Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 1

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment

Michele Bennett & Kay Miller

University of Colorado Denver

07.31.10

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Abstract With the demands of today’s high-tech job industry, computer literacy is an essential skill that allows for greater opportunities in higher education and career preparation. Post high school graduates should be able to proficiently transition into college, online courses, eLearing, and career-based training applications with expert computer and web navigation abilities. However, research reveals an increasing and distinct division, commonly known as the Digital Divide, between those who can readily access computers and computer literacy education and those who cannot. In order to address this disparity, it is important to continue research that examines relationships that support or hinder students’ access to computer literacy and technology skills. This research paper addresses this issue in the context of a small educational community setting.

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The reality of technology as a common medium through which people, on a global scale, now learn, work, and socialize is supported by Gail E. Hawisher, in her May 2006 address, “Accessing the Virtual Neighborhoods of Cyberspace,” The World Wide Web is fast becoming a global literacy system, a technology-embedded environment in which writers distribute words, images, which are, in turn, read and responded to by those working in schools, businesses, government settings, and the public sphere. This report addresses the technology needs of an alternative educational community, called by the pseudonym Valley Adult Education Center (VALC). For the purpose of designing instruction, understanding the needs of diverse communities of learners can be successfully accomplished through a methodical front-end analysis approach. However, not all analytical strategies can be homogenously applied in every educational environment. Addressing specific needs of unique educational communities requires a more in-depth and personalized approach. The research process outlined below follows action research methods prescribed by Ernest Stringer (2007). With respect to the possible changes that might occur due to the results of this research, Stringer submits that, "change is an intended outcome of action research: not the revolutionary changes envisioned by radical social theorists or political activists, but more subtle transformations brought about by the development of new programs or modifications to existing procedures,” (Stringer, 2007). Michele Bennett and Kay Miller are the facilitators researching this issue. Michele Bennett is a former High School II instructor at VALC. Kay Miller is involved in eLearning and training adults in a higher education environment.

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Problem Statement In response to addressing the computer literacy needs of students, many school districts are now requiring eighth grade students to be assessed for computer literacy proficiency. State-level educational departments are also addressing the need for teachers to be adequately knowledgeable about integrating technology into their delivery and assessment of curriculum. When technology and computer based instruction is infused into the curriculum, students become more familiar with computer navigation and applications. Through the use of computers and increased computer literacy applications, student autonomy and self-efficacy replaces frustration and disengagement allowing graduates to transition more easily into higher education and technology related careers. This research paper focuses on increasing the amount of technology students at VALC access within the curriculum. The VALC community is interested in increasing student computer- based learning by 10%: this would be reflected in a 10% increase of students using the computer lab. This topic has been previously discussed within the VALC staff meetings; however, there has not been any recent research done on to what extent is computer based learning used by the VALC staff and students. Literature reviews included allow for expert and alternative perspectives on standard or existing practices in computer-based instruction and the benefits for students. Purpose and Intended Audience The purpose of this paper, based upon the stakeholders’ (staff at VALC) problem statement, is to evaluate VALC’s technology ecology (e.g. students’ use of existing

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technology and computer-based instruction, curriculum, audit of existing tools, teacher perspectives). An extended study has been compiled to provide information concerning the career opportunities for high school students who are proficient in the use of computers and computer technology. The intended audience for this paper is Professor Jennifer VanBerschot, Ph.D., student peers of University of Colorado Denver’s IT 6720 Master’s degree course, and the staff at Valley Adult Learning Center. This research will also be reviewed by UCD Information and Learning Technology Master’s degree program advisors as an assessment of the required course. Research Questions Focus Research Question “To what extent do the current curriculum, school environment, and staff support the students’ use of technology and computer-based learning at Valley Adult Learning Center?” (Revised 7/16). This research question was revised from the initial research proposal: “To what extent is technology and computer- based learning being used by students at the Valley Adult Learning Center?” The revision was made in order to narrow the focus of the question. This decision was based on the following considerations: the students were not participants in the data research and access to observations of their computer use was unobtainable. Extended Research Question Extended research on this report was included to highlight why this study is of importance to the community of students and educators. According to research outlined in this report, students who are computer literate have increased opportunities to succeed in higher

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education and in the job market. This extended research asks the question: “Of what importance is computer literacy to students after they graduate from high school?” Context The Valley Adult Learning Center is an alternative high school designed to meet the graduation requirements of adult students. The program includes English as a Second Language education; according to the VALC website (2010),

The (Valley Adult Learning Center, pseudonym) offers regular ESL classes at six levels... Beginning students can choose a daytime or evening schedule for group instruction. Classroom teachers and volunteer aides use an "English immersion" approach to teach a life skills curriculum targeting listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students may also attend a literacy lab for extra, individualized practice.

Students who are gaining proficiency in English language or are proficient in English attend High School I and High School II. High School I delivers core curriculum that prepares students for High School II. High School II is where students begin to obtain high school graduation credits resulting in an official high school diploma. This report is only concerned with the High School II department and its students. There are separate classrooms for science, math, language arts, social studies, and a computer lab fully equipped with thirty updated and online computers. Each classroom has an instructor who specializes in a core area. Each student has access to the VALC high school four days a week, eight hours each day. The school is open from August through July and students can attend at any time.

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The VALC High School II student demographic includes a wide variety of ages, ethnicities, and educational backgrounds. One of the few requirements is that the student must be sixteen years or older. This alternative setting is also used to help local high-school students recover credits that have not been completed, in order to graduate. The VALC instructors are experts in cross-curriculum facilitation. They range in age from mid-thirties to one instructor that is eighty-four years old. The staff is also supported by many volunteers who assist students with their learning. Approximately 80% of the student learning is done independently using texts and unit packets. After the completion of each unit, a student is assessed and then moves on to the next level of the unit. Instructors are on hand to provide one-on-one facilitation of subject matter. Some instructors create and implement group classes that can be taken at specific times during the week. This accounts for approximately 20% of the instruction. The VALC is not fully funded by the school district and relies on grants to supplement its curriculum and student support. Our report is the base-line for possible further study and direction to be taken on choosing computer-based programs in this unique environment. Literature Review According to a recent report, “Information, media, and technology skills themselves are one set … of 21st century skills, including critical thinking and problem solving; communication and collaboration; creativity and innovation (Grunwald Associates, LLC, 2010).” These skills are highly important to students graduating from high school and entering the job market or higher education. Our central research question, “To what extent do the current curriculum, school environment, and staff support the students’ use of technology and computer-based learning at

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Valley Adult Learning Center?” requires an evaluation of sources that address what is currently in place in other adult and eLearning environments. Literature Search Questions A literature search was conducted to support the findings related to the central research question. The primary questions researched in the literature are: 1. Are adult high school graduates better off when they are computer literate? If so, in what ways? Additional related questions that were asked are:   What role does computer proficiency play in socio-economic status? In what ways does the introduction of computer literacy to adult education courses affect learner's efficacy in the classroom, job market or community?  What are some of the benefits to students who use technology in the classroom?

