The CREATE Adult Skills Network is a national initiative to build knowledge about using technology to support teaching and learning. It is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences.
Every year in the U.S., over a million adult learners participate in programs to improve their literacy, English proficiency, and other foundational skills to prepare them for further education and rewarding jobs. Millions more need these programs, but cannot access them. This can be because their schedules don’t allow them to attend traditional in-person classes, or because they lack the technology skills they need for more flexible distance education options.
“Technology-enabled instruction” uses online tools and strategies to make learning available to a wider population of learners. Technology can provide access to additional learning opportunities and accommodate adult learners’ need for flexibility as caregivers and employees. Technology-enabled instruction is a promising strategy for enriching and expanding educational opportunities for adults both in and out of the classroom.
However, there is little research to help practitioners, prospective learners, and policy and funding stakeholders identify effective technology-based approaches that can build adult skills.
The CREATE Adult Skills Network (the Network), facilitates the development, adoption, and evaluation of technology-supported interventions to build adult foundational skills and academic attainment. The Network’s research teams focus on a variety of approaches to using technology to improve or measure adult skills development.
American Institutes for Research (AIR) leads the Network in collaboration with its partners, Abt Associates, Jobs for the Future, and the EdTech Center @ World Education, Inc, in the following activities:
- Engaging diverse stakeholders from adult foundational education, workforce development, and postsecondary education to create research and resources to apply to practice in adult learner settings.
- Expanding the adult skills research base and technology use resources to address the knowledge gaps and maximize the Network’s value for stakeholders.
- Increasing support for conducting and using rigorous research in adult skills and promoting continued growth of the research base.
- Communicating and disseminating research and best practices to attract new stakeholders to the Network to further contribute to the knowledge community.