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					WVABE Instructor Handbook

              to Instruction
              in the WVABE

              Section 5

              2011 - 2012
The West Virginia Adult Basic Education (WVABE) Program is funded by the Adult
Education and Family Literacy Act, enacted August 7, 1998 as Title II of the Workforce
Investment Act of 1998.

WVABE is administered through the West Virginia Department of Education Office of
Adult Education and Workforce Development, Building 6, Room 230, 1900 Kanawha
Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0330.

The WVABE Instructor Handbook is produced by the WVABE Professional
Development Program, whose fiscal agent is the Regional Education Service Agency
(RESA) 3, 501 22nd Street, Dunbar, West Virginia 25064-1711.

For questions or concerns related to the content of the WVABE Instructor
Handbook, contact Cathy Shank at the WV Adult Education Hotline, 1-800-642-
2670, or via e-mail at

RESA 3 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age,
disability, or any other characteristic protected by law in access to, employment in, or provision of
any of RESA 3’s programs, benefits, or activities.

                  Assessment to Instruction in the WVABE Classroom

ABE AND ESL FEDERAL FUNCTIONING LEVELS (FFLS) ............................................................... 1
AN OVERVIEW OF THE ASSESSMENT TO INSTRUCTION PROCESS ............................................ 3
SAMPLE LESSON PLANNING FORMATS................................................................................. 11
    INSTRUCTIONAL SEQUENCE FOR ADULT LEARNING .............................................................................. 11
    LESSON PLANNING WORKSHEET...................................................................................................... 12
METHODS OF INSTRUCTION FOR THE WVABE CLASSROOM ................................................. 14
    SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION .......................................................................................................... 16
    COOPERATIVE LEARNING ............................................................................................................... 17
    PROJECT-BASED INSTRUCTION ........................................................................................................ 19
    COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION ................................................................................................. 20
    ONE-ON-ONE/TUTORIAL INSTRUCTION ............................................................................................ 21
    INDIVIDUALIZED STUDY.................................................................................................................. 22
    FIELD TRIPS ................................................................................................................................. 23
    GUEST SPEAKER ........................................................................................................................... 24
    EXPERIMENTS .............................................................................................................................. 25
UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR INSTRUCTION ................................................................................ 26

In the wake of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, educational functioning
levels were established for adult education programs all over the nation. The National
Reporting System (NRS) specified six Adult Basic Education (ABE) educational levels
and six English as a Second Language (ESL) levels to be used by all federally-funded
adult education programs to provide information to the federal government about
student progress. The NRS helps track student entry level, progress, and exit level. For
more information regarding the NRS, see

For regular ABE learners, these Federal Functioning Levels (FFLs) provide global
descriptions of students' abilities in reading/writing, numeracy (math), and functional
workplace skills. For ESL learners, listening/speaking descriptions replace the
numeracy descriptions. For Computer Literacy Only students in Computer Literacy Only
classes, descriptions of the functional workplace skills may be used to establish
instructional levels.

The FFLs also provide standardized test benchmarks allowing instructors to place ABE
and ESL students into a particular level according to their scaled test scores. Using the
FFL descriptions and test benchmarks, instructors can also decide when students have
made progress within a level, completed a level, and are ready to move to the next

In West Virginia, instructors use standardized pre-assessments to establish a student's
Entry FFLs. As instruction is provided, ongoing classroom assessment tracks the
student's progress. Standardized post-assessments (interim and/or exit) must be
administered to obtain the student's Exit FFL. If a student exits the program before a
post-assessment can be administered, the entry score becomes the exit score and the
program receives no credit for progress made by the student.

West Virginia has established Essential Instructional Goals and Objectives (IGOs) for
each FFL to assist instructors in monitoring student progress and knowing when a
student is ready to prove his or her progress by taking an standardized post-test. The
Essential IGO Monitoring System is described in Section 6.

Students not assigned a Federal Functioning Level (FFL)
The following types of students may not need to be assigned an FFL:
    Students enrolled for less than 12 hours with a short-term goal (take the Official
       GED® Practice Tests, resumé writing, GED orientation, etc.)
    Work-based project learners (enrolled 12-30 hours in a class for work-based

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                               1
Some students do not expect to attend the program for more than a few hours. They
may only want to take the Official GED Practice Tests (OPT), attend a GED orientation
session, or get help using the GEDWizard. Some may simply want a little help in
updating a resumé or preparing for a work-related assessment. If these students do well
on their test or quickly complete their chosen task, then they will probably receive less
than 12 hours of instruction and still achieve their goal.

Students with such specific short-term goals may register and complete the ABE 400A
Form, but are NOT given a standardized pre-assessment and are NOT assigned an
FFL. Students who later decide to study more than 12 hours MUST then complete the
regular intake process, including a standardized pre-assessment and must be assigned
an FFL.

