This page provides educators and developers an initial overview of the adult learning market: the key education technology research studies and the leading professional organizations for both adult education and workforce development. To dive deeper into the market, visit our Understanding the Market and Entering the Market pages.

 

Key Research on Technology, Learning, & Adults

Curbing Adult Student Attrition: Evidence from a Field Experiment
An experiment designed to improve attendance by texting messages and reminders to adult students. This inexpensive intervention had a large, positive effect on attendance and course completion.


Education Technology in Corrections
This report describes the current status of ed-tech in corrections, existing and emerging approaches to providing ed-tech in such facilities, and the successes and challenges of early implementers.


Digital Literacy Acquisition and Equity Research
The Literacy, Language & Technology Research Group’s (LLTR) 17 research briefs on how under-served adults acquire digital literacy skills in adult education programs.


Integrating Digital Literacy Into English Language Instruction: Companion Learning Resource
A synthesis of the ideas and practices from the seminal resources on adult English language learners (ELLs) that offers techniques to help practitioners integrate digital literacy into ELL classes.


Report: Game-Based Learning Helps Students Develop Writing Skills
This pilot of a game-based learning platform show improved college student engagement and self-efficacy in writing courses. These results can be extrapolated to develop literacy programs for adults.

 

Key Organizations

Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE)
COABE advances national and international adult education and literacy opportunities for all persons by advocating for the development of research, methods, materials, resources, and programs. COABE also holds professional development conferences and activities to advance adult education and literacy.


Jobs for the Future (JFF)
JFF is a national nonprofit working to ensure educational and economic opportunity for all. They develop innovative career pathways, educational resources, and public policies that increase college readiness and career success and build a more highly skilled workforce.


National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) 
NCL’s mission is to advance adult education, family literacy, and English language acquisition in the U.S. by increasing public awareness for the need to increase funding and programs; promoting effective public policy; and serving as an authoritative resource on national adult education issues.


National Skills Coalition (NSC)
NSC organizes broad-based coalitions seeking to raise the skills of America’s workers across a range of industries. They engage in organizing, advocacy, and communications to advance state and federal policies that support these goals – policies that are based on the on-the-ground expertise of members.


Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE)
As part of the U.S. Department of Education, OCTAE administers and coordinates programs related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges.


Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)
As part of the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), PIACC developed and conducts the Survey of Adult Skills measuring proficiency in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments as well as gathering information and data on how adults use their skills.


Proliteracy
Proliteracy believes that a safer, stronger, and more sustainable society starts with an educated adult population. For more than 60 years, ProLiteracy has been working across the globe to create a world where every person can read and write.


UpSkill Initiative — Ready to Work
This public-private effort seeks to help front-line workers who often lack opportunities to progress into higher-paying positions. Developing their skills and abilities and empowering them to contribute more at work can provide opportunities to improve their wages and to increase the productivity and competitiveness of employers.