Year Eight Summary
Every year, nearly 3 million Americans enroll in adult literacy programs to improve their basic skills and some estimates suggest that the need is even greater. However, we do not completely understand their underlying reading-related strengths and weaknesses, nor do we know the best curricula and teaching approaches to help them reach their reading goals. The focus of our center is to address these areas by attending to the following goals: 1) To collect data on the underlying cognitive and motivational processes that contribute to or impede the reading development of adults who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels; 2) To develop and evaluate a multiple component reading intervention for adults who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels; 3) To design and collect data from supplemental studies that are aligned with the overall goals of CSAL and are relevant to significant issues in adult education; 4) To engage in national leadership activities that serve the needs of adult education researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders; and 5) To disseminate findings of this work.
This report describes our activities from June 1, 2019 through October 31, 2020. In the previous years we completed and reported on goals 1-3 (listed above) and this report focuses on our dissemination, intervention refinement, and national leadership activities.
- Dissemination of our analyses of our Phase 1 test battery data: We found that while the tests were structurally valid, there was substantial variability across tests and even within some tests. A few of the tests showed low sensitivity, variability in sensitivity, and spikes in difficulty. We are close to finalizing a document which summarizes our finding.
- Dissemination of our analysis of intervention outcomes: We have been finalizing our analyses and plan to submit a manuscript for publication on our overall intervention results, as well as other manuscripts for publication focusing on AutoTutor. A practitioner-oriented manuscript on our overall intervention was accepted for publication, and we are currently focusing on a practitioner-oriented manuscript on AutoTutor.
- Dissemination of our supplementary studies: We have been writing and submitting manuscripts for publication on our supplemental study results. We are working on a practitioner friendly product that summarizes the findings and implications for instruction.
- Intervention refinement: We continued to refine and finalize the Adult PHAST PACES Program materials. In addition, we have developed an appendix with supplementary instructional materials for higher-level students and groups. We reviewed and revised AutoTutor lessons, fine-tuned the AutoTutor platform, and fixed technical issues. We developed an interface to facilitate the use of AutoTutor in sessions that are not associated with the CSAL classes.
- Continuation of national leadership and dissemination activities: We continued to maintain and update our website (csal.gsu.edu). We continued to receive email inquiries, and we have also continued to send out occasional “email blasts” to inform our 413 subscribers of CSAL updates. We developed Adult PHAST PACES professional development workshop presentation slides and accompanying materials, and we conducted presentations at adult education conferences. We have been planning a national culminating dissemination activity.