Work-based project learners are those who work to acquire work-based skills that are
taught in a short-term course. Students designated as work-based learners are NOT
assigned an FFL and are NOT credited to the program in meeting Federal
accountability measures for program reporting.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                           2

New instructors should follow the steps below to enroll new students and move them
through the assessment process and on to instruction and goal completion.

At Intake, Conduct Global Assessment of Basic Skills and Needs.
       As part of your orientation process, describe the various program options offered
        in your county/at your site (basic skills, GED® preparation, ESL, computer
        literacy, distance education, SPOKES, skills for college entry, etc.).

       Collect demographic data required by the Adult Education Management
        Information System (AEMIS) to complete the ABE 400A Form (Section 4

       Have the student sign a Release of Information Form (Section 4 Appendix) to
        allow for transmittal of directory and educational record information.

       Use a variety of goal-setting activities to identify the student’s preliminary
        personal goals. Personal goals may be significantly different from program
        goals recorded on the ABE 400 Form. Program goals at intake should be
        considered preliminary and should be revisited after interim assessment.

       For ESL students, use the ESL Background Interview (Section 14 Appendix) to
        gather demographic, needs assessment, and preliminary goal information.
        Information on educational background can be used to decide which
        standardized test to administer.

       Administer a learning styles inventory (Section 3 Appendix) to determine best
        teaching strategies. For ESL students, you may want to use the ESL Learning
        Styles Questionnaire (Section 14 Appendix).

       Identify barriers to program participation and screen for special learning needs.
        (See Section 3). Make referrals for community services (child care, Lion’s Club,
        rehab, etc.) to assist with identified barriers and special learning needs.

       Collect documentation of learning disabilities so that appropriate testing
        accommodations may be used. Maintain confidential information in a separate
        locked file.

       Administer the locator/appraisal for the standardized test (TABE or CASAS) used
        in your program. (BEST Literacy and the computer-assisted BEST Plus do not
        require a locator).

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                               3
       For Computer Literacy Only students, you will NOT need to administer a
        standardized assessment (unless the student also receives academic instruction
        or goes beyond 30 instructional hours).

       For students referred by DHHR or a WIB, you may be able to obtain TABE or
        WorkKeys® scores from the referring agency and may not need to administer a
        locator or pre-test.

       For students likely to have a very low literacy level, the instructor may find it
        necessary to skip the locator/appraisal. Instead, administer TABE Form 9, Level
        L or CASAS Form 27/28.

       For students with documented disabilities, special versions (Braille, audio-
        cassette, enlarged print) of standardized tests may be obtained. For special
        forms, contact the special projects coordinator, 1-800-257-3723 ext. 212.

       Returning ESL students who completed the prior program year at the
        Advanced ESL level (FFL 12) must be pre-tested using an ABE assessment
        instrument (TABE or CASAS). New ESL students likely to score at or above FFL
        12 should also be tested with an ABE instrument and assigned an ABE FFL. ESL
        students given an ABE FFL should still be given a student type “ESL” on the ABE
        400A Form (Section 4 Appendix).

Determine the Individual's Program Placement and Federal Functioning
       Select the appropriate level/form of the standardized pre-test (TABE, CASAS,
        BEST Literacy or BEST Plus).

       Select the subject areas you administer (math, listening, etc.) based on the
        student’s program of study and/or personal goals.

       For SPOKES students, TABE mathematics and reading are always

       For ABE students, choose among mathematics, reading, and/or language.

       For ESL students, choose among reading/literacy, listening and/or oral

       Determine the scaled scores, grade levels, or level scores and record this
        information in the student’s permanent program file (on the ABE 400 Form and/or
        testing record).

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                               4
       Use the lowest of the scaled scores, grade levels, or level scores (or use the
        scores for the subject area selected by the student) to enter in AEMIS and
        determine the FFL. AEMIS assigns the FFL based on the lowest test scores that
        are entered.

       At a minimum, maintain documentation on progress in the subject area recorded
        in AEMIS.

       Students whose only goal is to check readiness for the GED and who attend
        fewer than 12 hours do not need to take the TABE or CASAS and are not
        assigned an FFL. These students simply take the Official GED Practice Tests
        (OPT) and attend a GED Orientation/Seminar session.

       For short-term work-based project learners (12-30 hours of instruction), use a
        standardized test or a performance-based assessment with a standardized
        scoring rubric. (The FFL is NOT recorded on the ABE 400 Form.)

       For Computer Literacy Only students, you will use the Computer Literacy Self-
        Assessment Checklist as the entry assessment to determine the appropriate
        beginning level (Section 4 Appendix). For federal reporting purposes, these
        students are considered work-based project learners.

       Use the assessment information to set the preliminary Primary and/or Secondary
        Program Goals and record this information on the ABE 400 Form. Goals
        recorded in AEMIS need to be achieved and verified within the time frames in the
        chart below in order for the program to get credit for the achievements.

