CITE University of Hong Kong September 2009. The co-evolution of e-learning and adult literacy and numeracy. A nested case study of a polytechnic. Niki Davis & Jo Fletcher University of Canterbury College of Education. University of Canterbury College of Education Research Team
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Niki Davis & Jo Fletcher
University of Canterbury College of Education
Niki Davis, Principal Investigator
Jo Fletcher, Co-Principal Investigator
Irene Absalom, Research Assistant
With Barry Brooker, John Everatt, Gail Gillon, Julie Mackey, & Donna Morrow
New Zealand Ministry of Education
Anne LeeThe Research Team
New Zealand Ministry of Education research question:
What are the characteristics of programmes, such as e-learning, mixed mode and distance learning programmes that have been successful in raising the literacy, numeracy and language skills (LLN) of adult learners and could be used to supplement workplace training?
International surveys inc. Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey raised awareness that around 1 in 5 adults has needs literacy/numeracy (inc. UK, USA and New Zealand - Earle, 2009; Satherley et al, 2008; Benseman & Sutton, 2007)
Low levels of adult literacy have a direct impact on the economy and reduce life chances for adults and their children (Benseman & Sutton, 2007; Earle, 2009)
There are many challenges in supporting adults to improve their literacy. Critical success factors include the embedding of literacy learning in the individual’s ecologies (Williams & Fletcher, in press)
One approach has been to use e-learning to extend self-study with developments in the UK, USA and New Zealand (Mellar et al 2007)Background
"At the heart of improved quality in delivery and materials must be increased use of Information and Communication Technologies [e-learning] to improve basic skills." (Moser Report 1999)
The application of online and blended learning to adult education is an innovation, alongside that of embedding literacy. Therefore the analytical frame chosen for this case study was to identify the co-evolution of e-learning (Davis, 2008), which was applied to e-learning for adults with needs in literacy, language and/or numeracy (LLN):
This was done using three change models within the overarching ecological perspective on change. The three models were:
Ecological framework developed by the Niki Davis (PI) survey raised awareness that around 1 in 5 adults has needs literacy/numeracy
Case study methodology (from Brinkerhoff 2005; Patton 1990)
Interviews with 10 leaders, 6 managers, 6 tutors, 18 students
Observations of 5 programmes plus curriculum and resources including Learning Management System
Five stage analysis including review with polytechnic staff and two reviewers. Application of theoretical models of change
Selection of case and nested cases to inc. e-learning and embedded LLN > 2 years (rare)
Web-based numeracy survey raised awareness that around 1 in 5 adults has needs literacy/numeracy online distance learning designed for foundation and remedial study
Blended M-learning in a modern apprentices led by an early adopter who worked in partnership with the e-learning coordinator to continuing to innovate with e-learning.
An ESOL resource centre that evolved a range of digital technologies for self access to language learning for ESOL for international students and migrants.
Online units and simulation accessed through the polytechnic online Learning Management Systems to increase numeracy support for foundation and trades students.
An evening class to support adult literacy using ICT including games e.g. “Word Shark”Programmes observed in the polytechnic (micro)
Nested case studies
appears to be better than other alternatives (economic, convenience, satisfaction, prestige)
consistent with existing values, previous experiences, and needs of the user(s)
Lack of Complexity + Ease of Use
not difficult to understand and easy to use
can be experienced firsthand in a limited way
innovation or its results can be seen by others
Everett Rogers, 2003
Confirmed for ICT (Ferster 2007)
Relative advantage survey raised awareness that around 1 in 5 adults has needs literacy/numeracy
Tutor: students’ retention; leadership recognized
Employers: reduced responsibility
Apprentices: reduced requirement to write
Simple texting of 4 questions / day for learning at work
Collection of pictures & uploading similar to personal activities
E-learning coordinator solved complexity for the tutor.
Existing LMS, quiz and portfolio
Students’ own mobile phone with vouchers for texting; snapping pictures and store in web 2.0
Observe more expert users during block courses and informally
Some opted out of m-learning. Able to trial it before uptake.
The tutor trialled with intensive support from the e-learning coordinator, plus external funding of equipment etc.Apprentices M-learning blend:Characteristics of innovation
Learner survey raised awareness that around 1 in 5 adults has needs literacy/numeracy stage: Talk about technology – what is it? What are your attitudes to it?
Adopter stage Exposure to new technologies: “Having a bit of a play.” The e-learning coordinator tries to embed the skills in a learning activity, rather than teaching the skills separately.
Leader stage: if someone shows a passion or ability in an aspect of the use of e-learning in teaching and learning he invites that person to come and lead a session in a subsequent iteration of the ICT for course in Certificate in Adult Teaching. He also invites such teachers to lead workshops for academic staff.Teacher’s learning/adoption trajectory: recognized by e-learning coordinator
(Sherry & Gibson 2002)
(polytechnic took part in survey by Marshall 2006)
Questions and comments please
BECTA (n.d.). survey raised awareness that around 1 in 5 adults has needs literacy/numeracy ACL e-Learning Positioning Tool. [online] Accessed 15 January 2009 http://matrix.becta.org.uk/GMATRIX_15833573_60509989/1231975993078/rebrand/matrix/index.cfm?matrix=121&forcenew=yes
Benseman, J. & Sutton, A. (2007) A synthesis of foundation learning evaluation and research in New Zealand since 2003. **
Brinkerhoff, R.O. (2005). The success case method: A strategic evaluation approach to increasing value and effect of training. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 7(1), 86-101.
Davis, N.E. (2008). How may teacher learning be promoted for educational renewal with IT? In Joke Voogt & Gerald Knezek (Eds.) International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education. Amsterdam: Kluwer Press. pp 507-519
Davis, N.E. & Fletcher, J. (2009, in press). E-learning mixed mode and distance learning for adult literacy, language and numeracy. Final report. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
Earle, D. (2009). **
Mellar, H., Kambouri, M., Logan, K., nance, B., & Moriarty, V. (2007) Effectiv e teaching and learning using ICT. London: The National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.
Marshall, S.J. (2006). Development and evolution of an e-learning maturity model. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training (OnlineEduca) pp. 291-294. Berlin, Germany, December.
Moser, C. (1999). A fresh start – improving literacy and numeracy. UK, Department of Education and Science. Available: http://www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/mosergroup/index.htm [15 January 2009].
Patton, M.Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd edition). Newbury Park, CA: Sage publications.
Rogers, E. (2003). The diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: The Free Press
Satherley, P., Lawes, E., & Sok, S. (2008). The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: Overview and International Comparisons Wellington: Ministry of Education.
Sherry, L. & Gibson, D. (2002). The path to teacher leadership in educational technology. Current Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 2(2) [online]
Williams, J. & Fletcher, J. (In press). Motivating adult learners to improve their literacy skills: Barriers and motivators. New Zealand Journal of Adult Learning.References