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How do you embed literacy and numeracy support?
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How do you embed literacy and numeracy support?

This article looks at strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy within the design and delivery of an adult learning programme

Think back to the questions about the time when you learned something new and unfamiliar. It could even be this FutureLearn ExpertTrack course series. What strategies did you use to learn something new? What could the course designer and/or teacher do to help you?

When embedding literacy and numeracy support in delivery, there are many considerations, for example in course design:

  • Is the programme divided into clear, manageable, and incremental units of learning?
  • Are these units of learning logical, cohesive, and aligned?
  • Are they “pitched” to the level most appropriate to the learners?
  • Are they “paced” to allow time to engage and complete before moving to the next?
  • Are new concepts and vocabulary unpacked in context?
  • Is the language used clear and easily understood?
  • Are additional resources available that both extend and support the learning?
  • Are user-friendly fonts and layouts used for print-based content?
  • Is the content available via different media such as audio, visual, and online tools?
  • Is the learning structured to enable the use of assistive technology such as screen readers?
  • Are opportunities available for practical and task-based projects and assessments?
  • Are the learning outcomes and assessment conditions clear, visible, and available up-front?

While in delivery and assessment:

  • Are new vocabulary items, concepts, and numeracy activities relevant to the context?
  • Does the teacher activate the learners prior learning and lived experience?
  • Does the teacher link the content and context back to the learners’ lives?
  • Is a range of delivery strategies such as collaborative and interactive activities, questions and answers; and group and individualised instruction applied?
  • Does the teacher apply formative assessment strategies frequently?
  • Do both resources and delivery model good adult education practices?
  • Does the assessment process model good assessment practices?
  • Do the learners have the opportunity for additional assessment time and alternative forms of assessment?
  • What accommodations can be made for students with literacy and numeracy and specific learning requirements to ensure equity in both learning and assessment?

As you can see, there is far more to embedding literacy and numeracy than providing remedial reading and numeracy activities.

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