            Data-match for Students with SSN and Signed Release of Information
           Program Goal/Core                    Timing of the               Constraints for Data-
                Measure                         Achievement                        matching
        Achieve GED                      Diploma received prior to        Test taken and achieved in
                                         Oct. 31 of the next program      West Virginia
        Obtain Unsubsidized              Before the end of the first      Employed in WV or
        Employment                       quarter after the exit quarter   surrounding states (except
                                                                          for KY)
        Retain Unsubsidized              Employed in both the first       Employed in WV or
        Employment                       and third quarter after exit     surrounding states (except
                                         quarter                          for KY)
        Enroll in Post-secondary         Enrolled any time prior to       Only public WV colleges
        Education or Job Training        Oct. 31 of the next program      and WVEIS for F/T
                                         year                             vocational students

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                                          5
       Remember to revisit/modify these goals following interim assessment when it is
        clearer what the student may be able to accomplish within the program year.

Plan Curriculum and Instruction.
       Use the student’s goals (personal and program) as well as the assessment data
        you have collected to determine a realistic program of study (GED, ESL,
        computer literacy, employability, family literacy, etc.).

       For ABE students, use the FFL in each area to select the ABE Essential IGOs
        Verification Checklist: mathematics, reading, or writing/composition.

       For ESL students, use the FFL in each area to select the ESL Essential IGOs
        Verification Checklist: reading/writing or oral communication.

       For Computer Literacy Only students, use the student’s level (determined by
        the self-assessment checklist) to select the appropriate chart of ABE Computer
        Literacy Essential Skills.

       For GED students, use the GED Verification Checklist to plan a program for
        students at FFL 5 and 6.

       At a minimum, address the IGOs from the verification checklist that corresponds
        to the student’s weakest area (or the area selected as most important by the

       Select at least three IGOs to begin the student’s study. Identify additional goals
        and objectives based on the student’s selected program of study and any
        additional personal goals. Use the Essential IGOs Verification Checklist and
        additional IGOs to plan the curriculum for the student. Select activities from a
        variety of resources and/or create your own.

       Select appropriate print and multi-media materials based on the student’s level,
        goals, interests, preferred learning styles, abilities, and time available.

       Deliver instruction in an appropriate setting (large group, small group, one-on-
        one, computer-assisted, etc.).

Monitor Student Progress.
       Use formal and informal assessments to conduct frequent progress checks to
        assess completion of the Essential IGOs and the selected additional IGOs.

       Employ a variety of assessment tools to track student progress.

       To track progress toward mastery of Essential IGOs, the student should
        complete an assessment task appropriate to each IGO. As each benchmark task
WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                                6
        is completed successfully, date and initial the IGO on the checklist. Place
        supporting documentation in a student portfolio maintained by the instructor.

       Learners who need to know if they are ready for the GED Tests will take the
        Official GED Practice Tests (OPT). The OPT may be used to document student
        achievement on the ABE 400B Form. It cannot be used as a standardized post-
        test to show completion of FFLs.

Verify Educational Gains.
       Verify that a student has completed an FFL or moved to a higher FFL by
        administering a post-test (interim or exit) using the parallel form of the
        standardized instrument (TABE, CASAS, BEST Literacy or BEST Plus) used to
        pre-test the student.

       When post-testing, administer an interim assessment prior to 100 hours of
        instruction. Follow the publisher’s guidelines to determine the minimum number
        of hours between specific assessments (Section 12 Appendix).

       Exceptions to the publisher assessment guidelines must be documented using
        the Assessment Record/Waiver form (Section 12 Appendix). This documentation
        must be kept in the student’s permanent file.

       If possible, administer an exit post-test at the end of the course period or prior to
        a student’s withdrawal. Use the publisher’s guidelines to determine the minimum
        number of hours between specific assessments (see Section 12 Appendix).

       Post-assessment scores must be recorded in AEMIS and evidenced in students’
        files at the end of the month in which the post-assessment was given.

       Both the completion of an FFL and movement to a higher FFL are determined by
        comparing the post-test (interim or exit) score to the pre-test score in the lowest
        subject area recorded in AEMIS at the beginning of the current program year.

       To complete the entry FFL, the student’s post-test score must be at or above the
        completion level benchmark of the entry FFL. To move to a higher FFL, the
        student’s post-test score must be at or above the beginning level benchmark of
        the next level above the entry FFL.

       Students cannot complete an FFL and move to the next FFL based on
        completion of IGOs. However, the Essential IGOs Verification Checklist may be
        used to document and report other educational achievements on the ABE 400B
        Form. The Checklist may also be used to document readiness for post-testing.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                                   7
       For Computer Literacy Only students, use the Computer Literacy Verification
        Checklist to determine the exit level (see Section 6).

Record Student Achievements.
       Based on the student's goals, track the student's achievements (educational;
        employment-related; further education/training; personal, family and community
        related goals, etc.).

