1995 - 96 Report
Authors: Murray J. MacKinnon
Provides data about ABE students in British Columbia and the educational, social, and economic effects of ABE programs as reported by them. Includes statistical data about who the students are, why they enroll, what outcomes they expect, whether their goals are met, and the barriers they experienced. Third in a series of three reports.
Insights into Workplace Basic Skills from Four UK Organisations
This report presents four cases that have been drawn from a larger longitudinal study which analyzes the immediate and longer term outcomes of workplace-linked interventions designed to improve adult basic skills. In this study, researchers interviewed and tracked 564 employees involved in workplace basic skills programs in the transportation, cleaning and maintenance, administrative (research) and food processing sectors in the north and south of England. The researchers' goal was to determine what happens to the employees that may be related to their learning experiences, and what happens in the company that may be related to the existence of the learning program.
The report begins with some brief background information followed by a review of recent literature on the topic. Each of the following case studies is then presented:
- Coopers - a large food manufacturer
- HLN Manufacturing - large engineering company specializing in the manufacture of parts for cars
- The Weapons Defence Establishment - weapons manufacturer
- The Thorpton Local Authority
Building a Case for Pursuing and Completing an Apprenticeship
Authors: Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF)
The goal of this project was to assess the outcomes of apprentices, and compare those outcomes with the outcomes of individuals who did not complete an apprenticeship; graduates of other college programs; and individuals who did not pursue any postsecondary training.
The authors analysed several surveys of provincial college graduates as well as the National Apprenticeship Survey (NAS) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Only the four provinces that collected and were able to share relevant data were included: British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
For the purpose of comparing college outcomes, the authors identified four distinct groups: apprenticeship completers; trades program completers; graduates of selected applied and technical programs; and all college completers, excluding trades programs.
The findings showed that individuals who complete apprenticeships are more likely to be working, both immediately after graduation and several years later; have better earning potential, in both the short and long term; and report higher levels of job security and satisfaction.
This document was prepared by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF), a national non-for-profit organization that promotes apprenticeship as an effective means of training and education.
Testing a Four-Level Framework for Integrating Work and Learning to Maximize Personal Practice and Job Performance
“Blended learning” refers to combining different kinds of instructional approaches, like face-to-face learning and coaching, with a variety of technologies, including discussion boards, e-content, and conference calls.
This research study compares the learning outcomes of four different blended learning strategies for developing the “soft skills” that enhance job performance and personal interactions. The four strategies range from a very loose coupling of personal learning with job performance to a very tight coupling.
The results showed that some individuals excelled in each of the research groups, and there were no common individual characteristics for those who did well in each group, or across the research study. Learning styles differed, learning preferences differed, and major motivators and major barriers for learning also differed.
The authors conclude that while there is no predictable best approach to workplace learning for developing soft skills, blended strategies can make it easier to customize learning to meet specific learner characteristics, experiences, and needs.
Lessons in Learning – March 18, 2009
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
There is ongoing debate about whether students with special needs are better served in inclusive classrooms or in separate settings with peers who share similar challenges. The authors of this discussion paper have reviewed 30 studies that compare inclusive and separate learning settings for students with learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, language impairments, and mixed disabilities. The studies were carried out in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
They conclude that all else being equal, inclusive settings appear not to academically disadvantage most students with special educational needs and, in many cases, appear to offer an advantage over separate settings.
However, these results are not homogenous and effects are generally small in magnitude, suggesting that while inclusive settings are generally preferable, factors other than classroom setting are probably more important determinants of academic success.
The authors point to the importance of teacher capacity building; the need for thoughtful implementation of inclusion; and the necessity of establishing realistic class sizes and ratios of students with special needs.
An Exploration of Content and Style
Authors: Kate Nonesuch
In this literature review, the author outlines the relationship of family math and family literacy, explores the importance of play in developing early skills, and traces the mathematical development of early childhood. She reviews several large and small scale family math programs, and discusses common findings as to what makes these programs successful. Finally, she notes some of the homework advice available to parents, in the context of home-school relationships. Except where noted, the examples reflect the experiences of the author.
Lessons in Learning – May 4, 2009
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
This paper offers a review of 18 studies, published between 2003 and 2007, about the effectiveness of homework in strengthening learning outcomes. Fourteen of the studies were conducted in the United States and the remaining four in Germany.
The authors found that while the majority of studies favour homework, some of the evidence was contradictory and required more careful examination.
For instance, homework appeared to have negative effects when the analysis simply correlated time spent on homework with individual student achievement. But because homework is sometimes a remedial activity, with weaker students doing more of it, controlling for classroom or school-level effects is important when trying to understand its effectiveness.
Summary of a Workshop Presented at the 7th Annual Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics
This is the report of a workshop that explored the differences between measuring skill-based numeracy (using math in school) and function-based numeracy (using math in real life). Workshop participants discussed how these different approaches to "learning outcomes" can affect the curriculum for teaching adult numeracy.
Impacts of the Adult Basic Education Experience on the Lives of Participants
The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term impact of ABE on students' lives. The study was funded by the 1992/93 B.C. literacy cost-shared program and sponsored by the Adult Basic Education Association of B.C. and Northwest Community College.
The research methodology included personal interviews in three regions of B.C. with 44 former students who had been away from their last ABE course for at least one year. The students were diverse in age, ethnic origin, and gender and had attended a college, school district, or community-based literacy or ABE program for at least three months. The students volunteered to participate in the study and came forward as a result of local advertising and contacts made by the researchers with instructors and tutors.
Over 90% of participants in the study reported positive impacts from their ABE experience. The study was designed to determine the "essence" of the positive impacts of ABE by uncovering patterns and similarities in the students' stories. The study found that the essence of a positive ABE experience is one that expands the possibilities for informed choice and action in life. "People are learning to learn.....even more importantly, people have learned that they have learned."
The report concludes with a discussion of the implications of the study's findings for planning and delivering ABE/literacy resources.
One of these implications is the economic benefit to society of ABE in facilitating healthier personal and family lifestyles and greater and more informed participation in social relationships of all kinds.
A Learning Outcomes Approach to Describing Levels of Skill in Communications & Numeracy
The manual is based on the skills listed in the matrix of Working with Learning Outcomes (1998). The summary statements in The Level Descriptions Manual provide literacy assessors and learners with a summary of skills for each level of the communications outcomes of Read with Understanding for Various Purposes and Write Clearly to Express Ideas as well as each outcome in the numeracy domain. The summary statements also present LBS (Literacy and Basic Skills) program content in a way which can be easily understood by people outside LBS-funded agencies in Ontario. Although the manual is based on the matrix, two revisions have been made, in the interests of clarity and ease of use. These are in the domains of numeracy and self-management and self direction where two component learning outcomes have been integrated to create one component learning outcome, i.e. Use Number Sense and Computation and Become a Self-Directed Learner.
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