Document Type

Research Brief

Publication Date



Adult literacy, Computer assisted instruction, Digital divide


This case study investigates the experience of digital literacy acquisition among adult job seekers, offering an overview of the various lab settings accessed by job-seeking learners, as well as the different ways that tutor-facilitated, self-paced learning was organized. Examination of the learner path as experienced by job seekers reveals the challenge for learners of seeing the relevance of digital literacy acquisition when faced with the urgent need of having to find employment. Also discussed in the case study are the significant impact of the relationships that developed between learners and tutors, the role that tutors play in building relevance for the learners, and creating job readiness training opportunities. Implications include the ways that lab coordinators and tutors working with job-seeking learners can support them by acknowledging the reality of the learners’ lives while supporting them through the digital literacy acquisition process. The findings indicate that labs serving job-seeking learners are well situated to introduce individuals to the opportunities available through computer and Internet use that go beyond employment to deeper civic and social engagement.

Persistent Identifier