782 Views
  1. Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  2. Research Associate
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Maryland Baltimore County
  1. Phyllis Cummins
  2. Senior Research Scholar
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Miami University Scripps Gerontology Center
  1. Abigail Helsinger
  2. Senior Research Associate
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Miami University Scripps Gerontology Center
  1. Rita Karam
  2. Senior Policy Researcher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. RAND Corporation
  1. Jenna Kramer
  2. Associate Policy Researcher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. RAND Corporation
  1. Takashi Yamashita
  2. https://sites.google.com/umbc.edu/tkresearch/homeupdates
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Maryland Baltimore County

Literacy, Numeracy, and Problem-Solving Skills in Technology-Rich Environment...

R305A200261

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Adult learners

This video provides a brief introduction and overview of the IES grant-funded project (R305A200261): Literacy, Numeracy, and Problem-Solving Skills in Technology-Rich Environment in the STEM-related Subbaccalaureate Programs in the U.S. The goal of this project is to to study the basic skills (e.g., literacy, numeracy, and digital-problem solving skills) among the U.S. adult population and community college students in STEM programs. The project will leverage data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to develop a national profile of adults basic skills in the STEM fields, as well as collect primary data from collaborating community colleges. The importance of our project, as well as the approaches that will be taken are discussed in this video. 

Click here to read about our grant-funded project as written by IES.

Follow us on Twitter:
@dryamataka (Takashi Yamashita, PhD - PI)
@RitaTKaram (Rita Karam, PhD - Co-PI)
@cummins_phyllis (Phyllis Cummins, PhD - Co-I) 
@j_w_kramer (Jenna Kramer, PhD - Research Associate) 
@alhelsinger (Abby Helsinger, MS - Research Associate)
@MPunksungka (Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka, MA - Research Associate) 

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (26 posts)
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 11, 2021 | 10:29 a.m.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States is projected to have nearly 10.7 million new STEM-related jobs by 2029. Many of these jobs will require a subbaccalaureate degree, such as an Associate's degree or certificate. To ensure that adults are prepared for these STEM-related jobs and meet labor market demands, they will need to have a set of technical, as well as basic skills (e.g., literacy, numeracy, and digital problem solving skills) to stay competitive. However, little is known about the distribution of U.S. adults' basic skills in the STEM-related workforce, as well as how community colleges are promoting basic skills and learning outcomes via STEM-related programs. Therefore, the researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the RAND Corporation, and Miami University are interested in studying the basic skills among the U.S. adult population and the community college students in STEM-related programs. 

    For education researchers and practitioners, especially at the community college-level, what are some of your experiences in ensuring that adults pursuing STEM education are prepared for the workforce? Additionally, what resources, programs, and policies have been useful in promoting adults' basic skills and connecting them to STEM-related jobs?

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Stephen Alkins

    Stephen Alkins

    Facilitator
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
    May 11, 2021 | 05:08 p.m.

    Great summary of where you are currently with your project.  I have created support programs at the community college level.  Specifically, I helped design a math program to support incoming students receive placement directly into college level mathematics (60% of incoming students are not proficient in mathematics coursework and require wrap-around support services).  Support programs like these ensure students not only receive support, but also establish a culture of seeking support.

    For your project, from what perspective will you assess the basic skills for STEM jobs (e.g. are you surveying students or will you be surveying STEM jobs?)?  Also, will your project shed some light on the biases that STEM jobs have against community college students?

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 12, 2021 | 11:09 a.m.

    Thank you, Stephen, for your thoughtful comment and question. I am glad you mentioned support programs for students, as well as establishing a culture of seeking support as this is something our team will include in our study as part of the qualitative section.  

    Regarding your last questions, we will assess the basic skills from the perspective of both the STEM students and STEM employers. First, we will survey the students’ basic literacy, numeracy, and digital problem-solving skills using the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). You can learn more about PIAAC by clicking here, and this page here is specific to the online assessment that students will be taking. Second, we will be interviewing employers regarding their hiring needs, hiring processes, and their perception of how well community colleges promote the skills needed for STEM jobs. Lastly, although we cannot ask the employers about the biases against community college students directly, we will ask them about how they view the community college in preparing students for the STEM jobs. As part of the interview, we will ask employers about where they hire from and how different hires compare on those skills. 

