German Cutz & Emma Theuri
University of Illinois Extension, in partnership with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Joliet, Illinois, offered a technology summer program for Hispanic youth from June 22 to July 22, 2009. The program, "Looking Back, Moving Forward," utilized self-directed learning activities during the entire program. Eight out of fourteen Hispanic students completed sixty hours of training by attending a three-hour class from Monday through Friday. There were seven females and one male whose ages ranged from twelve to seventeen years old. To assess students' knowledge before and after the program, they were administered pre- and post-tests. The highest score on the pre-test was 32 percent, but that went up to 88 percent on the post-test. To document the factors that affected students' learning, they completed a self-report card every day. Student reports on factors that positively affected their learning included: 1) sense of accomplishment; 2) excitement; 3) experimenting; 4) self-directed learning; 5) confidence; and 6) time management. Factors that limited students' learning included: 1) inability to complete tasks; 2) frustration; 3) equipment malfunctions; 4) uncertainty; and 5) tediousness.