       Document goal attainment on the ABE 400B Form. Because student’s program
        goals may change over time, a periodic review of goals is helpful for
        documenting achievements. At a minimum, revisit the goals after interim

       Some NRS Core Indicators are verified by standardized assessment data
        entered into AEMIS:
           o Completed an FFL
           o Moved to a higher FFL

       Some federal Core Indicators are verified by state data match and are NOT
        tracked by the local program:
            o Achieved the GED
            o Obtained an unsubsidized job
            o Retained an unsubsidized job
            o Enrolled in job training or post-secondary education
            o Had public assistance reduced or eliminated

       Using documentation you have maintained, complete the “Upon Exit” section of
        the ABE 400B Form.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                            8

Perhaps one of the most difficult and confusing tasks for WVABE instructors is the task
of applying assessment results to the instructional needs of the student. Once the
assessment results are used to identify the competencies the learner needs to master
for goal attainment, the process of planning instruction begins. Choosing appropriate
instructional strategies that are relevant, challenging and student-centered is an
important step to student success. The instructional possibilities available to ensure
mastery of competencies are numerous. In some instances, written materials,
audiovisuals, computer software, and online resources are a necessary part of the
instructional approach that is chosen.

Upon entry into a program level, the appropriate assessment is used to measure a
learner’s initial level of functioning and knowledge of specified skill areas. Choosing
materials to aid in the instructional process for skill mastery should be based upon the
assessment results and the Instructional Goals and Objectives (IGOs) for the student’s
Federal Functioning Level (FFL).

In addition to choosing instructional materials to assist the learner in mastering the IGOs
identified by placement in the FFL, it is important to keep in mind the student’s learning
style. If a learning activity requires the selection of materials, the format is important to
consider. Sometimes the format of the materials or the manner in which information is
presented is more appropriate for one type of learning style versus another. For
example, one individual may be quite successful in reading and answering questions
independently. Another individual may require interaction with a group or instructor, an
audiovisual presentation of the material or computer-assisted instruction in order to
have optimum success in learning. As much as possible, an instructor should offer
alternatives whenever they are available.

There are many excellent materials: printed texts, audio and video materials, software,
and online resources for the varied ability levels and interests of adults in WVABE, but
choosing from this wide array can be confusing for new instructors.

CASAS offers a free means of identifying competency-based materials which are
available for adult programs.

CASAS QuickSearch Online is an easy-to-use database of instructional materials for
youth and adult education programs. It includes 2,300+ instructional material titles
coded to skill levels, CASAS Competencies, and skill areas. It provides an essential link
between assessment and instruction. QuickSearch Online lists print, audio, visual and
computer-based instructional materials, and correlates them to the CASAS

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                               9
This is a useful resource even for those who use TABE or other non-CASAS
assessments. CASAS competencies are very similar to WV Essential IGOs. Through
the competencies, you can identify curriculum materials that target specific learning
needs at appropriate instructional levels.You can skim quickly to find objectives you
want to address and discover which materials might cover these objectives. You can
also look up materials you are considering purchasing to see what levels/objectives are
covered by a particular resource.

Take this opportunity and become familiar with QuickSearch Online at:

The materials referenced in QuickSearch Online are recommended by practitioners and
reviewed by curriculum specialists. Each title is correlated to CASAS Competencies,
instructional level, type of learner, mode of instruction, and is linked within the database
to selected CASAS pre- and post-assessments. QuickSearch Online is updated
regularly as new materials become available.

For more information see:

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                             10

Instructional Sequence for Adult Learning

When preparing lessons in the adult education class, a good model comes from D.
Hemphill, "Making Sense to Teachers about Teaching," Adult Learning, May, 1990. The
lesson planning worksheet that follows can help you to think through your lesson
planning process.

                                               Opener
      Introduction/                            Focus learners
     Warm-up/Review                            Connect to past learning
                                               Connect to past experience

                                           New knowledge presented
                                           Many options in strategy or method

                                           Structured activities
            Guided                         "Basic skills" or "pieces" of more complex
            Practice                            skills, may be practiced
                                               Skills are clustered into increasingly larger

                                           Application task approximates real-life
         Application/                           performance demands
         Assessment                            Maximize possibility of life transfer of skills

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                                     11
                             LESSON PLANNING WORKSHEET

 Life Skill Competency:

 Basic Skills Needed:

 Materials Needed:

 Specialized Vocabulary:

                                      LESSON PLAN

     Identify competency/IGO.
     Tie in to prior and future
     Connect to current
      interests of the learner.


