Recent Research on Technology and Adult Basic Skills: Day 1
Submitted by David J. Rosen on May 9, 2016 - 9:39am
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Technology and Learning Colleagues,
Today we begin our discussion with three panelists who have led studies on the use of technology for adult basic skills: Dr. Robert Murphy, from SRI International, Principle Investigator for the Technologies for Adult Basic Literacies Evaluation (TABLE) study; Dr. Jill Castek, from Portland State University (Oregon), with the study, Exploring How Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments Can Be Used to Design Responsive Programming; and Adam Newman, from Tyton Partners, a marketing research firm in Boston, with the survey Learning for Life, the Opportunity for Technology to Transform Adult Education.
I have asked our panelists to describe their research today and, if they wish, to say a little more about themselves. I hope that they all might be able to answer these questions in describing their studies:
1. What are the most important findings from your study for adult basic skills administrators, teachers and tutors and professional developers?
2. From your study what have you learned about adult basic skills learners’ use of technology, for example their digital literacy skills, their ability to do online learning, their persistence in online courses, and their interest in using technology?
3. What have you learned about using the PIAAC Education and Skills Online assessment for literacy, numeracy and/or PSTRE skills?
4. During your research, what are some important questions that emerged, for which further research is needed regarding adult basic skills learners’ use of technology and online content?
As discussion participants read the panelists’ descriptions of their studies here, I hope they will suggest additional questions. If so, please post them at any time this week, the sooner the better.
If you haven’t yet, you may wish to read these featured resources that will provide some background on the studies:
Learning for Life, the Opportunity for Technology to Transform Adult Education Adam Newman,Tyton Partners
Using PIAAC’s Education and Skills Online to Examine Adults Skills Locally Dr. Jill Castek, Portland State University
Description of the TABLE study, and Slides from a COABE 2106 Presentation on the TABLE Study Dr. Robert Murphy, SRI
Here is some background on our panelists:
Dr. Jill Castek is the Director of the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research Group at Portland State University. As an active researcher, she has connected adult education with innovations in health care, use of technology, libraries, K-12 and postsecondary education. Dr.Castek's work explores educational opportunities for adults, especially members of economically vulnerable and socially excluded populations. One facet of this work involves improving library practices, programs, and services for adult patrons—especially economically vulnerable adults, seniors, English learners, and others lacking basic digital literacy skills. A second facet aims to increase patient engagement with health care by improving the digital literacy skills of patients in community health setting. A third facet involves describing how vulnerable adults acquire digital literacy. By working with a range of educational and community-based organizations, these projects have provided her valuable experience working with local adult education providers and practitioners in multiple states. Implication can be used to help underserved populations to cross the digital divide, utilize broadband Internet services, and acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for personal, social, and economic success in the digital world of the 21st century.
Dr. Robert Murphy is the Director of Evaluation Research in SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning. His research focuses on the design and implementation of formative and summative evaluations of educational programs and technologies. His research combines studies of program implementation across different populations and contexts and program outcomes using experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Currently Dr. Murphy is the Principal Investigator (PI) of a study of online learning within adult basic education programs serving low skilled adults funded by the Joyce Foundation. He is also a co-PI of a U.S. Department Education funded study of an online math homework platform. He was also the PI on two recently completed projects that studied how k-12 schools are blending online and offline instruction to support teaching and learning. This work, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, included a study of Khan Academy. Dr. Murphy has a Ph.D., from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He also completed a program in public sector analysis at the University of Dublin - Trinity College. He has an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. With SRI's Barbara Means and Marianne Bakia, Dr. Murphy is co-author of the book Learning Online, published in April 2014.
Adam Newman is a founding partner of Tyton Partners. He has more than 15 years of experience in consulting and market research, management, banking, and teaching across all segments of the education sector. He began his professional career as a k–12 educator and athletic coach at schools in Boston, MA, and New Orleans, LA. He holds an AB in English from Duke University.
David J. Rosen
Moderator, technology and Learning CoP