The aim of this study was to carry out detailed observational research in classrooms: to collect, review and analyse existing practice; examine how the use of ICT had impacted on the teaching and learning of basic skills in these classrooms; and so to begin to more closely identify the factors involved in effective teaching with ICT in the areas of adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL. The findings of this project will inform an intervention study, which will generate hypotheses about effective use of ICT in adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL and then develop and test these strategies.
Previous studies carried out by the Institute of Education (for example Mellar et al., 2001) have provided a broad picture of practice in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in adult literacy, numeracy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). This research found some positive signs, but suggested there was a long way to go if the expectations of the impact of ICT on learning for this group of learners were to be met. Further research was needed to discover more effective ways of using ICT to improve learning for learners with basic skills needs in order to support a move beyond present practice.