Effects of COVID-19 on Adult Education

Effects of COVID-19 on Adult Education

Several organizations have produced research reports on the effects of the pandemic on teaching and learning in adult education contexts.

What We Learned: Adult Education’s Response to Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning from the EdTech Center @ World Education provides a summary of eight studies on the effects of COVID-19. The studies are described in an appendix.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Report from the Field reports on a two-part study conducted by members of the Evidence-Based Adult Education System (E-BAES) task force to explore how the pandemic was affecting adult basic education and adult secondary education.

The Literacy Assistance Center of New York released the report The Impact of COVID-19 on NYC Adult Literacy Programs and Students. The report’s summary reflects the findings of all of the research projects:

Adult students are struggling with job and income loss, homeschooling, food and housing insecurity, caring for family members, and risks as essential workers – and these issues are exacerbated by limited reading, writing, English language, and/or digital literacy skills. Lack of access to hardware and reliable internet is a major barrier to remote education. If addressed, programs see opportunities to incorporate remote learning to serve more students at a time of increased need and demand. Staff need more training and support, and programs need sustained public funding with flexibility to adapt to the new reality.


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