    Please let us know if you have any follow up questions, of if I did not answer your question correctly. Thanks again, Stephen, for visiting our page!

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 06:04 p.m.

    This sounds like a really big project! Very necessary as well, particularly now that there's so much talk bout the role of community colleges and some states are considering (or already implementing) free community college for state residents. 

    I would like to learn about how you plan on developing the profile of basic skills. What kinds of methods are you using? I imagine that it's going to be easier to develop the profile for literacy and numeracy given the number of tests and other tools that already exist. Are there similar tools for digital problem-solving? Are you developing these tools? 

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Abigail Helsinger

    Abigail Helsinger

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Research Associate
    May 12, 2021 | 10:00 a.m.

    Thanks for your question, Nuria. We're using the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) assessment to measure basic skills. It includes assessments for all three - literacy, numeracy, and digital problem solving. Students will be completing a pre- and post-assessment. You can learn more about PIAAC here (https://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/), and this page (https://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/onlineassessm...) is specific to the online assessment the students in our project will be completing. If you have follow-up questions or if I misunderstood your question, please let us know. Thanks again for checking out our video and for your question.

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 14, 2021 | 10:44 p.m.

    Yes, you did respond to my question about your research methods. I also read in a later comment that you're using interviews and focus groups. It sounds like you will have a lot of data to think about impacts! 

    The other question was about the intervention side of the project. The video talks about developing the profile of basic skills, so I was wondering about what kinds of interventions/programs the project will be using to do that. 

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Abigail Helsinger

    Abigail Helsinger

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Research Associate
    May 17, 2021 | 12:24 p.m.

    Thanks for your follow-up question, Nuria. The intervention will actually be the community college programs in STEM fields. We've identified specific STEM-related programs at the community colleges participating in our project. Students will take the pre-test assessment prior to beginning their program and take the post-test assessment about 12-18 months later.

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Daniel Serrano

    Daniel Serrano

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 06:26 p.m.

     Very interesting project. I'm looking forward to the results. Any easy way to stay updated for when those come out?

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 12, 2021 | 10:07 a.m.

    Hi, Daniel. Thanks so much for reaching out! The easiest way to stay updated is to connect with us via Twitter. As more of our publications become publicly available, we’ll post about them via Twitter to keep all everyone informed. Additionally, there will be a second video as we gather more results. Below are our Twitter handles:

    @dryamataka (Takashi Yamashita, PhD - PI)

    @RitaTKaram (Rita Karam, PhD - Co-PI)

    @cummins_phyllis (Phyllis Cummins, PhD - Co-I)

    @j_w_kramer (Jenna Kramer, PhD - Research Associate)

    @alhelsinger (Abby Helsinger, MS - Research Associate)

    @MPunksungka (Maia Punksungka, MA - Research Associate)

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Daniel Serrano

    Daniel Serrano

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 06:10 p.m.

    Thanks, Maia!

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • May 11, 2021 | 08:59 p.m.

    What a great project! I saw Maia on my project page, so I'll write a bit more. There is a lot of activity in this space in Washington State. So glad you reached out!

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 12, 2021 | 09:58 a.m.

    Helen, thank you so much for visiting our page and viewing our video.  That is interesting that you mentioned Washington State. We have a few collaborators in that area, so I can see there being a lot of activity in that space. Thanks again for stopping by!

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Overtoun Jenda

    Overtoun Jenda

    Facilitator
    Assistant Provost and Professor of Mathematics
    May 11, 2021 | 11:05 p.m.

    This is an interesting and worthwhile study. Are any faculty from community colleges part of your team?

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 12, 2021 | 09:39 a.m.

    Thank you, Overtoun! Yes, we will be collaborating with faculty from the community colleges. In fact, we are working with one community college on the West Coast and two community colleges in the Midwest. The faculty, as well as the administrative staff will help us recruit students for the PIAAC assessment, as well as be a part of interviews, classroom observations, and focus groups. 

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Julie Poynsenby

    Julie Poynsenby

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2021 | 05:22 p.m.

