................13

WEBSITES WITH WORDPRESS...................................................................................... ......15

PARENT SURVEY..................................................................................................... ................15


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STUDENT SURVEY......................................................................................... .........................17

WEBSITES WITH WORDPRESS...................................................................................... ......17

WEBSITES WITH WORDPRESS...................................................................................... ......19

TEACHER SURVEY....................................................................................... ..........................19

Background
Description
The principal at Susan B Anthony Elementary School wants to increase the use of
technology at the school. As part of school improvement plan she would like all teachers
to have classroom websites. Her vision is for parents, teachers and students to
communicate using computers/technology.

Purpose
The purpose of this needs assessment is to assess the current technology skills of teachers
and to identify the current interest levels teachers, students, and parents of the school
community. Since these websites are part of the principal’s vision of technology
integration at the school, teacher participation will be required. Training and guidance
will be given to the teachers to support them as they create their own websites.

Objectives
1. Assess the current technology skills of teachers
2. Identify interest levels of school community members
3. Identify the levels of computer usage, computer accessibility, and tools used for
communication by teachers, parents, and students
4. Determine what types of support will be necessary to implement the project

Target Audience
There are three distinct groups that comprise the target audience. Each group has
different needs and types of involvement in the project. The first group is the teachers of
the school. Since each teacher will be required to have a website, it is important to
determine the current technical and interest levels of the faculty. The two other groups
are the students and their parents. It is these two groups of individuals that that make up
the end users of the websites. Their input is needed to identify the types of information
they would like to see and to what extent is their access to computers with Internet
accessibility.

Methods
Information was gathered by using questionnaires. Since the information needed varied
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from group to group three different surveys were created. The surveys consisted of a
variety of different types of questions. The types of questions used were yes/no, short
answer, and Likert Scale.

Data Collection Methods


Sampling Procedures
• Identify 20 teachers to participate in survey
• Provide instructions, overview and due date for return of teacher surveys
• Administer teacher surveys
• Meet with PTA president to discuss the instructions and due date of parent survey
• Identify two classrooms’ students to participate in the student survey
• Meet with the two classroom teachers to discuss instructions and due date of student survey
• Collect surveys from teachers, PTA president and identified classroom students

Sampling design
An optimal sampling group would be to survey all members of the SBA community,
however due to time constraints the information gathering will use convenience-sampling
procedures. Two teachers from each grade level were asked to complete the questionnaire.
The students from two fifth grade classrooms were chosen to complete the student
questionnaire. The parent questionnaires were given to the PTA president for distribution.
It was then the PTA president’s responsibility to find parents to partake in the survey.

Specifications for Instruments and Protocols


A brief paper questionnaire was made as the data collection instrument for each target
population group. The questionnaires consisted of a variety of open ended, yes/no, Likert
rating, and short answer questions. The questionnaires were divided into three main
sections: Computer Usage and Accessibility, Communication, and Interest Level and
Support Needed.

Data Analysis
Survey Results: Teachers
Determining the teachers’ accessibility, comfort level, and interest with using computers
is essential. These results are based upon on 11 out of 12 surveys being returned. All
teachers surveyed use computers and the Internet. All but 2 teachers had Internet
accessibility at home. But for those teachers, they will be able access the Internet at
school. All teachers spent time on the computer for at least 1 hour a week. The majority
of teachers 10 out of 11 spent at lease 3 hours a week. All teachers use the computer for
some reason during the week. Due to this experience using the computer this project is
not asking them a machine that is unfamiliar to them. It will only be the software
program that will be new.
Correspondence between classroom teachers and parents is something that is found in
every classroom throughout the school. Currently communication is conducted through
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face-to-face meetings and written methods such as newsletters and notes. It was noted
for the most part that teachers send notes home more than parents send notes to the
teacher, but it was something that every teacher does.

