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Resources

Included here are a variety of research and resource development works done by practitioners in the field, some by practitioners and researchers from Bow Valley College, and many others by individuals from varying organizations, institutions and programs in the field of adult literacy. We seek to establish dynamic and collaborative conversations between research and practice.

Assessment & Measuring

Read Forward – Read Forward Team. Web resource
This new adult reading assessment resource contains: 30 Tests, Answer Keys, Locator Tests, Results Feedback forms, Learning Activities and User Guide. These paper-and-pencil tests take one hour or less to write and integrate easily into the curriculum for a variety of programs including literacy, basic education, vocational, essential skills, upgrading, GED, workplace and college. The series uses familiar texts that reflect where everyday reading takes place: in the home, the community and the workplace. It is divided into 6 reading skill levels, based on skill development, and contains 5 different tests for each level. The resource is available online for free.

Alberta Reading Benchmarks – Alberta Reading Benchmarks Team. Web resource.
The Alberta Reading Benchmarks (ARB) are a set of standards for measuring reading in adults. They are adaptable to the diversity of adult learning programs across Alberta and contribute to a more robust foundational learning system in the province. The ARB website offers resources and training videos to help you understand the benchmark levels. Read Forward and the ARB are compatible measures for reading skills. Use Read Forward to assess reading skills. Then access the tools on the ARB website to support reading instruction for the unique set of reading skills at each Read Forward level.

Write Forward
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Measurement and Assessment in Adult Literacy and Essential Skills: A Critical Literature Review (2013) – Candice Jackson & Marnie Schaetti.
A critical review of literature relating to measurement and assessment in adult literacy and essential skills was conducted for the Literacy and Essential Skills: Learner Progression Measures research project. When reviewing over 100 local, national, and international publications, the researchers for this project hoped to explore the ways in which assessment and measurement were highlighted and how these tools and measures influence perceptions of progress and program quality, best practices for assessment and measurement, underlying theories surround adult literacy assessment and measurement, and of course, “why measure?” This review examined relevant literature to further explore how perceptions of measurement and assessment shape how learner progress is perceived, reported on, and represented in terms of funding accountability, program requirements, and public policy. The researchers examined how perceptions and applications of, measurement and assessment also impact the different spheres that shape LES learning, such as tensions and changes within the field.

Research Findings (2014) – Candice Jackson & Marnie Schaetti.
The Learner Progression Measures (LPM) project conducted extensive research on measures of learner progress in Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) to assist the Alberta Government Ministries of Advanced Education, Education, and Human Services with the development of future directions, policies, and programming. Informed by “Measurement and Assessment in Adult Literacy and Essential Skills: A Critical Literature Review,” an extensive literature review, and a total of fifty-eight interviews with Alberta LES learners, practitioners, administrators, and funding agencies, the LES:LPM project studied both the tools and resources that currently exist to measure learner progress and the contexts in which they are used. This research paper highlights the data’s key themes which explore why people measure progress and how they use the results, what it is people actually measure when they measure progress, and how people measure progress, as well as what tools and methods during the measurement process.

Measuring Learning Progress in Literacy and Essential Skills: Recommendations for Literacy Stakeholders and Government (2014) – Audrey Gardner & Candace Witkowskyj.
The purpose of this paper is to provide recommendations on the measurement of learner’s progress in Literacy and Essentials Skills (LES) programs, policy and future literacy directions in Alberta. This paper is the result of an extensive research project on learner progression measures in adult literacy and essential skills (LPM). This paper gathers influential data gained throughout the literature review and research project to discuss key themes which influence the perceptions, values, and contextual factors that influence the ways in which learner progress is perceived, reported on, and reflected within policy and program development. Key considerations are highlighted in relation to policy and program development and broad LES discussions.

Bibliographies

Best Practices for Late Entry Learners into College Academic Upgrading Programs: Annotated Bibliography (2009)

Community Development

Building Community Capacity: Focus on Literacy (2005)
“Building Capacity for Literacy Friendly Communities.” Literacies: Issue #6 (2005)
Connecting Literacy to Community. Building Community Capacity: Focus on Adult Literacy Handbook (2003)
Connecting Literacy to Community. Building Community Capacity: Literacy Audits and Strategic Planning (2003)
Connecting Literacy to Community: Literacy Specialists: Competencies and Practices (2003)
Small Gestures – An ASL Report (2010)

Disability

Effective Techniques and Tools for Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Bilingual and Bicultural Literacy Programs: A Practitioner Research Project for Practical Results Phase 1 (2008)
Effective Teaching Techniques and Tools for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adult Immigrants in ASL and English Bilingual and Bicultural College Programs Phase 2 (2009)
LaDS: SARAW Survey Report (2005)
LaDs: SARAW It Gets in Your Brain (2005)
LaDs: SARAW Learner Stories (2005)
Literacy and Disabilities Fact Sheet (2005)
“Literacy for Adults with Disabilities: Still a Long Way to Go.” Literacies: Issue #9 (2008)
Literacy for Deaf Immigrant Adults: A Symposium for Collaboration and Learning – Final Report (2009)
Literacy Survey of Disability Serving Agencies (2007)
Small Gestures – An ASL Report (2010)
Answers May Vary Research Report: Literacy Strategies, Resources, and Effective Practices for Adult Learners with Developmental Disabilities (2014)
Answers May Vary Guidebook: Incorporating Literacy Strategies, Resources, and Effective Practices into Daily Life for Adults with Developmental Disabilities (2015)

Program Accountability

Accountability in Adult Literacy: Voices From the Field (2008)
Numbers and Narratives: Adding up Stories of Success in Adult Literacy (2009)
Using Practitioner Reflective Critical Inquiry to Manage Change in Adult Basic Education (2015)

Teaching & Learning

A Selected Literature Review for Adult Learner Success, Aboriginal Upgrading Program
A Study of Potential Incremental Success Factors Among Basic Education and Employment Preparation Students (2001)
Effective Techniques and Tools for Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Bilingual and Bicultural Literacy Programs: A Practitioner Research Project for Practical Results Phase 1 (2008)
Effective Teaching Techniques and Tools for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adult Immigrants in ASL and English Bilingual and Bicultural College Programs Phase 2 (2009)
LaDs: SARAW It Gets in Your Brain (2005)
Meeting the Need: Student Success in the Online Environment. Teaching, Learning, Development, Administration: A Literature Review (2010)
Vocabulary Acquisition (2010)
Sharing the Journey with Adult Indigenous Learners: A Teaching Reading Strategies Guide (2013)
Answers May Vary Guidebook: Incorporating Literacy Strategies, Resources, and Effective Practices into Daily Life for Adults with Developmental Disabilities (2015)
Strategic Conversations Facilitator Manual (2018)
Strategic Conversations Participant Workbook (2018)
Strategic Conversations Powerpoint (2018)
Creating Learning Partners Facilitator Manual (2018)
Creating Learning Partners Participation Workbook (2018)
Creating Learning Partners Powerpoint (2018)

Viewpoints & Articles

“The New Literacy Studies: A Point of Contact Between Literacy Research and Literacy Work.” Literacies: Issue #1 (2003)
Stories from the Field Professional Development for Literacy Practitioners Volume 1 (2014)
Stories from the Field Professional Development for Literacy Practitioners Volume 2 (2014)
Stories from the Field Professional Development for Literacy Practitioners Volume 3 (2015)