2. What role does the instructor’s attitude and comfort level play in student’ access to computer-based learning and instructional? Additional related questions that were asked are:  What are the characteristics of teachers who do and do not use technology in the classroom?   What are some reasons teachers do not use technology in the classroom? To what extent does an instructor’s understanding of his/her own use of technology benefit the students’ educational experience? 3. What role does curriculum play in a student’s exposure to technology and computer based instruction? VALC students may be better served with improved computer access and training. If that is so, then ensuring that improvement will require understanding the causes and effects of the

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Digital Divide, as well as an understanding of many different ways of integrating computerbased instruction. The questions asked in the literature review are important because the answers may lead to a better understanding of the context of the central research question. Literature Search Procedures The literature search selection incorporated well known instructional technology web sites and journals. The sources are as follows: Educational World, eSchool News, Center for Applied Research in Technology (CARET), Technical Horizons in Education (THE) Journal, The Walden University Website, The Colorado Department of Education, Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) Clearinghouse, and Google Scholar1. The key words used to find articles were: Adult+learning+technology+computer, Teaching+adults+technology+computer, Instruction+adults+computer, Digital divide+adult+learning, and Jobs+adults+learning+computers. These searches yielded dozens of articles and books that seemed relevant to the research questions. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, one of the highest yielding keyword searches contained the phrase “Digital Divide.” The Digital Divide is not directly addressed in this report, but it is an important to the context of the study. As the findings below will demonstrate, the Digital Divide goes far beyond technology “haves” and “have nots” or “wills” and “will nots” to affect adult learning in cultural, social and economic ways. Incorporating new technology into an adult learning environment requires a supportive social network and sensitivity to individuals’ culture and experience with the technology. Literature Review Findings

1

Google Scholar was used on a computer that has access to the University of Colorado Denver library system, including the Auraria Library and the Health Sciences Library. Articles accessed through Google Scholar were found in peer-reviewed journals currently held by the University of Colorado Denver.

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The key finding revealed in the literature review was that among adult learners, the social ecology, including trust and confidence among students and between students and teachers, is an essential factor in introducing computer-based instruction successfully. Resistance to computerbased instruction can be complex, and it is not automatically clear to students or teachers that adopting computer-based instruction is beneficial or even reasonable. Further, there were some surprises in the information found regarding the use and non-use of technology among teachers. Specifically, that the divisions among teachers who use technology in the classroom (or not) do not fall along stereotypical demographic lines. The common thread that unites the findings in the literature is the importance of relationships. The four most important relationships identified in the literature are between     teachers and students, teachers and technology, curriculum and technology, and students and technology.

Accordingly, the literature review has been organized into four corresponding categories: Teachers and Students, Teachers and Technology, Curriculum and Technology, and Students Technology. The findings in all four of these categories intertwine, blurring the distinctions among them. Teachers and Students According to Webb (2006), proficiency with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) involves more than a set of skills. The social context can determine the success of ICT in a community.

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If computers are not readily accepted by students, teachers and administrators within the community, the possible benefits of school technology use may be limited. A lack of trust results in resistance from the community. In an adult learning community in South Africa, for example, a “sufficiently accepting and supporting social ecology” was required to make a technology curriculum a success, meaning, in part, that a personal relationship that goes beyond instructional content was needed between students and teachers (Henning and Van der Westhuizen, 2004). Because VALC instructors are typically very involved in one-on-one instruction and are often closely involved in the students' lives outside of academia, a trusting student-teacher relationship is already in place. This puts VALC in an excellent position for future technological development. Teachers and Technology The role of the instructor in the 21st century classroom is important to the integration of technology and computer-based learning into the classroom ecology (Nagel, 2010). The instructor’s competency in facilitating computer-based learning benefits students’ ability to learn 21st century skills (Nagel, 2010). Among these 21st century skills are: accountability, collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, ethics, global awareness, innovation, leadership, problem solving, productivity, and self-direction (Grunwald and Associates, LLC, 2010). An instructor who is knowledgeable and proficient in the use of technology models for students the acceptance of technology and its use outside the classroom (eSchool News Staff, 2008). Both teachers and administrators who support technology use in the classroom believe that it engages students who have different interests and learning styles. English language learners, special needs, and gifted and talented students are favorably served by computer-based learning (Grunwald and Associates, LLC, 2010).

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According to Nagel (2010), the characteristics of teachers that do and do not support computer-based learning in the classroom are not defined by stereotypes concerning age and prowess. New and experienced teachers alike use technology and computer-based learning in their classrooms at different levels of saturation. Although younger and more recently certified teachers are often prepared to use technology, they may use technology more often in their social lives, and not necessarily in the classroom (Grunwald and Associates, LLC, 2010), (Nagel, 2010). Many teachers believe that older teachers are less likely to feel comfortable around technology than younger teachers. However, research indicates that “...veteran teachers are just as likely as newer teachers use technology to support learning,” (Grunwald and Associates, LLC, 2010). “Technology proficiency..., compatibility of teaching style, content, and the software and hardware ... (as well as) social awareness of the school culture and organization” are three factors that play a more significant part in the teacher’s use of technology in curriculum development and delivery than age (Zhao, et al 2001). The literature suggests that instructor opposition to the use of technology in the classroom may be due to: the fear that students may become distracted from instructional content, the perception that technology devices are unnecessary for instruction, (Grunwald and Associates, LLC, 2010), and the perception that technology cannot be applied to all content areas (Ginsburg, 1998). “At least 84% of teachers believe that computers and access to the Internet improve the quality of education, but two-thirds report that the Internet is not well integrated into their classes, (Freeman, et al., 2002) Teachers also remark that it may be difficult “for learners whose literacy and numeracy skill are limited...” to use technology in a constructive way (Ginsburg, 1998).

