A process for the evaluation of learner goals, reading comprehension, and program impact as elements of adult literacy programs Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/th83m2378

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  • National statistics indicate that as many as 23 million adults in the United States are illiterate and another 40 million lack literacy skills necessary to function effectively or on more than a narrow basis in this society. People without literacy skills or who have only marginal reading ability find themselves politically disenfranchized, unable to effectively take control of their lives or challenge injustice, at times are physically endangered, and they represent a drain on the economy. This research was designed to provide adult literacy programs with a process which would make it possible to evaluate three critical elements of literacy programs: learner goals, reading comprehension, and the impact of literacy programs on learners as perceived by the students themselves. The study resulted in the following: 1) the development of an instrument to gather learner goals, 2) the identification of the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) as the appropriate measure of reading comprehension, 3) the development of adult normative information using the DRP in statewide testing of Oregon adult literacy students, and 4) the identification and description of the Adult Education Follow-Up Survey developed at Rutgers University as the instrument for the determination of literacy program impact on participants. Implementation of the recommended process suggests a need for the following: 1) the use of a common form by all literacy programs for gathering demographic information and a second common form for determining learner goals, 3) continued statewide testing with the DRP including a preand posttest program, 4) performance of DRP readabilities on commonly used literacy materials and on "real life" materials, 5) the implementation of a regular statewide study of program impact on adult literacy students, 5) a study of the question of whether or not those most in need are attracted and served by adult literacy programs, and the development and maintenance of a statewide data base containing information on learner goals, reading comprehension, and program impact.
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