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Friday, November 4 • 2:40pm - 3:05pm
Open Education to Support Adult Basic Education: An Exploration of Opportunities and Constraints

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In June 2013, UNESCO's Institute for Statistics reported the global adult literacy rate for those age 15 and older was 84%. In absolute numbers, 774 million people over the age of 15 lack the basic literacy skills to read and write. In the U.S., an estimated 36 million adult learners lack basic math, language, and literacy skills. Despite their numbers, these adults who are in need of educational opportunities to gain basic math and literacy skills are too often the "forgotten segment" in discussions of open education.

Session presenters will lead a discussion of both the untapped opportunities and constraints of open education for designers, instructors, and learners in adult basic education (ABE) contexts. Through an analysis of recent reports on the ABE instructional context, as well as the experiences of the presenters and the audience, we will contemplate (a) the reasons why adult learners engage in ABE courses, (b) the nature of the knowledge, skills, and motivation gaps faced by these adult learners, and (c) factors within the learning and instructional environment that may affect adoption of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices within the ABE context.

In addition, we will explore the needs of those facilitating ABE courses and programs, such as volunteer and part-time instructor professional development, and identify the unique constraints and affordances of the ABE instructional setting (e.g., online, in-person, or blended settings) that could influence OER and open education creation and use. Presenters will also contemplate the feasibility of remixing and revising existing K12 OER for the ABE context, as well as involving adult learners in the creation of open materials.


Amanda Duffy

Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research
avatar for Jennifer Maddrell

Jennifer Maddrell

Independent Research Consultant
I founded Designers for Learning as a nonprofit to offer service-learning experiences for instructional design professional development. Ask me about our #OpenABE service-MOOC on Canvas Network. Participants in the service-MOOC are "gaining experience for good" by designing and developing... Read More →

Friday November 4, 2016 2:40pm - 3:05pm EDT