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The pragmatic integration of technology and computer-based learning “...requires that those charged with the task be aware of alternatives and feel comfortable exploring and experimenting to arrive at a workable implementation (Ginsburg, 1998). This is an area that the VALC staff and administration may want to explore in the future. Curriculum and Technology As stated above in Teachers and Technology, some teachers feel that technology does not apply to the content they are teaching. However, in order to prepare for higher education and the work force, students need to develop computer literacy. If a curriculum were to include a technology course, “components of such a curriculum (should) include keyboarding skills, database manipulation, spreadsheet use, word processing, desktop and Internet publishing, and Internet search skills,” (Ginsburg, 1998). These skills could be taught in an individual class setting or applied and integrated within core content lessons and instruction. Ginsburg (1998) further states that, “Depending on the technology integration approach chosen, the particular skills needed in a particular classroom may vary, but to maximize learners’ ability to interact with and benefit from technology beyond the classroom, provision of a full complement of technology experiences may be desirable.” Incorporating computer-based learning into all aspects of the curriculum could be one way to maximize students’ use of technology. Applying the tools learned in a technology course to other lessons and assessments could allow for hands-on and relevant use of technology. Furthermore, the way in which a teacher develops curriculum to include computer-based learning influences, and is influenced by, the teacher’s relationship to the students and to the technology. According to Webb (2006), if instructors “regarded computer-based learning as an adjunct to traditional classroom-based teaching,” adult learners did not develop as much

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independence as adults who enjoyed greater integration of web-based instruction and more support from their instructors. Finally, because all community members, including teachers and students, come to computer-based instruction with different experiences, individualization of learning is an important factor in eLearning's success. One advantage of computer-based instruction is that it allows teachers to individualize instruction (Ginsburg, et al., 2000). However, the instructor's comfort level with incorporating computers into the existing curriculum will have a drastic impact on this capability. Students and Technology Although the focus of this paper is on adult learners, research on outcomes in traditional schools may offer insight into possibilities for adult learners. Some key factors that have been identified to as influential for students' experience of computers in school are:       availability, teacher experience, teacher philosophy and objectives for computer use, teacher collaboration and leadership, teacher judgment of student ability, and the school's socio-economic status (Becker, 2000).

Many adult learners have background beyond that of traditional high school students. Ginsburg, et al. (2000) suggest that integration of computers into an adult learning curriculum may help students break through psychological barriers to academic success, especially when students are discouraged by their educational background, as many students at VALC may be. Those who dropped out of school often come to adult education with a

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history of frustrating and negative educational experiences, with expectations of failure and fears that structured adult learning will mean more of the same...In one of the most dramatic pedagogical changes of the past decade; teachers can now use technology to create classroom experiences that more readily reflect present-day realities. Learners can develop the literacy, numeracy, problem solving, and technology skills that are actually used in everyday life. For many this kind of instruction is empowering rather than frustrating, engaging rather than boring, and more obviously useful, especially in terms of job outcomes (Ginsburg, et al., 2000). It is not immediately apparent to all adult learners that acquiring computer literacy is beneficial to their lives or their career opportunities. Respondents in a study of a predominantly Hispanic community did not view computer literacy as a means to an “economically, socially or informationally (sic) enriched future” (Stanley, 2003). Also significant is the reality that many students who lack experience with computers feel embarrassed by their lack of experience and find the technology intimidating (Stanley, 2003). Community centers devoted to technology and adult learning in another study had to be relevant to and valued by the community in order to establish trust and confidence among potential participants (Webb, 2006). The cultural context in which the students live affects their reception of eLearning. In order to engage with computer-based instruction, students need to feel “at home” with the technology and its signs and symbols. In other words, it's important that “the more vulnerable learning populations do not see the virtual learning environment as a 'scary' place where the 'powerful rule'” (Henning and Van der Westhuisen, 2003). Quality of Literature

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The sources used in the literature review are current and accurately reflect the experiences of the research facilitators and their colleagues in education. Many of the articles are peer reviewed and published in respected education journals. The Webb article was published in the British Educational Research Journal, which requires editorial screening and refereeing by a minimum of two anonymous peers (Taylor & Francis Group, 2010). Webb’s research involved interviews of a small population sample (a total of 24 respondents) and 60 hours of observation. The Becker article was published in The Future of Children, a publication of The Brookings Institution and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. The Future of Children is a free journal written in vernacular style and is reviewed by a multidisciplinary editorial team (Princeton University, 2010). The main problem with the article’s content is its age. Data cited in the article regarding computer ownership and factors such as income level and race are questionable because the data are more than ten years old. The same problem is found in Ginsburg, et al.. Ginsburg, et al. cite demographic data from the same source used by Becker, although in a bit more detail. The Henning and Van der Westhuizen article is published in Computers & Education, a double-blind, peer reviewed journal. Referees are chosen for their expertise in the subject matter (Elsevier, 2010). The population sample observed for Henning and Van der Westhuizen’s research consisted of only six adult learners, which may not be sufficient to allow for broad generalizations about the population as a whole. Stanley (2002), by contrast, uses a larger population sample (100 adults) and employs a seemingly thorough eight-month “qualitative and comparative study” (Stanley, 2002).

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Other articles were drawn from Education World, eSchool News, The Center for Applied Research in Education (CARET), and THE Journal. Education World is a subsidiary of EDmin.com, a provider of learning management solutions which has won awards from MSN Communities, Apple, and Microsoft. eSchool News is part of eSchool Media, Inc., a publisher specializing in technology for education and related fields. CARET reviews articles through a comprehensive and stringent review process. Details of the process can be viewed at http://caret.iste.com. THE Journal is not peer reviewed or supported by any specific practitioner, however, the reviewed article was found to be aligned with other teaching professionals’ opinions and best practices in instructional design. Gap in Literature After reviewing the literature, many questions remain. Because technology and its place in modern society changes rapidly, it is understandable that details about computer literacy and learner efficacy would be difficult to report accurately. Deficiencies in information concerning best practices for computer-based learning are even more so in the context of adult education environments. These gaps offer opportunities for research in the following areas of interest to the topic of this paper: 1. How aware are teachers of the specific benefits to students who are proficient in the use of computers? For example: “What additional challenges exist for students transitioning into higher education and/or jobs, who are not proficient computer and technology navigators?” 2. What incentives work best in motivating teachers to become more computer literate or encouraging teachers to incorporate technology into their instruction? 3. How often and how successfully are text book supplemental online resources used

