Adult basic education or ABE is a complicated area given that there are varying definitions of the words the title contain. Theorists, practitioners and learners can give differing accounts of what it means to be an adult learner, what constitutes basic education and how to facilitate said education. In practice, the area of ABE describes a whole range of programs that deliver a baseline or basic set of skills that all adults are expected to have acquired during compulsory education (ABE, 2013). According to Jacobson (2012), there is now an increasing availability of digital technology resources for education that are beginning to be applied to adult basic education settings. The presences of these technologies are undoubtedly changing what is defined as basic skills. As students develop their content knowledge, computational and language literacy skills in instructional settings and modalities that utilize technology, digital literacy becomes an inescapable aspect to both learning and teaching in the ABE field and education as a whole.
Social learning theorist Etienne Wenger (1998) coined the term community of practice as “…groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” The interactive, collaborative and social aspects of asynchronous and synchronous digital technologies cannot be denied. They allow education to organize and design learning into groups or communities that communicate around content. This learner-learner communication aspect connects the experience of many students to content practice promoting a more meaningful experience for the adult learner (Knowles, Elwood and Swanson, 2011). Through peripheral forms of participatio...
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...eved 12/16/2013, from: http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
Richardson, J. C., & Swan, K. (2003). Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students’ perceived learning and satisfaction. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 7(1), 68-88.
Ruey, S. (2010). A case study of constructivist instructional strategies for adult online learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 706-720. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00965.x
Tighe, E. C. (2013). Defining Success in Adult Basic Education Settings: Multiple Stakeholders, Multiple Perspectives. Reading Research Quarterly, 48(4), 415. doi:10.1002/rrq.57
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Press
Wenger, E.,& Trayner, B. Intro to communities of practice: Retrieved 12/14/2013, 2013, from http://wenger-trayner.com/theory/
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