During her first meeting with new facilitators, @Juliana_Muchai from Kenya National Library Service took the opportunity to host a focus group with library patrons. During the focus group, her team sought to gain feedback about what interested and concerned potential learning circle participants, as well as trying to understand the level of digital skills she could expect from participants.
Focus groups can be done formally or informally, and either as part of a training workshop or individually by facilitators (in which case this looks more like a community needs assessment than a focus group). Regardless of how you do it, here are the questions that Juliana asked of library patrons in Nairobi and Nakuru:
Have you taken an online course before?
- Yes, and I’ve completed at least one online course
- Yes, but I’ve never completed one
- No, but I knew that online courses existed
- No, and I didn’t know that online courses existed
Are you currently working and/or studying?
- Working full time
- Working part time
- Full-time student
- Part-time student (and also working)
- Part-time student (and not working)
Why might you sign up for a learning circle?
- As professional development alongside my work
- To accompany a degree program I am enrolled in
- To increase my employability
- Social reasons
- Personal interest in subject matter
- Test prep for an exam I’ll soon be taking
What are convenient times for you to attend a learning circle?
- Weekday mornings
- Weekday afternoons
- Weekday evenings
- Weekend mornings
- Weekend afternoons
- Weekend evenings
What topics interest you?
- Job skills (e.g. job search, resume writing, interview prep)
- Exam prep (e.g. GED, SAT, Registered Nurse)
- Writing (e.g. academic writing, fiction writing, journalism)
- Business (e.g. marketing, personal finance, entrepreneurship)
- Computer programming (e.g. HTML/CSS, Python, Java)
- Lifestyle (e.g. parenting, nutrition, happiness)
- Computer applications (e.g. Microsoft Office)
Digital literacy assessment: how comfortable are you completing the following tasks on a 1-5 scale (1=not at all; 5=I can teach others). A total score of 15+ is generally sufficient for participating in a learning circle.
- Evaluate the security of a website
- Use a mobile app
- Shop online
- Watch a Youtube video
- Do a Google search
- Delete a spam email
- Send email