Bridging the Literacy Gap for Adults: Streaming and Engaging in Adult Literacy Education through Livestreaming


Literacy—the ability to read, write, and comprehend text—is an important topic addressed by UNESCO. Despite global efforts to promote adult literacy education, rural areas with limited resources still lag behind. As livestreaming has increasingly gained popularity in China, many streamers \rv{leveraged its accessibility and affordability to reach low-literate adults. To gain a better understanding of the practices and challenges faced by adult literacy education through livestreaming, we conducted a mixed-methods study involving a 7-day observation of livestreaming sessions and an interview study with twelve streamers and ten viewers. We discovered streamers’ altruistic motives and unique interactive approaches. Viewers perceived livestreaming as a more engaging, community-supportive method than traditional approaches. We also identified both shared and unique challenges for streamers and viewers that limit its efficacy as a learning tool. Finally, we recognized opportunities to enhance educational equity, emphasizing design implications for advancing adult literacy education and promoting diversity in livestreaming.

The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2024