     Select method of
     Select materials,
      equipment, and

 Guided Practice

     Select method for guided
     Select materials,
      equipment, and


     Select method for
     Select materials,
      equipment, and

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12            12
For further study on lesson planning:
Thirteen Ed Online: Adult Education Lesson Plans

GED 2002 Teacher’s Lesson Bank

The Lesson Plan Builder

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12               13

A balanced mix of instructional methods is important in managing the WVABE
classroom. Each learner has preferences regarding how he or she learns best (working
with a large group, small group, alone, with a tutor, etc.). Learning style inventories and
questionnaires may help to determine the preferences that should be taken into
consideration when organizing activities in your classroom.

The physical environment of the classroom may be better suited to some instructional
methods than to others. For example, a small room with individual desks may lend itself
better to large group or individualized instruction (although sometimes desks may be
arranged to accommodate small group work). On the other hand, a large room with
tables and chairs may offer the opportunity for large group, small group, or individual
instruction all to happen at one time or another.

In addition, the intake structure of a program may establish what instructional methods
are used. For example, in a short term, special topic class, it is probably not appropriate
to have everyone doing individualized instruction. Also, in classes where only one
instructor is available, one-on-one/tutorial instruction may not be an option unless a
volunteer helps out.

Regardless of which methods of delivery or classroom management are chosen,
instruction should always be centered on specific objectives and competencies selected
by the individual or group. Assessment of learners’ progress is also vital. At the
completion of any type of learning activity, individual learners must demonstrate and
document their skills and accomplishments.

Some of the methods of instruction commonly used in ABE include the following:

       Large Group Instruction                     One-on-One Tutorial Instruction
       Small Group Instruction                     Individualized Instruction
       Cooperative Learning                        Field Trips
       Project-based Instruction                   Guest Speakers
       Computer-assisted Instruction               Experiments

These methods are explained on the following pages.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                             14
Large Group Instruction

The instructor plans and directs activities to meet the needs of a large group or
sometimes the whole class. A majority of learners participate, but some may choose
individualized study instead.

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
 It fosters a sense of community by             Establish group rapport.
  starting everyone off together.                Provide a multi-sensory presentation of
 It provides instruction in a subject area       information.
  required by the majority of learners.          Provide guided practice.
 The physical environment is conducive          Provide independent practice.
  to participation by the entire group.          Offer a variety of multi-sensory
 Lesson content is at an appropriate             assignments.
  level for all the learners in the group.       Set evaluation criteria.
 The instructor varies the delivery of          Assess learner progress and
  content and the assignments to include          demonstrate learner gains that are a
  visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic      result of large group activities.
  input and output alternatives.                 Provide follow-up activities as needed.
 Small group and personalized
  instruction are available alternatives for
  some learners.

Content Areas that are addressed well:          How Technology is used:
  Anything—appropriate to all levels             Technology can be worked into any
  Job readiness                                   lesson or be the basis for any lesson.
  Health topics                                  Video or audiotapes can be used to
  Parenting skills                                deliver information.
  Topics in affective and cognitive              All learners may be using the same
   domains                                         software program or internet site, and
  Life skills                                     the instructor may use an interactive
  Work process skills                             whiteboard or LCD for
                                                  Educational software programs may
                                                   be used to drill and practice new skills
                                                   in the large group setting.

For further study:
Classroom Dynamics in Adult Literacy Education: Group-Based Instruction (See pages

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                            15
Small Group Instruction

Material is presented to a small number of learners (probably no more than 10) that are
either on a similar learning level or are participating with a specific purpose in mind.

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
 The instructor needs to teach specific         Set purposes and expectations in
  skills to part of the larger group.             establishing the group.
 Several learners are interested in the         Limit the amount of time the group will
  same subject, but others are not.               work together (4, 6, 8 weeks).
 Certain learners are intimidated by a          Provide a multi-sensory presentation of
  large group setting.                            information.
 Certain learners prefer to work in a           Provide guided practice.
  group versus individually.                     Provide independent practice.
 The instructor wants to build peer             Offer a variety of multi-sensory
  relationships among the learners.               assignments.
 Successful learners model skills/study         Set evaluation criteria.
  habits for learners with weaker                Assess learner progress and
  skills/habits.                                  demonstrate learner gains that are a
 The classroom has a limited number of           result of small group learning activities.
  instructional materials on a subject.

Content Areas that are addressed:               How Technology is used:
 Science                                        The Internet can be used as a
 Reasoning                                       resource.
 Team-building                                  Videos can be shown.
 Study skills and test-taking skills
 Social Studies
 Chart, graph, and map-reading skills
 Math facts
 Essay-writing
 Low-level reading/phonics
 Pre-vocational preparation

For further study:
Small Group Instruction: Theory and Practice

Small Groups in Adult Literacy and Basic Education

Peer Tutoring in Adult Basic and Literacy Education

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                             16
Cooperative Learning

Learners of all abilities and backgrounds work together towards a common goal. Each
group or team member is responsible for a part of the learning process and offers
feedback, support, and reinforcement to others. Often group members are assigned
specific roles (e.g., worrier, encourager, time keeper, recorder, reporter, facilitator, etc.).
A variety of grouping strategies and techniques are employed (e.g., round table,
corners, color-coded co-op cards, simulation, jigsaw, co-op/co-op, pairs check, cubing,
numbered heads together, etc.).

