[Technology 886] Re: NIFL study on online learning

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Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi HSilver-Pacuilla at air.org
Thu Mar 1 19:55:43 EST 2007

Hello All ! I am very pleased to work with you as fellow researchers in learning about independent online learning. I've been lurking on the list for a few weeks and know that I will learn a lot by listening and engaging you in dialogue. For the small study I'm heading up now, NIFL would like to know:

(a) what is available out on the web?

(b) how are adults using these online portals?

(c) what skills (language and literacy) are necessary for adults to have in order to be successful with these activities?

We know there is a lot of online learning going on as a supplement to class instruction and that the literature would suggest that a blended model can be effective enrichment for students. However, this project is most interested in what adults are doing on their own.

Currently we are doing the literature review, searching on the web, and talking to programs that have hosted online portals that serve students in and out of classes.

We need your help! A significant portion of the paper will be devoted to discussing Voices from the Field - reports and stories of how independent online learning is happening. This sort of learning - for the most part out of class, out of programs, out of sight of researchers - is rarely written up in journals. Do you know of learning portals being used by adults independently? What are they learning? What are they doing (studying for the driver's license test? citizenship test? learning vocabulary? practicing math?) ? Who is using it (any skill level or language proficiency data?)? If you have some leads, I would appreciate talking to you off the list (email me at hsilver-pacuilla at air.org or call me at 202.403.5218).

Additionally, I will plan with Mariann to guest moderate the listserv later in the spring when I can bring preliminary findings to the group for feedback and further input. One thing I am very interested in articulating through this project is the features of online learning portals that make them more accessible and usable for adult students as well as to capture instructive stories of adult success that may make all of us practitioners sit up and take notice. Are we preparing our students to take full advantage of the possibilities online? Are we prepared to do so as instructors? These are challenging questions and I very much look forward to discussing them with all of you who are the leaders of integrating technology in literacy.

Looking forward to getting to know you and your work -

Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, Ph.D.
Senior Research Analyst
American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
202.403.5218 (Phone)
202.403.5454 (Fax)


Today's Topics:

1. [Technology 885] Tech List Participation in Research on
On-line learning (Mariann Fedele)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 09:39:26 -0500
From: "Mariann Fedele" <MariannF at lacnyc.org>
Subject: [Technology 885] Tech List Participation in Research on
On-line learning
To: "The Technology and Literacy Discussion List"
<technology at nifl.gov>
<6E8BC13A30982C44BCD32B38FB8F5AB8329E1D at lac-exch.lacnyc.local>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Dear Technology list colleagues,

I am happy to announce a unique opportunity for the members of the
Technology list to participate in a research study. Heidi
Silver-Pacuilla is conducting research on independent on-line learning
by adults. She will be asking for your professional wisdom to include as
part of the project overall. Heidi will be asking a few questions of
list members later in the day, and will then rejoin the list later in
the spring for a discussion of her research findings.

Following is a brief bio and short description of the study:

Heidi Silver-Pacuilla is a researcher at the American Institutes for
Research in Washington, DC. She has been working in literacy for (gulp)
over 20 years. Most recently, she was in a position as a disabilities
specialist at Pima College Adult Ed in Tucson, AZ, working with teaching
colleagues to understand their service delivery system and conducting
research with students with disabilities. Her areas of interest revolve
around adult learning, learning with technology, and learning

Intro to the study:

Through a grant from the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) she will
lead a small study on independent online learning by adults.

Ultimately, this paper will offer recommendations for portal development
and program management, but primarily a window into what adults are
already doing outside of our programs and classes.

Regards and looking forward to your participation,


Mariann Fedele

Associate Director,

NYC Regional Adult Education Network

Literacy Assistance Center

NIFL Technology and Literacy Discussion List
32 Broadway 10th Floor
New York, New York 10004
mariannf at lacnyc.org

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End of Technology Digest, Vol 18, Issue 1

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