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by teachers and students? 4. How does computer literacy affect learners’ efficacy in the classroom, job market or community? The data collected in the VALC teacher surveys attempt to address these gaps in the literature. Methodology The main question that this research seeks to answer is: “To what extent do the current curriculum, school environment, and staff support the students’ use of technology and computerbased learning at Valley Adult Learning Center (VALC)?” To answer this question, two surveys were sent out to teachers at VALC. For background information on the importance of computers for modern life for increasing career opportunities for high school graduates, data from the job search website Monster.com were examined. Higher education is requiring more online classes in order to meet the demands of distance learners, full-time workers, and students who are unable to register for the specific class schedule. Many institutions are requiring that online classes become a standard method of course delivery. Adjusting to computer-based instruction requires an understanding of independent learning values such as organization of materials, time management, communication skills, and computer navigation. Because of this, we felt it was important to consider how much of VALC curriculum included or encouraged students’ use of computer-based learning. In order to answer the main research question, a closer evaluation of the characteristics of the teachers and their perceptions of technology use in instruction was required to identify a base-line or possibilities. Additional research was used to support the implications and the basis of this report.

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Rationale This topic is important because computer literacy is believed to be vital for success in secondary education and beyond, whether one pursues higher education or a career after high school graduation. One reason students come to VALC is to get educational credits that will qualify them for a CDE approved high school diploma, increasing their chances of having more life opportunities. Research Methods In order to answer the main research question, two methods were used: 1. Two surveys were sent to six teachers at VALC. Surveys #1 and #2 were designed to capture the more intimate details of teachers’ perspectives of their personal experiences with technology, perceptions of students’ use of technology, and the technology environment in which they teach. Survey #1 specifically addresses the relationship between teachers and technology. Survey #2 addresses both relationships between student and teacher and technology and curriculum. 2. A job search on Monster.com was used to collect data on the expectations regarding computer literacy for high school graduates, as well as income levels for successful job applications who meet the qualifications. Surveys Survey participants included six teachers representing math, science, Language Arts, literacy, computer technology, and social studies. Two surveys were submitted to VALC teachers. The first inquired of their familiarity and proficiency with computer technology, both for personal and educational use. The second inquired of their awareness of their students' knowledge of computers, and the need for expanded computer education at VALC. Computer

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and technology skills are defined in Survey #1. The full content of both Survey #1 and Survey #2, along with the consent form, is available in Appendices B and C. Information Gathering Techniques The following techniques were used to gather data for our research:      Observations – Casual observations of teachers and student classroom interaction. Surveys – Two surveys answered by High School II teachers Documentation – A review of classroom text books. Online Review – Online review of information regarding extended research question. Artifacts - “Computer Lab Information and Course Outlines” Survey #1 (Appendix B) was designed for the purpose of assessing the individual teacher’s understanding and level of technology usage and prowess. A total of 23 questions about the basic uses of their computer, computer applications, and online services and applications (such as Web 2.0 and social networking) were assessed by each teacher, with the following values:     I know how to use I use at least once a week I could teach this to someone Not applicable Each participant was instructed to place an X in the box that most applied to them. Participants were also encouraged to add any additional information to the survey they felt was pertinent. Out of the six surveys that were passed out, five surveys were returned. Twenty-three questions were organized into three categories of computer literacy and prowess:

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1. Basic computer programs that come with most computers (7 questions), 2. Moderate common online usage such as banking, search engines, and reading news, etc. (8 questions) 3. Proficient extended knowledge of online and computer programs such as the use of social networking, webinars, online classes, Adobe Suites, etc. (8 questions). Extended Data Research Job data were collected to give the researchers and readers a better sense of the context and importance of the research. The job search involved a cursory examination of 30 jobs that were posted on July 15, 2010 on Monster.com in the region around Denver, Colorado. The data collected in this search were intended to answer the questions  What percentage of jobs posted on Monster.com in a 24 hour period specifically list computer skills as a requirement? (Computer skills are defined as the skills listed in Survey #1 (Appendix B) or any specific software or system skills required for the job listed.)  What is the range, median, and average of salaries offered for jobs that require computer skills? How do these data compare to the data for all jobs?  What percentage of jobs that specifically list a secondary or higher diploma also list computer skills as a requirement? Of the 64 jobs posted on Monster.com on July 15, 2010, 30 jobs were selected at random. Data for the 30 jobs were organized into three categories: Computer skills required (y/n), Salary offered, and Secondary/post secondary diploma or degree required (y/n). The salaries were calculated by range, mean and median. Schedule

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Table 1 Schedule of Data Collection and Analysis Task Data Collection (surveys) Data Collection (career search) Data Analysis Start Date 06/21/2010 07/10/2010 07/09/2010 Completion Date 07/08/2010 07/15/2010 07/19/2010

Rigor and Limitations Consent was obtained from the participants, and hard copies of the surveys were submitted to the teachers through a proxy, a current VALC employee, who did not view the surveys. The surveys were made anonymous due to administrative restrictions. The researchers did not know the identities of the respondents. Because of this, the researchers were unable to follow up directly to the survey responses. In order to be sure that the respondents' voices were heard clearly, participants were encouraged to express themselves freely and to elaborate on their responses. The anonymity of the surveys may have helped in this instance because the teachers were at liberty to express themselves without the fear that their job would be affected. Furthermore, data from VALC students and administration are absent. During the summer, few students are available for participation. VALC administration declined to participate and is hesitant to allow questioning of students for purposes of research. The 30 jobs reviewed were selected at random to eliminate bias. For the job market data to be truly representative of current conditions, however, the research should have included more jobs reviewed over a longer period of time (perhaps a week or a month). Ethical Issues and Procedures Before taking the survey, participants were given a consent from which was signed by the participants and both of the research facilitators. A copy of the consent form is in Appendix A.

