Photo from left to right – Todie Winter (Research Assistant) and Kelly Taylor-Hulan (Research Lead) reviewing planning documents for NLLLC’s Going The Distance: Equipping Rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with the Abilities & Skills to Succeed in Online Learning research project funded by NLWIC

CORNER BROOK – Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council (NLLLC) is launching its Going the Distance research project, funded through the NL Workforce Innovation Centre. The research project aims to equip rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with the abilities and skills to succeed in online learning. NLLLC’s current face-to-face tutoring reaches only those who live where literacy council services are offered – about 100 people.  By reaching people in rural parts of our province, this research project aims to improve the literacy level of our province.

Within Canada, our province has the highest number of working-aged people without a high school diploma. With 60% of the population living in rural areas, this research project aims to improve access to this under-represented group. At the end of the three-year research project, NLLLC hopes to reach more people via an online tutoring.

NLLLC has assembled a strong team to carry out the project. Kelly Taylor-Hulan, Lead Researcher, and  Todie Winter, Research Assistant, know from their 20 years combined experience in online teaching and course development, that the Going the Distance research project will have an impact.

The research project grew from a conversation Taylor-Hulan had with Margie Lewis, Executive Director of NLLLC.  Taylor-Hulan’s interest in literacy stems from having watched her mother return to school as an older adult.  A widow who was raising nine children, attended night school and gained her GED (high school equivalency).  That diploma is proof to Taylor-Hulan that education builds better lives.

The NL Workforce Innovation Centre, established in 2017 by the Provincial Government, provides a coordinated, central point of access to engage government, career and employment service providers, and skills development stakeholders in the business, community and government sectors throughout the province.  The Centre’s goal is to support the research, testing and sharing of ideas and best practices around innovative models and approaches to workforce development that will positively impact employability, employment, entrepreneurship and individuals’ attachment to the workforce.  The Centre is administered by the College of the North Atlantic under the division of Partnerships, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Funding is provided by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement.