While a learner hesitant to speak during class time wrote the following:
Some participants wrote very eloquently about their business plans and provided business culture submissions that were both informative and infused with personality. All gave permission to share their submissions with the class which lead to continued participant discussion during breaks. These submissions also provided insight into the learners plans and language ability related to promoting their business idea. The information proved invaluable for the final report and IEOP staff.
A final on-line questionnaire polled 20 people about their Internet usage during the program. The majority of the participants cited time constraints as the main reason for their lack of response while half of the respondents identified lack of time due to work and family responsibilities and the need to reread the seminar material.
Two learners were asked to provide feed-back after the program had been completed. One learner who routinely responded to the instructor e-mails stated that she enjoyed the e-mail component because her English writing skills were strong and she had a clear idea of the type of business that she wanted to start. She also believed that some participants were still vague about their business idea and therefore found it difficult to engage in a discussion. Another learner who never responded to the e-mails explained that work responsibilities, lack of access of a computer in his home and lack of time were all reasons for not participating in the electronic instruction.
Reflecting on the action research project several observations and conclusions can be made. First, technology can only assist those learners who are both truly familiar and comfortable with it. Secondly, most adult participants prefer to talk face to face with an instructor before, during and after class time. It is more personal. Thirdly, once the class ends most participants are less likely to continue to engage in class related activities; especially in the summer when work and family responsibilities become more important. As part of the program every guest speaker offered to correspond with learners via e-mail if they had further questions about web-sites and addresses. Final evaluations indicated that participants did not follow-up on this offer.
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