All but three teachers showed some interest in the project. While three wanted it very
much the rest of the teachers were only somewhat interested. Most of the teachers
seemed to be enthusiastic about the project when talked to about it, but it would have to
be a structured learning process and support given. While the majority of teachers
wanted to create classroom websites, most only wanted to spend 1hour or less per week
maintaining it. Three said that they would spend up to three hours per week.

There were several different topics they would like to be present on their websites. The
top three items were Homework, Classroom News, and a Calendar of Events. Some of
the other items included were supply lists, rules, and website links. There is some
consensus on what topics should be included on the sites so with compromise a
standardized list for all teachers will be easy to agree on.

Survey Results: Parents


The PTA president due to her connections and presence distributed parent surveys with
the parent community. She asked 30 parents to participate in the survey. The total
number of parents that returned completed surveys was 9. All of the parents had
computer access at home and regularly read/write email and use the Internet to view
websites. Being part of the school community I believe that this number is
disproportionately high. Even though 100% of surveys returned indicated some use of
computers it can be assumed with relative certainty that the actual percentage of parents
that use computers and have Internet access is around 60 to 70 percent. All parents use
the computer at least 2-3 hours a week with about 60% using the computer more than five
hours a week.

All parents indicated that they communicate with their child’s teacher at some point
throughout the year. About 80% receive written notices from their teacher often and
about half of the parents send notes to their child’ teacher.

There were an overwhelming number of parents that indicated a strong interest in having
classroom websites. 60% indicated that they “have to have it” and the rest checked that
they wanted it “very much”. There was a wide range of items that they would like to see
posted on their child’s classroom website. The top three items were progress reports,
homework and current events. Other categories of information desired were teacher wish
lists, field trips, and email capabilities.

Survey Results: Students


These survey results are from one 4th grade classroom. All of the students in the class
were asked to participate and complete the surveys. Out of the thirty students who were
given the surveys 16 of them returned them completed. Before the students participated
in the survey they each received parental permission.
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There was an approximate return rate of 50%. All of the students indicated that they use
the computer at school and all but one use the computer at home. The number one
activity that students used the computer for at school was research. Other activities
included typing, games, and skill reinforcement. Conducted research was also the
number one reason for using the computer at home. The students indicated a wide
variety of other computer usage activities. These included games, homework, and
searching for music. The majority of students (9) spent more than 5 hours a week. The
other students’ usage ranged from 1 to 4 hours.

All but two of the students receive notes from their teacher and they all would like to be
able to read those notes on line instead of the paper notes. All of the students were given
homework and all but one wanted to be able to access their homework assignments on
line. About 75% of them wanted other people outside of their class to be able to see what
was going on in their classroom.

There was a high percentage (85%) of students that wanted a classroom website with the
majority indicating that they “have to have it”. They indicated a variety of things that
they would like to see on the site. The top two items were their weekly homework
assignments and information about the subjects/content they were learning. Other top
items were grades, weekly notes, and previews of what was going to be taught next.

Reliability of Data

The data collected represents a very small group of the targeted population, and further
data collection would increase the probability of getting valid, reliable data. As with any
qualitative analysis, the biases of the analysts could affect the data. The interpretation of
the data could be skewed, based on past experiences of the analysts.

The data collection process was not conducted exclusively by the designer of the data
collection instrument. The designer was responsible for administering the teacher survey.
The other surveys were the PTA president’s responsibility to distribute the parent survey,
and two classroom teachers were chosen to distribute the student survey. The surveys
were distributed, administered and returned when completed

To assist in judging if the data is reliable, it would be important to know how the parents
were selected to participate in the survey. In addition, reliability of the data could be
assessed further if participation in the survey by individual students was voluntary or
mandatory and to know how the teachers presented the survey to their students. Other
factors affecting the reliability of data are prior group discussion of the topic, ability of
participants to view each other’s answers, and attitude of the parents and students when
handed the survey. The amount of emphasis, usage, and frequency of computer use in the
chosen classrooms might effect the students’ familiarity with and desires for classroom
websites.
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Findings

All of the teachers use a computer for some reason or another whether at school or at
home. Also, all of the teachers have access to an Internet connected computer. It was also
determined that all teachers have the basic keyboarding skills required to participate in
the project. They are all quite familiar with basic software programs and all are able to
learn new software programs. All teachers have previous experience in attending
professional development workshops to learn and implement a new skill.