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
 Group work/teamwork skills are                 Teach skills for group/team learning.
  perceived as important job skills for the      Describe a clear and specific learning
  workplace.                                      task.
 Cooperative behavior is promoted in            Choose a grouping strategy and group
  the classroom.                                  size.
 Classroom activities and lesson                Select group members so that learner
  content are structured so learners see          abilities are mixed, which will allow
  each other as resources; students are           them to help each other.
  willing to learn from peers as well as         Discuss and practice roles.
  from the instructor.                           Engineer groups; assign team roles.
 Group members are active in sharing            Set time limits and goals.
  ideas and practicing skills.                   Facilitate the teams by providing
 Learners feel comfortable with one              materials and assistance as needed.
  another.                                       Monitor the teams.
 Independent learners are allowed to            Have teams report back and analyze
  work alone at times.                            their process.
 Learners are functioning at different          Transfer these cooperative skills into
  academic levels.                                life-skills/problem solving.
                                                 Establish evaluation criteria.
                                                 Assess learner progress and
                                                  demonstrate learner gains that are a
                                                  result of cooperative learning activities.
Content Areas:                                  How Technology is used:
 Current events                                 Students can do research using the
 Writing                                         Internet.
 Research skills                                Students can use Wikis in their
 Life skills                                     collaborative efforts.
 Work process skills                            Students prepare presentations or
                                                  charts using PowerPoint or Excel.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                                17
For further study:
Five Levels of Cooperative Learning Activities for Adult Learners

I-CANS Overview of Selected Cooperative Learning Structures

Cooperative Structures for Adult Education Classes

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                          18
Project-based Instruction

Learners explore a chosen theme as part of a mini-class, longer unit or year-long class
emphasis. Researching the theme and preparing to present the information involves a
range of skills across the curriculum.

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
  The entire group focuses on a theme           Select a theme as a group.
   that is later developed at various            Narrow the theme to a manageable
   levels with varying tasks depending on          length.
   the learners' abilities.                      Design a project as a group.
  Everyone is included in the completion        Clarify objectives and desired
   of a finished product but each learner          outcomes of the project.
   is allowed to select a task based on          Research the theme as a group.
   his or her ability and interest.              Decide within the group who will do
  Learners are allowed to contribute to           what to gather information and present
   projects using their strengths and              the results.
   improving on their weaker areas.              Create a product or program to share.
  Learners actively initiate, facilitate,       Reflect on the process and evaluate
   evaluate, and produce a project that            the project.
   has meaning to them.                          Set evaluation criteria.
  A context for new learning and cross-         Assess learner progress and
   curricular integration is provided.             demonstrate learner gains that are a
  The instructor facilitates and coaches          result of project-based instruction.
   rather than creating/directing
  The environment is comfortable, risk-
   free, and promotes learner discussion
   without fear of criticism.
Content Areas:                                  How Technology is used:
 Everything—cross-curricular                    Educational videos, computerized
                                                  encyclopedia, and Internet are
                                                  constant resources.
                                                 Technology can offer a method of
                                                  collecting information (video or
                                                  audiotape live interviews or speakers,
                                                  broadcast radio or television programs.
                                                 Technology can offer a method of
                                                  presentation (PowerPoint, videos, etc.).
                                                 Technology can assist in creation of a
                                                  final product (online newsletter, blog).

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                           19
Computer-assisted Instruction

The learner receives instruction and practice via computer used as a tool in teaching
basic skills or knowledge. Educational software programs are either the major source of
instruction or used to reinforce materials presented in a more traditional method.

Appropriate when:                                Key Steps:
 The learner sees computer literacy as           Introduce basics about the computer
  necessary to function in today’s world.           (turning on/off, going to programs, using
 The learner likes privacy and prefers to          CDs, plugging in USB devices, etc.).
  control the content and pace of learning.       Introduce the specific software
 The learner needs feedback that                   program(s) a learner will use (getting
  demonstrates success and boosts self-             in/exiting the program, saving
  esteem.                                           material/place, moving around within the
 A significant amount of drill and practice        program, etc.).
  on a particular skill is needed to reinforce    Introduce basic computer keyboarding
  what has been taught.                             (enter, backspace, delete, arrow keys,
 Flexibility in the length and scheduling of       mouse, etc.).
  study time is necessary.                        Present new skills in a non-threatening
 Learners require multi-media input and            manner: explain, show, have the learner
  practice in order to learn.                       do it, have the instructor keep hands off.
 Computers are not utilized as the sole          Establish the objectives of educational
  means of instruction.                             activities using the computer.
 An instructor is readily available when         Assess learner progress and
  things go wrong.                                  demonstrate learner gains that are a
                                                    result of computer-assisted Instruction.
Content Areas:                                   How Technology is used:
 All academic areas—if you have the              Educational videos and software
  appropriate software, you can do                 programs can introduce basics of
  anything                                         computers/Internet.
 The Internet as an information source,          In a lab situation, computer/Internet
  research tool, and teaching tool (many           basics or a software program can be
  sites allow interactive learning)                demonstrated using an interactive
 Writing skills—process writing                   whiteboard or LCD projector.
                                                  Multi-media presentations can be
                                                   created by learners to demonstrate their
                                                  Headphones should be utilized for
                                                   software programs with sound (to avoid
                                                  Spell checker, grammar checker, and
                                                   encyclopedia as resource tools for other