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Identifying information about the survey participants, including the consent form, has been kept private and will be destroyed after the research is complete. Research Outcomes and Findings Teachers and Students Questions 1, 2, 5, and 6 of Survey #2 addressed the relationship between students and teachers as it relates to technology. Review of the literature indicates that a supportive and trusting relationship between the teacher and the students is essential for successful integration of technology in the classroom (Henning and Van der Westhuisen, 2003). VALC teachers often work one-on-one with students, fostering closeness and trust that makes VALC an excellent candidate for the integration of computers across the curriculum, though the literature makes clear that one-on-one instruction is not the only structure that builds such trust between teachers and students (Henning and Van der Westhuisen, 2003). Results. Observations show that teachers work one-on-one with students most of the time. The only language that is supposed to be spoken in the high school rooms is English – other languages are discouraged due to the English immersion language acquisition strategy. Teachers also serve as councilors by some students who have family, work, and socially related issues. Teachers and students have more intimate relationships in this setting than in mainstream educational venues. The responses to Question 1 of Survey #2 demonstrate the teachers' awareness of the students' individuality, courage, dedication, perseverance and struggle. Each teacher expressed admiration and respect for the students, many of whom have overcome great obstacles (such as poverty, war, family and work obligations, and discouraging past academic performance) to

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study at VALC. The trust that VALC instructors foster with their students enables the students to open up to the teachers and share difficult personal stories. That trust could also be used to help students, even resistant students, adapt to the use of new technology. One advantage of computers in the curriculum is the ability of computers to provide individualized instruction. Students at VALC are already accustomed to individualized instruction and attention, and the teachers who responded to Survey #2 have expressed acute awareness of the students' individuality. One teacher wrote: My community of students is not a class. They are individuals who attend school when they are not doing the adult functions of work, child care, looking for work, taking children to dr. (sic), going to therapy, parole officers, etc. Thus, each student works on his/her own schedule (or lack of it). Many have not an adequate grasp of the English language. One exception to this is the (usually) younger student who has dropped out of school and has not yet understood that a diploma is an essential to success in the adult world. These students can be unmotivated, learning disabled, emotionally disturbed or drug dependent, members of dysfunctional family systems, ill (or have a vital family member who is ill or deceased) or who have moved too many times to establish school attendance and success. The easiest way to describe my students is to say that each is unique and has unique needs and talents. They cannot be boxed in a survey. The same respondent also answered in Survey #2 Question 7 that the respondent would welcome the use of an online course in Life, Earth and Physical Science to allow students to “spend some time getting familiar with computers in their own way.” Similar responses from

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other teachers indicate that the teachers are considering how computers could be adapted to individualized instruction. Teachers and Technology Survey #1 was designed for the purpose of assessing the individual teacher’s understanding and level of technology usage and prowess. A total of 23 questions about the basic uses of their computer, computer applications, and online services and applications (such as Web 2.0 and social networking) were assessed by each teacher, with the following values:     I know how to use I use at least once a week I could teach this to someone Not applicable

Each participant was instructed to place an X in the box that most applied to them. They were also encouraged to add any additional information to the survey they felt was pertinent. Out of the six surveys that were passed out, five surveys were returned. Three categories of computer and literacy prowess were designed into the 23 questions: 1. Basic computer programs that come with every computer (7 questions), 2. Moderate common on-line usage such as banking, search engines, and reading news, and etc. (8 questions), 3. Proficient extended knowledge of online and computer programs such as the use of social networking, webinars, online classes, Adobe Suites, and etc. (8 questions). In the context of the three categories, Basic, Moderate, and Proficient Extended, the following was observed (the letters i,v,o,z,r are used to represent participants): Table 2a Basic Computer Literacy and Prowess Among VALC Instructors

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Basic Computer Application

I know how to use v v r 3

I use at least once a week v i i i i 5

Email Microsoft Word Power Point Dictionary/Thesaurus Calculator Excel /Spread Sheets Calendar/Scheduling Applications Totals

I could teach this application to someone iozr iozr or or or ozr o 18

Not Applicable v ivz z z v vz 9

Table 2b Moderate Computer Literacy and Prowess Among VALC Instructors Moderate Computer Application I know how to use z i r i vr ior 9 I use at least once a week i i iv 4 I could teach this application to someone oz or o o oz or ioz 13 Not Applicable vr v vzr ivzr vz vz 14

Online Banking/Accounting Online Shopping Social Networking i.e. Face Book, Plaxo, My Space, etc. Gaming Online Newspapers , News Casts, Journals or Weekly Magazines Instant Messaging Use a variety of Internet Search Engines Photography Totals

Table 2c Extended Computer Literacy Among VALC Instructors Proficient Extended Computer Application I know how to use ir I use at least once a week I could teach this application to someone o Not Applicable vz

Adobe Suites or Other

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 27

Design Tools Listen to Podcasts Watch Videos on Sites such as YouTube Create Online Surveys Listen to Webinars Online Classes Blog Skype or Video Conferencing Totals

ir r ior or ozr ir ir 16

i iz i z 5

o o o o 5

vz vz vz v v v vz 13

In addition to these totals, five teachers reported using a computer at both home and at work on a regular daily basis, but only three out five used a laptop computer outside of home and work. The average amount of time each participant used a computer each day was usually more than three hours. Observations of the VALC instructors in their rooms show that instructors share their work computers with the students. Observations and conversations of the VALC staff by this researcher conclude that age is not a factor in terms of proficient computer knowledge and use. Questions 4, 5, and 6 of Survey #1 were designed for the purpose of broadening our understanding of each participant’s general attitude and interests concerning personal computer use. Note that participant “v” did not answer all the questions; unanswered questions were placed in the “Not Applicable” category. Results. Results show that, for the most part, all five of the high school teachers are comfortable using basic computer functions. There is an obvious decrease in overall knowledge when comparing Basic and Proficient Extended. However, there are some teachers who reveal computer prowess across the scale and some who minimally utilize it.

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 28

Even though four out of the six teachers were hesitant about taking this survey, most teachers were very eager to know the results. Understanding and comparing the levels of prowess within the community might be of some interest to the participants. Answers to the questions used to assess knowledge of different applications, desire for learning more about computer programs, and knowledge of benefits of computer prowess related to job opportunities revealed overall positive responses. In Question 4 of Survey #1, the participants were asked to share what types of computer applications would be fun to learn. Their answers revealed that Photo Shop, video editing, networking and using Skype were of interest to them. This information also shows that the teachers are aware of extended recreational computer applications. When asked, in Questions 5 and 6, about the benefits of computers in their lives, the ability to publish, network , communicate, and generate data were at the top of the list. Curriculum and Technology Through observations, casual conversations, a review of the learning materials, and questions 3, 4, 7, and 8 on Survey #2 (See Appendix B), an overall assessment of VALC’s curriculum support of technology was compiled. A majority of the learning materials were designed for independent learning. Most courses use text books dating 1998 and earlier, with the exception of the Algebra and Geometry texts (published in 2009). This most recent math text addition incorporated extended online resources such as home-work videos, lesson quizzes, interactive math, and online tutors. However, the teacher did not utilize these computer-based learning resources. Other math text books were published in 2000 or earlier and did not have any extended online resources. In one

