The INVEST Program: A Computer-Based System for Adult Academic Upgrading. A Pilot Project.Report as inadecuate

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A study was conducted for the Cumberland Campus of Nova Scotia Community College to determine whether a heterogeneous group of adult learners could make significant gains in academic achievement using a computer-based learning system, and how such gains compared to those associated with more traditional learning approaches. A sample of 15 students, with an average age of 32.27 and a mean education level of 9.33 years, participated in an 11-week course using INVEST, a networked system of basic instructional software offering lessons in reading, writing, mathematics, and life skills. Two groups were used for comparison, one with a younger mean age which had completed an 18-week course, and one with an older mean age which had completed a 44-week program. Study findings, based on standardized tests administered before and after program participation, included the following: (1) attendance for the INVEST sample was 92.6%, while the mean number of hours on the computer was 151.77; (2) positive gains were made by the study group in all areas of reading and mathematics, while for mathematics, gains of more than 1.5 years were made in the 11-week period; and (3) after adjusting for program length, gains in reading skills were greater for the comparison groups but gains in mathematics were greater for the INVEST group. Based on findings and positive reactions from participants, it was recommended that the program be adopted as a supplement to traditional approaches. Tables and study instruments are appended. (KP)

Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Networks, Computer Software Evaluation, Foreign Countries, Integrated Learning Systems, Mathematics Instruction, Outcomes of Education, Participant Satisfaction, Program Effectiveness, Remedial Reading, Student Characteristics, Two Year Colleges

Author: Wilson, Alexander M.


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