Computer Workshops – Fall 2008
Sakhi held a series of four computer sessions in its newly established computer lab in November. Each class was attended by 12 to 14 enthusiastic survivors. There were around ten survivors who attended each class in the series.
Each class comprised four hours with a half hour break for lunch. We started with a pre-assessment survey that aimed to capture the level of computer familiarity and comfort level of the class. The data showed a need for developing computer proficiency. While 70% of the class had some experience of typing before, a majority of the class surveyed, 70%, had never used e-mail before, and 60% had never used Microsoft Word.
The workshop started with a focus on typing skills. The website Nimble Fingers was used to practice typing, and by the end of the workshop, the survivors had significantly improved their tying speed and had recorded less errors.
In addition, the class created e-mail accounts. Just having an e-mail account boosted the confidence level of the class, as survivors experienced a sense of achievement and improvement at the end of the first class itself.
The second class in the series also focused on the word processing program Microsoft Word. The survivors learned to use Microsoft Word and attach documents to e-mails. Typing and e-mail skills were also reinforced. At this point, most of the survivors felt very comfortable sending e-mails to each other and attaching documents to the e-mails.
The third class in the series focused on resume and cover letter writing skills. Sakhi emphasized the importance of issues like e-mail etiquette and writing proper subject headers. At the end of this class, each survivor had crafted a resume and cover letter.
In the last class of the workshop, each survivor had to download a picture from the internet and make a mock flyer. Sakhi also introduced survivors to job sites and map searches.
As the workshop series came to an end, survivors filled out an assessment of their skill set on a scale of 1-5. Not only did almost the entire class report an improved confidence level with regards to using Microsoft Word and e-mailing, but 56% of respondents indicated a 5 (the highest level) for Internet use; 50% did so for e-mail, and 30% did so for Microsoft Word. Furthermore, survivors not only reported high skills attainment, but they also indicated their capacity to continue to learn in these areas.
Most of the survivors said that they would love to be back to attend more computer workshops in the future and almost everyone agreed that they needed to further practice their new-found skills.
The series of workshops was a clear success as the survivors were focused during the classes and asked many questions. The seemed very keen to learn more and had a sense of achievement and pride at every success achieved during the class.