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 29

of the math books, a section on learning to use a graphing calculator was included to support the subject matter. In place, but no longer in use, was a computer-based online math program. Through and examination of Survey #2 and conversations, we found all the teachers felt that this particular software was outdated and useless. One participant described the program is as “...pretty boring...confusing for second language learners, ...doesn’t work well for student who basically come here to have work checked and do tests.” No possibility of an upgrade was mentioned. An audit of the technology available, in the classrooms and throughout the school, for students’ and teachers’, resulted in the following:       Laptop Computers Two to three desktop computers in each room Printers Scanner Some educational and support software A Computer Lab with at least 20 computers equipped with Microsoft Office ’03, XP Pro, Adobe CS4, Microtype, basic PC applications (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc.) as well as Internet access.     Video capabilities Digital graphing calculators One digital camera Overhead projectors Although the list seems sufficient for technology to be used within all aspects of the curriculum, the teachers report that the majority of students use technology for only for online

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 30

research and writing papers. Not all of the teachers surveyed are aware of what technology tools are available. The teachers also commented on other ways they would like to fuse technology into the curriculum. Ideas such as a larger computer per student ratio (not just in the computer lab), ability to network with others around the world, more internet-based educational software that they (students) could access from home, software for special needs students, mounted projectors, Flipcams, computer-based instruction that would allow for self-paced advancement and extended learning, and DVD courses were suggested. The VALC curriculum requires every student to complete one credit of technology for graduation purposes. The course outline (See Appendix D) offers the following: Keyboarding – ½ credit Word Processing Software – ½ credit Spreadsheet Software – ½ credit Presentation Software – ½ credit Intro to Computers (Textbook) Intro to Adobe Creative Suites (Graphic Design) The text books used for independent learning include an illustrated series of Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Computer Concepts 6th Edition (2007), Microsoft Office Excel 2003, and Microsoft Word 2003. These texts are very comprehensive and suitable for high-school and higher education classes. There are clearly defined objectives, pictures, and a glossary of terms in each of the four texts. Results.

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 31

Data gathered for the Curriculum and Technology portion of this report acknowledge several factors that could affect a VALC’s students’ ability to gain access to computer-based learning. There seems to be an adequate number of technology tools available for the students to use. Because of the nature of the students’ independent schedules, computers and technology can be accessed at various times during the day. It is not evident from the data collected that teachers are aware of how to integrate the technology available to them into the curriculum. Students and Technology Neither of the surveys directly addressed the relationship between students and technology. Students were not included in the data collection due to reasons described in Rigor and Limitations. Thus any data on the students' experience of technology in their personal and academic lives is drawn indirectly from the teachers' and researchers' observations and the career search on Monster.com. There are approximately 20 computers for student use in the computer lab and a computer lab instructor present most of the time. The computer lab is usually less than half full. No data were taken on what purposes the students use the lab computers. Results. The career search on Monster.com shows that 19 out of 30 (63%) of the jobs examined specifically mention computer skills as a requirement for consideration and 18 out of 30 (60%) of the jobs surveyed required successful completion of high school or beyond as a requirement for consideration. Furthermore, 13 out of the 19 jobs requiring a high school education or higher (68%) mention some computer skills as a requirement for consideration. Only eight of the jobs reviewed listed salary expectations; six of the eight required computer skills. Computer-related jobs.

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 32

The salaries offered for the technology-related jobs range from $360/week at the low end to $110,000/year at the high end. The median salary is $50,000 and the average is $61,750. All jobs. The salaries offered for all jobs range from $360/week at the low end to $110,000/year at the high end. The median salary is $55,000 and the average is $55,000. The data from Monster.com are not conclusive, and may not accurately reflect current realities of the job market regarding salaries or requirements for education and computer literacy (see Rigor and Limitations), however, it is interesting to note that the majority of jobs viewed required computer skills for consideration. Other jobs viewed may in fact require computer skills, but only those that specifically mention computer skills were listed as such in the data collection. No assumptions were made about jobs that did not specify computer skills. Teachers at VALC are aware of the need for computer literacy for success in today's competitive job market. Responses to Questions 5 and 6 of Survey #2 discuss the teachers' awareness of students' skill with computers and need for those skills. Responses to Question 5 of Survey #2 indicate that VALC students vary greatly when it comes to computer literacy. Four of the six respondents discussed this disparity briefly. One respondent states that computer literacy “varies greatly (among students)... a real spectrum of extremes – from students who have had almost no experience to those who are quite proficient.” Another respondent says that “younger students from traditional schools are competent in Word, Exel (sic), and PowerPoint. Students over 30 generally lack these competencies.” VALC teachers seem to be well aware of the importance of computer skills for success at work and post-secondary education. Responses to Question 6 of Survey #2 state across the board that computer literacy is “critical” or “vital” to success after high school, whether one goes on to

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 33

college or a career. These responses come regardless of the teachers' own ability to accommodate the need for increased computer education. This topic will be explored in greater depth in the next section. Implications for Practice Implications for possible action resulting in this research include:    Assist with grant applications Audit software and existing computer instruction that is outdated or not in use Inform staff and administration when making requests for new texts or changes in curriculum   Further inform all teachers of technology resources within the school Encourage students to become proficient at computer literacy for the purpose of increasing future opportunities Possible Future Research This paper focuses largely on the perceptions of teachers regarding computer prowess, student needs and possibilities for increased computer-based instruction throughout the curriculum. In order to formulate a more complete response to the main research question, “To what extent do the current curriculum, school environment, and staff support the students’ use of technology and computer-based learning at Valley Adult Learning Center (VALC)?” a potential area for future research might include: 1. Gathering data on the number of students using the computer lab for learning and what topics they are addressing. 2. An investigation of eLearing programs for English Language Learners at all levels.