    This is an interesting and worthwhile study. I am curious to know how you might incorporate skills and knowledge held by students from marginalized communities where indigenous ways of knowing may look very different and cause additional stress for those trying to gain a basic skill level that applies to a Western workforce? 

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Abigail Helsinger

    Abigail Helsinger

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Research Associate
    May 13, 2021 | 11:25 a.m.

    Thanks for visiting our video, Julie, and thanks for the great question. We don't have a way of capturing this information during our pre/post PIAAC assessments, but we might hear, though our in-depth interviews with community college faculty, how this presents during coursework and course assessments. We can also consider adding specific questions around this topic to our interview guide

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 13, 2021 | 12:10 p.m.

    Thank you, Julie, for visiting our video and posting such a thoughtful question. Your comment regarding indigenous ways of learning among marginalized communities and the potential stress they may feel as a result of western workforce demands render an interesting area for future research. Do you have existing literature regarding this, or any information that you could share? Unfortunately, this is an unfamiliar area for me, and I would like to learn more. 

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Mary Stapleton

    Mary Stapleton

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2021 | 02:01 p.m.

    Hi Maia,

    I enjoyed hearing about your project.  I like the focus on preparing students to become lifelong learners.  That is definitely a skill that will continue to serve them. 

    Mary

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 17, 2021 | 09:46 a.m.

    Thank you, Mary, for visiting our page! While our primary framework is human capital theory, we'll also briefly mention lifelong learning in our work. 

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Elena Ortiz

    Elena Ortiz

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2021 | 03:27 p.m.

    Hi Maia, 

    Great project, I look forward to seeing the data you generate. At our community college we are focusing on bringing workforce based experiences into the classrooms of our gen ed courses. These experiences could include things like  service learning courses and undergraduate research CUREs. The aim is to have students understand which skills they need to develop in order to solve problems and to develop those skills. Check out our STEM-CURE project video

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 17, 2021 | 09:52 a.m.

    Thank you, Elena, for visiting our page. The aim of your program sounds similar to the goal of our project. I appreciate you mentioning workforce based experiences in the classroom, service learning courses, and undergraduate research as these are items/indicators we'll be on the lookout for in our classroom observations, focus groups, and interviews. I will certainly check-out your video!

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Funder
    May 15, 2021 | 06:58 p.m.

    The ATE-funded Convergence Technology Center at Collin College (TX), helps student develop successful resumes on LinkedIn.  This increases that possibility of students getting interviews.  They have guidelines for avoiding mistakes.  This may be useful to you. 

     
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    Abigail Helsinger
    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka

    Lead Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 17, 2021 | 09:56 a.m.

    Thank you, Gerhard, for mentioning this piece of information. Just to be clear, is this what you are referring to: https://connectedtech.org/?

    This looks interesting and may be useful to us. Thanks, again!

     
    1
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    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Sarah Lee

    Sarah Lee

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 17, 2021 | 01:43 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your interesting work. In Mississippi, we have established a non-profit, the Mississippi Coding Academies, to assist residents with upskilling and reskilling for tech jobs. Many of our learners do not have a 2 or 4-year degree, but complete our 11-month program and enter the workforce. Some of them, however, decide to enter higher ed following their training. 

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
    Abigail Helsinger
  • Icon for: Abigail Helsinger

    Abigail Helsinger

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Research Associate
    May 17, 2021 | 02:49 p.m.

    Sarah, thanks for visiting our video! Your non-profit sounds like it's really filling a gap in your state. Do your learners who complete your programs earn any kind of certificate or credential? I viewed your video. Your 90% placement rate is impressive! Thanks for your work in this area. My brother just relocated to Mississippi - the Tupelo area. I'm going to send him information about your organization!

     
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    Wonmai "Maia" Punksungka
  • Icon for: Sarah Lee

    Sarah Lee

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 18, 2021 | 12:02 p.m.

    Participants receive a certificate from the MS Coding Academies, and our State agencies have added that as a recognized credential for hiring.  We are an AWS Educate provider, so learners can pursue certifications on that pathway. 

    Please do have your brother reach out to me! sarah.b.lee@usm.edu

     
    1
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    Abigail Helsinger
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