ERIC Number: ED399423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Feb
The Effectiveness of Adult Literacy Education: A Review of Issues and Literature Related to Outcome-Based Evaluation of Literacy Programs.
Ziegler, Suzanne; Sussman, Susan B., Ed.
A literature review examined how literacy programs can assess their effectiveness by looking at outcomes and using this information. Very few empirical studies showed the impacts of literacy programs or identified predictors of program success. One reason was the lack of common criteria for evaluating performance. One evaluation issue was whether the same measures should be used to assess both individual progress and program effectiveness. Results of the U.S. National Evaluation of Adult Education Programs (NEAEP) showed that using the same types of measures across programs allowed discovery of what program components most affected outcomes. The NAEAP study was also used to investigate research on variables assumed to be linked to program effectiveness. According to the study, the strongest predictors of retention were support services, instruction during the day, and type of learning environment. Age was not a barrier to acquiring literacy and increased hours of instruction were not sufficient to ensure increased skill development. Literacy skills were not easily transferred between workplace and general literacy programs; family literacy programs had potential for both adult and child literacy. Questions for further outcomes-based research were suggested, including the cost benefit of putting limited resources into instruction rather than outreach, maintenance of learner motivation, and instructor training. (Contains 31 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Literacy Coalition, Toronto.