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 34

3. Investigation of possible incentives for teachers that might increase their ability and desire to implement computer-based instruction in their classrooms (e.g. time, training, money). 4. 5. A survey of students’ perceptions of computer-based instruction. Seminar for staff on how to increase technology use within this specific environment. Conclusion Outcome Information gathered in this report reveals that the technology ecology is symbiotic with teachers’ perceptions about technology in the classroom. Creating a classroom environment that embraces technology starts by building trust within the community involved. Although best practices for computer-based instruction and computer literacy are still evolving, certain skills have been identified as significant factors for student success. Literature and Data Comparison While the literature addressed a number of factors involved in computer-based instruction, the data collection focused on teachers’ perceptions. With respect to teachers’ perceptions and the student-teacher relationship, our findings compare favorably to the literature. A recent Walden University report (Grunwald Associates, LLC, 2010) states that teachers who support technology in the curriculum do so because of a belief that it will engage students of varying interests and learning styles. Other studies have yielded similar results (Ginsburg, et al., 2000). Likewise, VALC teachers surveyed have identified the ability of computers to individualize instruction and support their use. The one-on-one instruction model at VALC could be the basis for a firm foundation for further integration of computer-based instruction.

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 35

In other studies, teachers’ age and prowess did not determine support for computer-based learning (Nagel, 2010). This is no less true at VALC. Although identities of survey participants were concealed from the facilitators, casual conversations with VALC teachers revealed that teachers representing a range of ages and skill levels support the increased use of technology in the curriculum. The majority of VALC teachers are between the ages of 55 and 84, with a smaller group of teachers under the age of 45. The eldest member of the VALC group is proactive in incorporating technology and computer-based learning into the classroom. He continually researches resources that would benefit and support his students’ learning. Additionally, the literature suggests that there is variety of obstacles and attitudes that influence classroom use of computers. Eight obstacles identified by Muilenburga and Bergeb (2005) are
       

administrative issues, social interactions, academic skills, technical skills, learner motivation, time and support for studies, cost and access to the Internet, and technical problems.

All eight of these obstacles apply in the context of the VALC community, along with an additional obstacle: classroom structure. Because the students come and go on their own schedule, facilitating lesson plans is not applicable.

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 36

Limitations

Some limitations to possible actions taken are: student accessibility, time constraints, funding and resources, lack of training, and lack of interest. The research described in this paper is intended to be a starting point for addressing these limitations, and working toward overcoming them. Summary Understanding the relationships among the various “actors” in an adult learning environment is essential to a successful integration of computer-based learning into an existing curriculum. This paper has focused on four main relationships: the relationship between teachers and students, the relationship between teachers and technology, the relationship between curriculum and technology, and the relationship between students and technology. These relationships are essential to the purpose of this research because integration of computer-based learning requires foresight. The community members must themselves ask how they will manage to sustain technological advancement once it has been introduced. How will technology fit in to the existing community structure?

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 37

References Becker, H. J. (2000). Who's Wired and Who's Not: Children's Access to and Use of Computer Technology. Future of Children, 10(2), 44-75. Colorado Department of Education. (2008). Brighton Charter School Technology Standards. Retrieved July 2, 2010 from Colorado Department of Education website: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdechart/guidebook/adm/pdf/BrightonCSTechnologyStandars .pdf Cradler, J., Freeman, M., Cradler, R. & McNabb, M. (2002, September). Research Implications for Preparing Teachers to Use Technology. Learning & Leading with Technology, 30(1). Retrieved from http://caret.iste.org/caretadmin/news_documents/ProfDev.pdf Elsevier. (2010). Computers & Education: Peer Review Policy on Computers & Education. Retrieved July 5, 2010 from Elsevier website: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/347/preface1. eSchool News Staff. (2008, July). ISTE Unveils New Tech Standards for Teachers. eSchool News. Retrieved from http://www.eschoolnews.com/2008/07/01/iste-unveils-new-techstandards-for-teachers/ Ginsburg, L. (1998). Integrating Technology into Adult Learning. In C. Hopey (Series Ed.), Technology, Basic Skills, and Adult Education: No. 372.Getting Ready and Moving Forward, Information Series (pp. 37-45). Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Center on Education and Training for Employment, College of Education, The Ohio State University. Ginsburg, L., Sabatini, J., & Wagner, D. A. (2000). Basic Skills in Adult Education and the Digital Divide. In OECD (Ed.), Schools for Tomorrow: Learning to Bridge the Digital Divide. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/24/12/41284692.pdf Grunwald Associates, LLC. (June, 2010). Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths: A Study on the Connection Between K–12 Technology Use and 21st Century Skills. Retrieved July 2, 2010 from Walden University website: http://www.waldenu.edu/Degree-Programs/Masters/36427.htm. Henning, E. & Van der Westhuizen, D. (2004). Crossing the Digital Divide Safely and Trustingly: How Ecologies of Learning Scaffold the Journey. Computers and Education, 42(4), 333-352. Muilenburga, L. Y. & Bergeb, Z. L. (2005). Student Barriers to Online Learning: A Factor Analytic Study. Distance Education, 26(1), 29-48.

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Nagel, D. (2010, June 28). Teachers Report Educational Benefits of Frequent Technology Use. THEJournal. Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/06/28/teachers-reporteducational-benefits-of-frequent-technology-use.aspx Princeton University. (2010). The Future of Children (Summary). Retrieved July 5, 2010 from The Future of Children website: http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/about/Outreach_OnePage.pdf. Stanley, L. D. (2003). Beyond Access: Psychosocial Barriers to Computer Literacy Special Issue: ICTs and Community Networking. The Information Society, 19(5), 407-416. Starr, L. (2003, February). Encouraging Teacher Technology Use. Education World. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech159.shtml Stringer, E. T. (2007). Action Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Taylor & Francis Group. (2010). Journal Details. Retrieved July 5, 2010 from Taylor & Francis Group website: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/carfax/01411926.html. Webb, S. (2006). Can ICT Reduce Social Exclusion? The Case of an Adults' English Language Learning Programme. British Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 481-507. Zhao, Y., Pugh, K., Sheldon, S., & Byers, J. (2001, July). Conditions for Classroom Technology Innovations. Center for Applied Research in Technology. Retrieved from http://www.eschoolnews.com/2008/07/01/iste-unveils-new-tech-standards-for-teachers/

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Appendix A

Agreement to Participate Title of Project: Computer-based Learning in Adult Education, High School 2 Curriculum Research Facilitators: Michele Bennett, Kay Miller Introduction We are planning to study the extent to which the Valley Adult Learning Center (pseudonym) uses computer-based instruction. Data collection will include staff surveys, review of current curriculum, and observations. Participation You have the right to refuse to participate at any time during this study. If you do choose to participate, you will be given a survey with some questions about how you use computers at school and at work. Michele Bennett will collect the survey within seven days from the time you receive it. Michele will also be observing student use of computers in the computer lab and reviewing relevant curriculum content. Privacy Your information, including name, address, phone number or any other identifying information will only be viewed by Michele and Kay and will not be shared in any way. A pseudonym will be used in the research paper. After the research is complete, you may request that your information be destroyed.

