The Evolution of Adult Ed After the Initial COVID Shutdown  
Posted by Laura McLoughlin on August 15, 2022 in categoryFacts & Research

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, it forced the adult education field into a never-before-seen landscape. It felt imperative to document what was happening and how adult education programs adapted to the situation, which was constantly changing.  

Members of the Evidence-Based Adult Education System (E-BAES) task force set out to do just that, and in July 2020 the COVID-19 Rapid Response Report from the Field was published by ProLiteracy in partnership with Open Door Collective and the EdTech Center @ World Education

The report was based on the real experiences that the taskforce collected from interviews and survey respondents. It quickly became an important resource in the early days of the pandemic for those in the field going through the same challenges. It offered a viewpoint into what was working or not working at other programs and why. 

About a year later, as the pandemic wore on, the task force wanted to follow up and look at how programs had adapted now that they were no longer scrambling to figure out stay-at-home orders and how to deliver instruction. They wanted to know what lessons had been learned and, based on that, how programs were leveraging those lessons to enrich instruction even as they returned to in-person classes. 

This week, ProLiteracy, along with Open Door Collective and EdTech Center @ World Education, published The Rapid Response, Innovation, and Challenges of Sustainability in the Time of COVID-19: Reports from the Field documenting how the field evolved as a result of the unplanned circumstances of the pandemic.  

The report recaps the early days of COVID-19 and then moves on to how programs settled into remote learning. offering insights into the challenges and how they were met and overcome. Peer support, collaboration, additional training, and seeing the situation as a new opportunity rather than a barrier emerged as common solutions. What the authors also heard was how it also opened up opportunities for learners that were previously not there. The challenge is now not how to embrace digital technologies, but how to sustain and build on the progress made. 

We hope you download the report and find it useful as we continue moving forward. 

Read the Report


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