ABC Skills Hub

Low literacy levels remain a persistent problem in Canada and the literacy requirements of many jobs may be increasing as well as new types of literacy, such as digital literacy, growing in importance. Of Canada’s population, 48% have low literacy skills — both Canadian-born and newcomers.

With the aim of boosting participants’ confidence and skills and noting a gap in the provision of free, online literacy resources for adult learners, ABC Life Literacy moved 22 of its successful employability and essential skills learning modules online to a customized and accessible platform – free for people to use at home, in classrooms and in workplaces.

Two women looking at a laptop in a library.

The one-year pilot project tested whether adult learners could have positive learning experiences by being exposed to introductory, confidence building, literacy learning content, delivered through the ABC Skills Hub. It also tested whether its online Skills Hub would prove usable and useful in helping teachers set up and facilitate classes. 

1,090 individuals participated in the ABC UP Skills for Work module (the module most directly related to work and employability skills). Learners also participated in 144 facilitated learning events organized by one of the 76 organizations that had created an organizational account on the system.

Through its Skills Hub, ABC Life Literacy helped to expand delivery capacity of its network of partners in the broader literacy ecosystem in Canada and allowed delivery to continue throughout the pandemic. The digital platform is an intuitive, easy-to-use platform featuring a clean design and language to meet the needs of all learners.

The Skills Hub was intentionally designed to offer both individual learning and learning activities organized by teachers and partner organizations. This may have made a literacy hub organization like ABC Life Literacy more effective in recruiting and retaining learners on its platform.

The ABC Skills Hub Project showed that it was possible to deliver online literacy educational activities using design principles to ensure fewer barriers to participation and that also supported teachers in providing an online learning experience closely resembling face-to-face instruction.

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