This guide grew out of a project entitled "From the Ground Up: A Research-in-Practice Approach to Outcome-Oriented Program Evaluation," undertaken in British Columbia.
The authors explain that the guide was originally intended to be an informal introduction to measurement in literacy practice. As they wrote, they found themselves thinking more about the complexities of literacy itself and the essence of literacy practice.
As a result, the guide became a conversation for practitioners and tutors in adult literacy settings about the nature of literacy and the implications for practice. It is intended as a professional development tool that will encourage reflection about how literacy and literacy progress are defined.
The authors present the material mainly through dialogue balloons, similar to those seen in comic books or graphic novels.
They have included a list of websites that provide information and resources relevant to the guide’s recurring themes.
For literacy and basic skills (LBS) delivery agencies
This guide is intended to provide information for Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) funded agencies about what organizational processes need to be in place to implement a continuous improvement performance management system. To successfully implement such a system, an agency must have the organizational capacity to plan, track, organize, analyze and evaluate the results of its day to day operations. It does this to determine what needs to be changed to achieve the agency's intended results in the most efficient and effective manner.
This guide is organized into the following sections:
- Steps in the assessment process of organizational capacity
- Preparation & organization
- Tips on surveying clients, partners and stakeholders
- Step 1 – Understanding results
- The vital few
- Step 2 – Understanding cause
- Step 3 – Improving results
- Step 4 – Review the plan and adjust
For literacy and basic skills agencies
Literacy and Basic Skills agencies can use this tool to assess their organizational processses as part of their continuous improvement performance management systems. This tool can be used on its own or can be incorporated into existing self-assessment and continuous improvement processes already in place in an organization. A related resource, the Agency Assessment of Organizational Capacity Guide, provides more detailed instructions and examples to support the use of the Agency Assessment Tool.
This tool involves the following four steps:
1. Understanding results
2. Understanding cause
3. Improving results
4. Review the plan and adjust
This guide is the result of the shared experiences over a two year period of four community based literacy programs which implemented and reviewed a variety of assessment procedures for family literacy evaluation.
This practical and informative resource guide for literacy practitioners was prepared for the National Literacy Secretariat and the Ontario Training and Adjustment Board.
Handbook For Facilitators
Authors: Wendy Magahay
The AWAL Guide: Handbook for Facilitators is essentially “AWAL in a box.” The background information, suggestions, and resources collected here are intended to provide you with the tools and support you need to understand, plan for, deliver, and benefit from an AWAL Workshop for your organization.
AWAL (Applications of Working and Learning) is a valuable and effective program that can result in strong benefits for both faculty development and curriculum resource development. Through meeting with and learning from employers and employees, AWAL provides a means for educators to incorporate into their own teaching practice an emphasis on the skills that Canadian workplaces have identified as essential.
However, AWAL is not intended to provide a complete examination of a job, and certainly not of the people who do those jobs.
Tools for Community-Based Adult Literacy and Basic Education Programs
The NWT Literacy Council has created a comprehensive framework of best practices that encourages literacy providers to reflect on their practice and learn from others. The framework has three tools:
1. A self-assessment tool for programs
2. A resource of practical ideas to help support best practices
3. Examples of best practices in action in NWT programs
The self-assessment tool for programs consists of 17 best practice statements, followed by several key elements and indicators. Each statement describes a key concept that we have identified as integral to effective programs from current research and from practitioners in the field in the NWT and elsewhere. The best practice statements include the following topics such as philosophy, program planning, program evaluation, program accessibility and instruction.
This booklet offers an introduction to Communications and Math Employment Readiness Assessment (CAMERA), a series of standardized tests providing placement and diagnostic information about adult learners’ abilities to manage workplace communications and numeracy tasks.
The CAMERA system was developed by PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs, a non-profit literacy organization based in Ontario. It uses real-life workplace documents and tasks to test and develop adult learners’ reading, document use, writing, and numeracy skills.
In this booklet, the authors provide information about the rationale for the system; its components, including tests, curriculum guidelines, and workbooks; training requirements; and costs. They have also included sample tests and contact information for PTP.
CanadaWorks! focuses on employability skills and knowledge that will help learners focus on experiences that come after getting a job. This is a classroom resource that can be integrated into curriculum that is already developed for learners based on an assessment of their workplace literacy needs.
This resource guide is the end result of a three-day training conference held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, in November 2000, on common assessment for the native stream. Conference participants agreed that “common assessment” referred to the use of similar language, direction and process for literacy assessment.
Authors: Christine Pinsent-Johnson
This book is intended for those who work in adult literacy programs and are engaged in the on-going process of making connections between literacy, learning and work. It contains some research-based discussion, curriculum ideas, a few ready-to-use tools, interviews with instructors, and student photo stories. It is a book that tells a story about an adult literacy program that made changes to the way it thought about and taught literacy for adults who want to make changes to their working lives. Although there is one story, it is told from many perspectives: those of the students, the instructors, the program managers, published research and the author.