[Technology 1057] Re: findings on evidence of improvement ...online learning

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Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi HSilver-Pacuilla at air.org
Thu Jun 14 11:06:45 EDT 2007

Hello Tina, this is a great on-the-ground story! It certainly confirms
what other practitioner-researchers are saying, that learning computer
literacy is a great motivator and a great medium to engage adult
learners. It is of concern, however, that so few adults who could
benefit find the time and flexibility in their lives to be involved. We
certainly know many are not able to learn computer literacy on their own
for lack of access to the equipment. Researchers in Wales and Western
England found that very few adult learners made use of public computers,
either, although they knew they were available.

Does anyone have a drop-in lab where adults who are not part of a
program can come in and receive some guidance on computer literacy?
Libraries are an example, but don't always have someone available to
provide the coaching...



From: technology-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:technology-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Tina_Luffman at yc.edu
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 11:38 AM
To: The Technology and Literacy Discussion List
Subject: [Technology 1056] Re: findings on evidence of improvement of
literacy and language skills through technology

Hi Heidi,

I have worked with ESL students through our college's ABE Transition
program doing computer workshops. These workshops were not widely
attended because of work schedules, but the people who came were so
excited to have the opportunity to learn some basic computer skills. I
had never seen a group of people smile so much and be so delighted. I
feel that regardless of how much ESL learning we can certainly claim
students are learning from technology, learning technology is in and of
itself a great incentive for the lowest skilled people we serve at
Yavapai College, and meets daily needs for these students as they wish
to improve in workforce development.


Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
tina_luffman at yc.edu

"Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi" <HSilver-Pacuilla at air.org>
Sent by: technology-bounces at nifl.gov

06/13/2007 06:42 AM

Please respond to
The Technology and Literacy Discussion List <technology at nifl.gov>


<technology at nifl.gov>



[Technology 1055] findings on evidence of improvement of literacy
and language skills through technology

Hello everyone - here is another chunk of my data to share for member
checking with you. Does this resonate? Can you share an example that
confirms or challenges these findings?

**My key question to the group is: What has been your experience with
the lowest skilled students?

Thanks! Heidi Silver-Pacuilla


To recap, I am posting preliminary findings (and not my full methodology
or bibliography since both are currently incomplete) from the published
and posted literature on adult online literacy and language learning. I
hope you find them validating or provocative (or both!) and can join in
a lively discussion of what's actually happening in your school or

This is the second of the three main areas I am sharing with the
listserv: program implementation issues, evidence of improvements of
basic literacy and language skills, and student skills and dispositions
associated with successful technology-based and online learning.

Here are some key findings from the review of studies reporting evidence
of improvement of basic literacy and language skills:

There is growing evidence that adult learners' work with computer-based
or online materials that are supplemental to adult literacy and ESOL
classes contributes positively to their overall literacy and language
acquisition plus complementary learning skills. The evaluations
reviewed were of supplemental materials available to students with some
type of program support (on-site trained teacher or support person,
support person available online, tech support available through the
program, and/or automated feedback system in the program) and varying
degrees of integration with the regular class curriculum.

Importantly, the supplemental materials and online interfaces were
either uniquely developed or chosen for adult literacy and language
learners. Programs have documented successful use of these materials
with all levels of students, including those with the lowest levels of
literacy and English proficiency.

Quantifying specific academic skills achievement is difficult to
pinpoint, but several significant studies report learning gains
attributable to the supplemental use of technology in instruction and
practice. It must be acknowledged that there is still no "body of
evidence" with repeated and comparable studies that can definitely
answer questions about particular interventions used with particular
literacy or language levels with predictable results.

How do these findings correlate with your experience and knowledge?
National Institute for Literacy
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