You may contact Michele at matt_and_michele @ earthlink.net or Kay at mikaitau @ gmail.com at any time.

I, ______________________________, have read the information above, or have had it read to me, and any questions I have asked have been answered to my satisfaction. I agree to participate in this activity with the understanding that I may withdraw at any time without prejudice. I agree that the research data generated may be published provided my name is not used and that I am not otherwise identified.

Signed: ____________________________ (Participant)

Date: _______________

Signed: ____________________________ (Facilitator)

Date: _______________

Signed: ____________________________ (Facilitator)

Date: _______________

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 40

Appendix B

Survey #1 of 2 Participants: High School Instructors Purpose of Survey #1: Gather data for Action Research Paper Title of Paper: Computer Based Learning in Adult Education Servicing Non-Native English Speakers Objective of Survey #1: Assess the individual level of computer use of each participant. Survey Facilitator: Michele Bennett – matt_and_michele@earthlink.net University of Colorado – Denver Jennifer VanBerschot PhD/Instructor Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. You are free to add any additional comments or questions anywhere on the survey. This survey is completely confidential. Please place survey in envelope and seal envelope. Do not put your name or any identification on this survey or on the envelope. Question # 1. Do you use (check any that apply)  ___ a PC at home  ___ a computer at work  ___ a Laptop computer 2. Which of the above do you use the most often - _______________________________ 3. a. b. c. d. On average, how many hours do you use a computer each day (both at work and at home) ____ < 1 hour ____ 1-2 hours ____ 2-3 hours ____ more than 3 hours

Please continue to page 2 of survey. Then return to questions 4, 5, and 6.

4. What types of computer applications do you think would be fun to learn?

5. What types of computer application do you think would make your life easier?

6. What types of computer applications would increase your career opportunities?

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 41

In this next section of the survey please place an X in the box that most applies to you. Remember, you can also add any additional comments to the survey. Computer Application Email Microsoft Word Power Point Dictionary/Thesaur us Calculator Excel /Spread Sheets Calendar/Schedulin g Applications I know how to use I use at least once I could teach this a week application to someone Not Applicable

Online Banking/Accountin g Online Shopping Social Networking i.e. Face Book, Plaxo, My Space, etc. Gaming Online Newspapers , News Casts, Journals or Weekly Magazines Instant Messaging Skyping or Video Conferencing Photography Adobe Suites or Other Design Tools Listen to Podcasts Watch Videos on Sites such as YouTube

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 42

Create Online Surveys Listen to Webinars Online Classes Blog Use Internet Search Engines such as Google, About.com, Yahoo, Bing

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 43

Appendix C Survey #2 of 2 Participants: High School Instructors Purpose of Survey #1: Gather data for Action Research Paper Title of Paper: Computer Based Learning in Adult Education Servicing Non-Native English Speakers Objective of Survey #2: Assess the extent to which computer and technology is used by the students at VALC school (pseudonym). Survey Facilitator: Michele Bennett – matt_and_michele@earthlink.net University of Colorado – Denver Jennifer VanBerschot PhD/Instructor Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. You are free to add any additional comments or questions anywhere on the survey. This survey is completely confidential. After you complete the survey, place it in the attached envelope and seal envelope. Do not put your name or any identification on this survey or on the envelope. The importance of your honest opinions is valuable to the overall success of this research. Use the back of these pages to complete extended answers, ask questions, give advice, or tell a favorite or compelling story. Preface: Defining technology in the context of education: Technologies that are most commonly used to implement lessons, increase collaboration, and create assessments are, but not limited to, 1. Computer – Internet, research, pictures, writing, printing 2. Lab equipment – Graphing Calculators, microscopes, etc. 3. Video and video recorders 4. Digital Cameras 5. Audio tapes, computer podcasts, iPods, MP3 players 6. Power point and other presentation software 7. Overhead projectors 8. Online courses 9. Social Networking with peers and teachers 10. Computer simulations based on specific content area Continue to page 2 of Survey #2 and complete the questions.

Once again, thank you so much for your time and participation.

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 44

Question # 1. Describe your classroom community of students.

2. Tell me what you value most about your students.

3. What types of technology are currently available to you and your students in your classroom?

4. What types of technology are currently available to you and your students in your school?

5. Share with me your awareness of various levels of computer/technology expertise or readiness your students have.

6. How do you believe computer/technology expertise is important to this community of students’ future goals (jobs, every- day life, higher education).

7. What ideas do you have about incorporating technology into your specific content area?

8. What would an ideal classroom environment look like for your students? Use your imagination!

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 45

Appendix D

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 46

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 47

Table 1 Schedule for Completing Research Tasks Task Data Collection (surveys) Data Collection (career search) Data Analysis Start Date 06/21/2010 07/10/10 07/09/10 Completion Date 07/15/10 07/19/2010

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 48

Table 2a Basic Computer Literacy and Prowess Among VALC Instructors Basic Computer Application I know how to use v v r 3 I use at least once a week v i i i i 5 I could teach this application to someone iozr iozr or or or ozr o 18 Not Applicable v ivz z z v vz 9

Email Microsoft Word Power Point Dictionary/Thesaurus Calculator Excel /Spread Sheets Calendar/Scheduling Applications Totals

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 49

Table 2b Moderate Computer Literacy and Prowess Among VALC Instructors Moderate Computer Application I know how to use z i r i vr ior 9 I use at least once a week i i iv 4 I could teach this application to someone oz or o o oz or ioz 13 Not Applicable vr v vzr ivzr vz vz 14

Online Banking/Accounting Online Shopping Social Networking i.e. Face Book, Plaxo, My Space, etc. Gaming Online Newspapers , News Casts, Journals or Weekly Magazines Instant Messaging Use a variety of Internet Search Engines Photography Totals

Computer-based Learning in an Adult Education Environment 50

Table 2c Extended Computer Literacy Among VALC Instructors Proficient Extended Computer Application I know how to use ir ir r ior or ozr ir ir 16 I use at least once a week i iz i z 5 I could teach this application to someone o o o o o 5 Not Applicable vz vz vz vz v v v vz 13

Adobe Suites or Other Design Tools Listen to Podcasts Watch Videos on Sites such as YouTube Create Online Surveys Listen to Webinars Online Classes Blog Skype or Video Conferencing Totals

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