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(U12) Changing Spaces: Photostory Research and Online Adult Basic Education (30 minutes)

Presenter: Lindy Fors, BA, BEd, MEd

Abstract: Online distance technology is often heralded as removing barriers and providing access to education for all.   Distance education heralded as anytime, anywhere implies an equal opportunity to learn, ignoring programming that marginalizes an already disenfranchised segment of our population. This presentation discusses a case study of online adult basic programming at a community college in northern Alberta, Canada.  It showcases findings from a photostory research project to identify barriers and best practices within a synchronous online delivery model to adult basic education students.  Themes that generate discussion and further investigation advocate for the holistic vision of learners and all that contributes to their academic success.    The principles of UDL that encompass the how, what, and why basic education students learn can serve to remediate barriers and meet learners where they are at, and are at the heart of the recommendations that arise from this project.

Audience: Faculty and tutors, Course and instructional designers, Content editors and production teams, Policy administrators, Student service staff

Learning Objectives:

  • Answer the question: What barriers and best practices do adult ABE students face?  This will be done through the sharing of the results of a photostory research project, through the narratives of students and instructors.
  • Answer the question: What are effective online programming practices for students at lower literacy and numeracy levels?   This will be done by sharing current research that interconnects with UDL principles and learner-centered practices.

Biography: Lindy Fors is the Academic Upgrading Coordinator at Northern Lakes College.   She has been working in the field of adult literacy for 10 years, with a history of working with adults with disabilities, marginalized and low level learners.  She is both an onsite and online instructor for adult upgrading students, and facilitates workshops and training on learning barriers, mental health first aid, online learning, and curriculum development.

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Updated December 16, 2015 by Student & Academic Services