An extremely high percentage of people surveyed indicated a moderate to strong interest


in the project. So it can be assumed with high certainty that the entire school community
would like to have classroom websites. This high interest combined with the principal’s
vision of technology integration at the school will insure the project’s implementation.
School community members will be provided with the appropriate training and support to
complete the project.

All members of the learning community will need support. However, the types and
frequency of support will vary depending on each specific target audience group.
Teachers will need training, practice, and access to the software program used to create
the websites. Parents will need to be made aware of how to access the sites from a
computer. It is quite possible that some parents might not have computer access at home
and will need to be given some alternative methods of website access. Basic computing
instruction could be given to help parents who might have access to a computer but not
know how to use one. All students have had formal computer usage training in school so
they will be prepared to learn how to access their classroom websites.

Recommendations

Training workshops for teachers, parents, and students need to be created and
implemented
Teacher Training needs to consist of an introduction, guided instruction, and time
to practice skills learned
Parent Workshop needs to consist of an introduction to and practice with
accessing and using the websites
Student Workshop needs to consist of an introduction to and practice with
accessing and using the websites

Teachers need time to create their websites, after which a follow up workshop to address
and troubleshoot problems

Support and guidance needs to be provided to all participants throughout the when
needed
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Parent Survey Results

Number of parent respondents: 9

Computer Usage and Accessibility

Question Yes No
Do you have computer access at home? 9
Do you have computer access in another location? 9
Do you have Internet access at home? 9
Usage: read email 9
Usage: write/send email 9
Usage: view websites 9

How much time do you spend on the computer (per day):


1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours
3 3 3

How much time do you spend on the computer (per week):


1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours
1 2 6

Communication with Teacher

How often do you speak with your child’s teacher face to face?
Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
3 3 3

How often do you send written notes to your child’s teacher?


Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
4 2 3

How often do you receive written notes from your child’s teacher?
Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
2 4 3

Interest Level and Support Needed

How interested are you in a classroom website that is easy to use and access?

Not at all Somewhat Very Much Have to Have it


4 5

What kinds of information would you like to see posted on your child’s classroom
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website?

Current events 3
Teacher wish list 2
Grades 3
Field trips 2
Homework 4
Progress report/Grades 6
Behavior reports 1
Email 1
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Student Survey Results

Number of student respondents: 16

Computer Usage and Accessibility

Do you use the computer at school?


Yes No
16 0

What do you use the computer for at school?

Research 14
Reading 1
Science 1
Class work 1
Typing 2
Games 1

Do you have a computer at home?


Yes No
15 1

What do you use the computer for at home?

Research 9
Listen to music 2
Games 7
Homework 4
Ebay 2
Chatting 1
Typing 1
Cartoons 2

How much time do you spend on the computer (per week)?


1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours
4 1 2 9

Communication with Teacher

Question Yes No
Does your teacher send notes home with you? 14 2
Would you like to read your teacher notes on line? 14 2
Does your teacher give you homework? 16 0
Would you like to find your homework assignments on line? 15 1
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Would you like other people not in your class to see what you are
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doing on line?

Interest Level and Support Needed

How interested are you in creating a classroom website that is easy to use and access?
12

Not at all Somewhat Very Much Have to Have it


1 1 6 8

If your classroom had a website you could view, what kind of things would you like to
see?

