Lessons from a State-funded Workplace Literacy Program
A 2009 study by researchers from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, “Lessons Learned from a State-Funded Workplace Literacy Program,” assessed the benefits of workplace literacy training in 10 sites throughout the state of Indiana. Training included computer skills as well as basic literacy and math skills. On average, trainees were about 40 years of age and had English as their first language; more than 50% had no education beyond a high school diploma or GED certificate.
In addition to a number of non-quantitative benefits such as improved morale and increased productivity, the study found that basic workplace literacy training was effective. As measured by the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System and the Internet Computing Core Certification, benefits included:
- 67% of trainees had positive gains in math skills, with the average gain of the whole sample at 4.7 points.
- 57% of trainees had positive reading gains, with the average gain of the whole sample at 2.8 points
- Trainees for whom English was a second language had larger gains: 10 points for math and 8 for reading
- While computer literacy training was more varied, more than 50% of trainees engaged in computer skills training (64%) passed the certification.
Read the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research study titled "Lessons Learned from a State-Funded Workplace Literacy Program."
- Summarize the study in fewer than 40 words.
- Express the study's key term(s) in language a lay audience can understand.
- Evaluate the study's limitations. (For example: Do the results conflict with those of other reliable studies? Are there weaknesses in the study's data or research design?)
- Write a lead (or headline or nut graph) based on the study.
- Spend 60 minutes exploring the issue by accessing sources of information other than the study. Write a lead (or headline or nut graph) based on the study but informed by the new information. Does the new information significantly change what one would write based on the study alone?
- Interview two sources with a stake in or knowledge of the issue. Be prepared to provide them with a short summary of the study in order to get their response to it. Write a 400-word article about the study incorporating material from the interviews.
- Spend additional time exploring the issue and then write a 1,200-word background article, focusing on major aspects of the issue.