Evaluations of Online Tools and Resources for Adult Basic Skills Teachers and Learners

Technology and Learning Colleagues,

You may know that from January through June of this year, led by technology and Learning CoP member Ed Latham,  a volunteer Technology and Learning CoP micro-group set out to identify promising free or inexpensive online tools and resources for adult basic skills (including ESOL/ESL) teachers, tutors and learners, and then to evaluate several of these tools and resources for teachers and tutors.

So, what is the result?

  • Did they produce a list of resources? Yes. In all, they identified 54 tools and resources. The group used a free, online program called Diigo to collaboratively store and tag resources. This list of tools and resources is available.
  • Did they develop a streamlined evaluation process? Yes, they wanted the evaluation tool to be quick and easy to use. They also wanted the reviews to be useful to adult education teachers and tutors -- as well as others in the field.
  • Did they evaluate online tools and resources? Yes, they generated 28 evauations for 15 tools and resources. Of those, 11 were evaluated by two or more evaluators. These included the following reviews, in alphabetical order;  if you select a tool or resource you will see the review for it.

Those who may be interested in the full list of 54 tools and resources, or in the process for developing the online evaluation form, could ask Ed about that by replying to this post. If you want to join this micro-group as an evaluator, let Ed and me know. It is not clear yet in what form the group might be able to continue, but interest from others in joining might spur us to pursue that.

If you find the reviews this group did useful to you as a teacher or tutor (disclosure: I was a member of the group) please let us know. If you have some thoughts about how the evaluation process might be improved, I would be interested in hearing them. Most important, if you use any of these tools, please let us know, and tell us how useful the evaluation was to you in deciding to try out the tool or resource.


David J. Rosen

Moderator, Technology and Learning CoP