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                               20
One-on-One/Tutorial Instruction

The instructor or a tutor works with one learner at a time, usually in a subject area in
which a particular learner needs intensive individual instruction.

 Appropriate when:                              Key Steps:
 Individual’s skill levels are too low for      Evaluate the learner’s skill level and
   the learner to work without assistance.        learning style.
 Individual’s strong personal preference        Schedule appropriate times.
   for this type of instruction is shown in      Limit the amount of one-on-one time so
   the learning style inventory.                  that it does not dominate total time
 Only one individual needs to study a            available for instruction.
   particular subject and requires               Plan for instruction.
   substantial assistance.                       Identify the specific subject matter/
 It does not impede the progress of the          objectives to be covered in that
   rest of the class or interfere with the        session.
   overall function of a learning center.        Set evaluation criteria.
 There is at least one instructor               Assess learner progress and
   available to the rest of the group (a          demonstrate learner gains that are a
   volunteer or speaker may work with the         result of learning activities.
   rest of the group or a tutor may do the
   one-on-one instruction).
 An individual learner is not singled out
   in a negative way.
Content Areas:                                  How Technology is used:
 Literacy, Math, ESL, and Grammar               Reinforce concepts when more drill
 Almost all academic areas at a low              and practice is necessary for mastery.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                              21
Individualized Study

The learner and instructor create a plan of attack to reach the learner’s stated goals.
The instructor recommends materials. The learner works somewhat independently at
his or her own pace, checking with the instructor at stated intervals and asking for help
when needed. The instructor monitors learner progress, offering instruction when

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
 The learner tends to be independent            Set goals and objectives with the
  and self-directed.                              learner.
 The learner needs instructional support        Evaluate skills and learning style.
  but not constant instructor contact.           Establish a schedule and plan of study.
 The learner works well in an individual        Assign activities and learning materials
  study format.                                   with the individual’s preferred learning
 The classroom/learning center is                style in mind.
  flexible enough to accommodate                 Monitor work periodically.
  different learning needs (multi-level          Follow-up on progress.
  groups, open entry/open exit, frequent         Evaluate continuously using a variety of
  entry/frequent exit).                           means (tests, a portfolio of
 The learner wants to study online               accomplishments, samples of class
  (Distance Education).                           work, competency checklists, etc.).
Content Areas:                                  How Technology is used:
 All academic areas                             Audiocassettes or videos for self-study
 Particularly appropriate for make-up            depending on the individual’s learning
  work during a small group class                 style.
                                                 Scheduled computer, audiocassette, or
                                                  video equipment time is offered.
                                                 The learner uses technology
                                                 Technology is an integral part of the

For further study:
Classroom Dynamics in Adult Literacy Education: Individualized Instruction
(See pages 47-50.)

Shaping and Sustaining Learner Engagement in Individualized Group Instruction

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                               22
Field Trips

The learner is engaged in educational activities anyplace other than the regular

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
 What is planned for, prepared for,             Establish relevance to curriculum
  debriefed, and evaluated is connected           timeline.
  to the learners’ plan of study.                Plan with the group—before and after.
 All learners who are interested have           Set an agenda.
  the capacity to participate (cost/time         Check availability and means of
  factor is not prohibitive).                     transportation (county policies and
 Learners prefer/can benefit from                procedures, county forms and
  hands-on and experiential learning.             releases).
                                                 Check cost (decide how to fund—do
                                                  not eliminate people because of cost).
                                                 Plan follow-up activities (writing about
                                                  the experience, etc.).
                                                 Set evaluation criteria.
                                                 Assess learner progress and
                                                  demonstrate learner gains that are a
                                                  result of field trip activities.
Content Areas:                                  How Technology is used:
 Science, History, Math, etc.                   Take photos and videos during the trip.
 Socialization                                  View a film about the location or event.
 Life skills; job and life opportunities        Use a word-processor to type up the
 Cultural exposure                               itinerary before and write about the
 Team building                                   experience afterward.
 Leadership                                     Check the Internet for information,
 Time management                                 maps, directions, etc.
                                                 Post photos to websites.
                                                 Write blogs about experiences.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                            23
Guest Speaker

