1. Distance Learning Research #3: Online Learners Part III
Stephen Reder at Portland State University has been working on the Longitudinal Study of Adult Literacy (LSAL) for the past ten years. As is stated in NIFL's Investigating the Language and Literacy Skills Required for Independent Online Learning, "this study addresses literacy development, learning, education, and life experiences of out-of-school adults. The analysis is conducted to determine whether there are threshold levels of literacy associated with patterns of independent, technology-enhanced learning." The main data for the following information was taken from Wave 5, a cross-secitonal cohort, for which 801 individuals were interviewed in 2004-205, representing 86% of the total sample.
The findings in NIFL's report note the following key point:
Matching the literacy proficiencies of respondents to how they rate their likelihood of using such systems (free service available through the Internet) ... shows a trend among those who do self-study that the lower the literacy proficiency, the more apparent interst there is in using such technologies.
Learners with low skills are seeking and engaging in learning, but mainly outside of formal systems.
Silver-Pecuilla, Heidi and Reder, Stephen, "Investigating the Language and Literacy Skills Required for Independent Online Learning." NIFL, October 2009, p.12-13. http://www.nifl.gov/publications/pdf/NIFLOnlineLearningReport.pdf
If learners with low skills are seeking and engaging learning, then why are they not seeking services at ABLE programs? Or are they? Are Montana ABLE programs providing these students with access to technology?
2. Distance Learning Research Discussion
Click here http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/RI/riupdate.htm to read what Montana colleagues have posted in response to the Distance Learning Research. It's simple! All you have to do is then click on the month at the top of the page and then click on the RED responses.
3. Montana ESOL Conference Follow-up Procedure Change
Please send your completed tasks to Sarah Young at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31.
4. CAAL Release about NIFL
NEWS RELEASE -- October 8, 2009 -- The Council on Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) today released a new paper titled: REBUILDING NIFL TO MEET FUTURE NEEDS: A New and Innovative Agency with a Broader Mission. This 28-page discussion paper, written by Forrest P. Chisman and Gail Spangenberg, proposes substantial revamping of the National Institute for Literacy into a new independent National Institute for Adult Learning, with broad responsibilities for adult education and workforce skills development, including leadership in technology, stronger governance, and more adequate funding. Although unfunded, NIFL still exists within the Workforce Investment Act (for which reauthorization is pending and likely to be taken up after the first of the year) and provisions for it are contained within the Adult Education and Economic Growth Act. REBUILDING NIFL is available (as item NC-CAAL 10) from the publications page of the CAAL website (www.caalusa.org/publications.html).
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101