ProLiteracy has released a new report, “COVID-19 Rapid Response Report from the Field,” with research conducted by the E-BAES Taskforce and EdTech Center @ World Education describing how the pandemic has impacted the adult education system. Findings are intended to inform adult educators and offer them useful suggestions for dealing with the current crisis.
The research represented in the Rapid Response Report was derived from two complementary inquiries—one drawing on interviews with 49 respondents from 20 states and the other on 773 survey responses from teachers, tutors, and administrators. Both data sets represent a diverse pool of adult education practitioners and state staff.
The goals of this research project conducted by the E-BAES Taskforce and EdTech Center were to 1) describe the instructional and programmatic shifts programs made in response to the stay-at-home orders and 2) illustrate the challenges and successes they experienced.
E-BAES Taskforce member and researcher, Alisa Belzer from Rutgers University, says “This report describes the unique challenges faced in adult education and the creative ways in which practitioners have responded.” One takeaway from the report was that technology and internet access are a major challenge to adult student participation in distance learning.
The results of this research will be vital going forward in providing national organizations like ProLiteracy with the information they need to advocate for solutions to help adult education programs adapt to distance learning to ensure all students are served.
“We hope the information in this report helps adult education and literacy programs nationwide to better understand the supports and solutions that will enable them to continually impact students during this challenging time,” says ProLiteracy President/CEO, Kevin Morgan.
ProLiteracy is the largest adult literacy and basic education nonprofit organization in the U.S. It works with local, national, and international organizations to help adults gain the reading, writing, math, computer, and English skills they need to be successful. ProLiteracy advocates on behalf of adult learners and the programs that serve them, provides training and professional development to instructors, and publishes materials used in adult literacy and basic education instruction. It has 1,000 member programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and works with 21 nongovernmental organizations in 35 developing countries. For more information, visit ProLiteracy.org.
The Evidence-Based Adult Education System (E-BAES) initiative began in early 2019, in response to a need for national research in adult education. E-BAES is led by the Open Door Collective, a program of Literacy Minnesota. The volunteer E-BAES taskforce consists of 30+ researchers, practitioners, government officials, professional developers, and education leaders. E-BAES’ plan of action includes initial planning steps, to launch the E-BAES national network model, and implementation steps.
About EdTech Center
The EdTech Center @ World Education was launched in October 2015 to leverage new digital technologies to increase the reach and impact of adult education. Housed at World Education in Boston, the staff designs and implements their work in collaboration with their EdTech Partners, who are a “Dream Team” of go-to experts in using educational technologies to increase the education, career, and life outcomes of lowerskilled adults and youth.
EdTech Center is one of few centers promoting learning exchange and partnership between edtech leaders in the United States and international experts.