What we are learning/review 7


What we are going to learn/new things 2
Notes 2
Field trips 1
Homework 7
Grades/points accumulated 4
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Teacher Survey Results

Number of teacher respondents: 11

Computer Usage and Accessibility

Question Yes No Limited


Do you have computer access in classroom? 8 1 1
Do you have computer access in another location? 9 2
Do you have Internet access in the classroom? 8 2 1
Do you have Internet Access at home? 9 2
Usage: Read email 11
Usage: write/send email 11
Usage: view websites 11
Usage: documents 11

How much time do you spend on the computer (per day):


1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours
7 2

How much time do you spend on the computer (per week):


1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours
1 3 2 5

Communication with Parents

How often do you speak with your student’s parents face to face?
Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
2 2 3 4

How often do you send written notes home to your students and their parents?
Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
2 4 5

How often do you receive written notes from your students’ and their parents?
Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
3 1 5 2

Interest Level and Support Needed

How interested are you in creating a classroom website that is easy to use, aces and
update?
Not at all Somewhat Very Much Have to Have it
3 5 3
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What kinds of information would you like to see posted on your classroom website?

Homework 7
Weekly Letters/Classroom news 4
Calendar/upcoming events 5
Announcements 1
Supply lists 1
Contact information 1
Rules/Expectations 2
Website links/Suggested reading 2

What kind of support would you need in order for you to create, use and implement?

Training 2
Access to computer/internet 1

How much time are you willing to invest to maintain your classroom website (per week):
1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours
6 3
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Websites With WordPress

Parent Survey

Computer Usage and Accessibility

Do you have computer access at home? Yes No

Do you have computer access in another location? Yes No

Do you have Internet access at home? Yes No

Do you use a computer to read email? Yes No

Do you use a computer to write and send email? Yes No

Do you use a computer to view websites? Yes No

How much do you spend on the computer (per day)?

1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours

How much time do you spend on the computer (per week)?

1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours

Communication with Teacher

How often do you speak with your child’s teacher face to face?

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always

How often do you send written notes to your child’s teacher?

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always

How often do you receive written notes from your child’s teacher?

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always

Interest Level and Support Needed


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How interested are you in a classroom website that is easy to use and access?

Not at all Somewhat Very Much Have to Have it

What kinds of information would you like to see posted on your child’s classroom
website?

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_
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Student Survey

Websites With WordPress

Computer Usage and Accessibility

Do you use the computer at school? Yes No

What do you use the computer for at school?

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

Do you use the computer at home? Yes No

What do you use the computer for at home?

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

How much time do you spend on the computer (per week)?

1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours

Communication with Teacher

Does your teacher send notes home with you? Yes No

Would you like to read your teacher notes on line? Yes No

Does you teacher give you homework? Yes No

Would you like your homework assignments on line? Yes No

Would you like to see what you are doing on line? Yes No
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Interest Level and Support Needed

How interested are you in creating a classroom website that is easy to use and access?

Not at all Somewhat Very Much Have to Have it

If you classroom had a website you could view, what kind of things would you like to
see?

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_
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Websites With WordPress

Teacher Survey

Computer Usage and Accessibility

Do you have computer access at home? Yes No

Do you have computer access in another location? Yes No

Do you have Internet access at home? Yes No

Do you use a computer to read email? Yes No

Do you use a computer to write and send email? Yes No

Do you use a computer to view websites? Yes No

How much do you spend on the computer (per day)?

1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours

How much time do you spend on the computer (per week)?

1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours

Communication with Parents

How often do you speak with your students’ parents face to face?

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always

How often do you send written notes to your students’ parents?

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always

How often do you receive written notes from your students’ parents?

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always


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Interest Level and Support Needed

How interested are you in creating a classroom website that is easy to use, aces and
update?

Not at all Somewhat Very Much Have to Have it

What kinds of information would you like to see posted on your child’s classroom
website?

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

What kind of support would you need in order for you to create, use, and implement a
classroom website?

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

_______________________________________________________________________
_

How much time are you willing to invest to maintain your classroom website (per week):

1 hour or less 2 -3 hours 4-5 hours More than 5 hours


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