FREDERICTON, N.B. – The National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) is pleased to announce the recipient of its first Innovative Technology Award.
Dr. Marc Glassman, an adult literacy specialist and a professor in the faculty of education at Memorial University of Newfoundland, has won the award for his contribution to the Stella Burry Community Services Workplace Literacy Project.
“Currently, industry-specific, computer-mediated programs that focus upon essential skills and workplace literacy development are not readily available to many ABE Level 1 learners,” the nominator’s submission reads. “In particular, computer-mediated instructional models that can be self-paced and adapted to the needs and abilities of the individual to prepare that person for employment in various vocations are not widely available for adult learners with low-literacy abilities.”
Stella Burry Community Services is a non-profit organization in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, which provides affordable housing and employment skills training for adults. The Workplace Literacy Project, headed by Dr. Glassman, engaged content experts in the areas of carpentry and the food-services industry to provide input on the essential skills, vocabulary and foundational knowledge in these two vocational areas.
The experts determined that the potential for entry-level, sustainable employment by the project participants would be enhanced if they had an understanding of the relevant concepts and vocabulary of these areas, along with an ability to effectively read and write the concepts and vocabulary.
Dr. Glassman converted this content and designed an approach to achieve the desired learning outcomes. He took the specific workplace concepts and vocabulary from the content experts and rewrote the information in the form of a script, which served as the guide for the technology-enabled, learning experience modules.
“Technology has a significant role to play in supporting learning, communication, collaboration and professional development within the field of adult literacy,” said the three NALD Board of Directors members who comprised the selection committee for the award competition. “Literacy educators who integrate technology into the curriculum are preparing students to participate in a complex world that is rapidly changing.”
“Dr. Glassman recognizes that individuals with limited literacy skills may face barriers to employment. Consequently, he developed computer-mediated instructional modules for two sectors: carpentry and food services. This project has the potential to open the door to employment for adults who hope to work in these fields.”
Dr. Glassman’s modules are available online at http://www.distance.mun.ca/media/files/burry/ and on DVD which means they can be used by learners across Canada.
About the award
NALD established the Innovative Technology Award to recognize outstanding achievement and bring greater visibility to an exemplary or innovative technology product, project or service that benefits the field of adult literacy and essential skills.
For more information about the project, contact Dr. Glassman at Glassman@mun.ca.
Research and Communications Officer
Tel: 506-462-5034 or toll-free: 1-800-720-6253