Someone else besides the regular instructor speaks about a topic relevant to

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
 Speaker’s expertise fits into class            Prepare speaker for audience needs,
  objectives/curriculum.                          topic, clarity/simplicity of speech/
 Time and format offered by the                  vocabulary, time frame, hands-on
  speaker are compatible to ABE needs.            needs.
 A variety of different teaching styles         Prepare learners for the topic—
  and perspectives are provided.                  encourage people to be open to new
 Speaker’s exposure to the ABE                   experience.
  population will help to link the               Connect subject matter to the world of
  program/class with other agencies and           work—career exploration.
  their services.                                Follow-up with class writing or another
 Speaker’s exposure to the ABE                   activity.
  population will help to link the               Write a thank you note.
  program/class with other agencies and          Set evaluation criteria.
  their services.                                Assess learner progress and
                                                  demonstrate learner gains that are a
                                                  result of input from the guest speaker
                                                  and follow-up activities.
Content Areas:                                  How Technology is used:
 All content areas can be addressed             Be prepared for the speaker’s
  well                                            technology needs—VCR, overhead,
 Career awareness and life skills                etc.
 Listening skills                               Use video, Internet, etc., for follow-up.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                             24

Learners engage in hands-on experiences in order to test hypotheses.

Appropriate when:                               Key Steps:
 What is planned is connected to the            Plan objectives.
  class objectives/curriculum.                   Check the Internet for information.
 Hands-on learning is necessary for the         Collect all materials.
  kinesthetic learners.                          Test drive it.
 Textbook explanations need to be               Develop a hypothesis with learners.
  applied in order to be understood.             Evaluate—was the hypothesis proved?
 No special lab or extraordinary                Set evaluation criteria.
  equipment/supplies are needed.                 Assess learner progress and
 The activity is not dangerous.                  demonstrate learner gains that are a
                                                  result of experiments.
Content Areas:                                  How Technology is used:
 Science                                        Internet can be used as a resource.
 Reasoning skills                               Videos (such as Bill Nye “the Science
 Team-building skills                            Guy”).
                                                 Look for “interactive” activities that
                                                  simulate real experiments via

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                              25

Universal Design for Instruction (UDI)* is an approach to teaching that designs and uses
teaching strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with

UDI is based on the more familiar concept of architectural universal design that we see
in products and environments on a daily basis. Examples of architectural universal
design include curb cuts on sidewalks, electronic doors and closed captioned text on
televisions. Universal design of instruction stresses teaching strategies that benefit all

UDI is based on nine principles that can help make any classroom more inclusive for all
students (see chart below). All nine principles may not apply to every classroom
situation, but they can serve as a framework for teachers who are interested in making
their curriculum work for most students.

                UDI Principals                                  Definition

1. Equitable use                                Instruction is designed to be useful to, and
                                                accessible by students with diverse
                                                abilities. Provide the same methods for all
                                                students; identical when possible,
                                                equivalent when not.

2. Flexibility in use                           Instruction is designed to accommodate a
                                                wide range of individual abilities. Provides
                                                choice in methods of use.

3. Simple and intuitive                         Instruction is designed in a straightforward
                                                and predictable manner, regardless of the
                                                student’s experience, knowledge,
                                                language skills or current concentration
                                                level. Eliminates unnecessary complexity.

4. Perceptible information                      Instruction is designed so that necessary
                                                information is communicated effectively to
                                                the student, regardless of conditions or
                                                the student’s sensory abilities.

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                              26
5. Tolerance for error                                Instruction expects variation in individual
                                                      student learning pace and required skills.

6. Low physical effort                                Instruction is designed to reduce extra
                                                      physical effort in order to allow greatest
                                                      attention to learning. Note: This principle
                                                      does not apply when physical effort is
                                                      important to requirements of a course.

7. Size and space for approach and use                Instruction is designed with thought for
                                                      correct size and space for approach,
                                                      reach, manipulations, and use regardless
                                                      of a student’s body size, posture, mobility
                                                      and communication needs.

8. A community of learners                            The instructional setting helps interaction
                                                      and communication among students and
                                                      between students and teachers.

9. Instructional climate                              Instruction is designed to be welcoming
                                                      and inclusive. High expectations are
                                                      advocated for all students.

*These pages on Universal Design where adapted from Scott, S., McGuire, J.M., & Emby, P. (2002).
Universal design for instruction fact sheet. Storrs: University of Connecticut, Center on Postsecondary
Education and Disability. Reprinted with permission from The WVATS Newsletter, Winter 2009.

WVATS website address:

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12                                                             27
For further study:

Applications of Universal Design

Center for Applied Special Technology:

The Center for Universal Design

Council for Exceptional Children

WVABE Instructor Handbook, Section 5, 2011-12           28

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