0 Distance Learning Policies and Procedures Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Adult Education and Literacy DESE-3/09 GED OnlineClass State Support Staff Ron Jewell DESE AEL Director email@example.com Theresa Noellsch DESE Distance Learning Supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Grott GED OnlineClass Facilitator Rockwood School District email@example.com Table of Contents Distance Learning Mission ............................................................................................................. 1 GED OnlineClass: ........................................................................................................................... 3 Flexible Learning Environment for Students .................................................................................. 4 Reporting Students ................................................................................................................................... 4 Funding ..................................................................................................................................................... 4 Job Descriptions .............................................................................................................................. 5 GED OnlineClass Instructor ..................................................................................................................... 5 GED OnlineClass Systems Administrator ................................................................................................ 7 Local AEL Teacher and Director Role in GED OnlineClass ......................................................... 9 GED OnlineClass Skills Sheet Regional Breakdown ................................................................... 11 GED OnlineClass Skills Sheet ...................................................................................................... 13 GED OnlineClass Teacher Mentor Program Guidelines: ............................................................. 14 The Effective Mentoring Relationship.......................................................................................... 15 Mentoring Groups Fiscal Year 2008-2009 ................................................................................... 20 Glossary of Terms for GED OnlineClass ..................................................................................... 21 1 Missouri Adult Education and Literacy Distance Learning Mission Introduction: In order to meet the demands of tomorrow‟s jobs, workers, employers and employment trainers must continue learning in order to keep up with the job-related expectations and advancements, and to continue growing personally, professionally, and economically. To accomplish this learning and growth in spite of busy schedules, adult learners are seeking an alternative that will accommodate their daily routines. Missouri Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) provides distance learning classes outside the formal classroom. These courses combine independent study with guided instructions. Technology and instructors work together to provide a delivery system that meets high academic standards while ensuring flexibility, so each student‟s individual needs may be met. The distance learning staff is committed to offering technologically-mediated teaching and learning opportunities to both faculty and students. New learning technologies are allowing instructional environments in which learners are removed in time, place, and pace from the source of instruction. Distance learning provides support for both students and educators so that they may fully participate in new and exciting ways of teaching and learning. Distance learning prepares AEL students for a world in which information and economic environments are globalized. Through technologically-enhanced teaching and learning opportunities, Missouri AEL reaches out to communities of learners by creating an inclusive and goal oriented environment for students. Distance Learning Goals: 1. To provide an alternative or additional method for AEL students to study and prepare for the GED Tests, improve basic skills, and/or study English as a second language (ESL). 2. To provide students with learning opportunities when students must “stop out” of the classroom due to unforeseen circumstances. 3. To help each eligible AEL student access the educational services needed for that student to meet their stated goal(s). a. Distance learning should enable students to achieve their educational goals by delivering academically sound courses and educational support services that are flexible, responsive, and innovative. b. Distance learning courses should provide the same academic standards, criteria, quality, and content as traditional on-site programs. c. The distance learning program should augment, not replace, on-site classes. d. Distance learning programs are part of efforts to expand the walls of the classroom, making adult education more accessible. e. As an integral part of the Missouri AEL instructional framework, the distance learning program provides resources for learning regardless of time and place. 4. To meet the needs of all online learners through active management of goal setting, pre and post-testing data and by offering personalized student/teacher interactions. 5. To create, or provide support for new distance learning courses and programs and redesign or enhance existing ones. 2 6. To provide technical support for design and development of teaching materials that integrate instructional media, computer technology and developing technologies. 7. To provide student and faculty support to assist programs in reaching and retaining distance learners. 8. To investigate, evaluate, acquire, and promote emerging technologies and resources to support the enhancement of the teaching and delivery of distance learning courses. 9. To promote excellence and innovation in teaching and learning through specialized training and consulting, and through the dissemination of information about distance learning and its technologies. 10. To assist departments, faculty and staff in their efforts to improve teaching effectiveness. 11. To provide a free internet-based study program which will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all adult learners in the state of Missouri who have access to the internet. Strategies: In order to achieve effectiveness and provide excellent customer service, we must take the following steps: 1. Continuous and ongoing teacher training in the following areas a. Distance teaching best practices and procedures b. Ongoing technical training c. Ongoing mentor/mentee training and development for online teachers 2. Maintain and increase individual student contact through email, Blackboard, discussion board, phone calls and mailings. 3. Offer a variety of learning opportunities through research of new internet-based learning systems, as well as video, video on demand, cable, mailing, etc. 4. Maintain and decrease the time it takes to respond to an online learner request for feedback. 5. Be active managers of each online classroom, for each teacher to take ownership of content, postings and data for their online classroom. 6. To take every opportunity to celebrate our students‟ successes and to create a learning opportunity out of every student‟s struggles and failures. 7. To enroll students into the online program in the most expedient and efficient method possible. 8. Maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to reliably support and deliver distance learning. 9. Conduct continuous evaluation of distance learning and support services. 10. Post-test students regularly, at least every 90 days. 11. Orient the students to ensure the best fit for the student. Orientation also prepares the students for the distance learning environment. 3 Missouri Adult Education and Literacy Distance Education Policy The State of Missouri Adult Education and Literacy Program supports distance education as allowable learning activity that allows adult students who are separated by geography, time or both to participate in adult education instruction. In Missouri distance education instruction will be delivered through the AEL funded GED OnlineClass. Missouri‟s GED OnlineClass offers instruction through the use of three primary instructional curricula – SkillsTutor, Tutor Systems and an academic/basic skills curriculum developed specifically for Missouri‟s GED OnlineClass. Missouri‟s GED OnlineClass uses Blackboard as the platform for instructional activity. In order to include distance education activity in the required federal reports (National Reporting System (NRS)), the Missouri AEL program: Defines a distance education student as: o a student that has at least 51% of the total number of contact hours generated through the student‟s participation in GED OnlineClass, and o must have at least 12 hours of contact with an AEL program. These hours can be a mix of actual class time and/or distance education. Utilizes the Teacher Learner Model to assign proxy hours for the Missouri developed academic/basic skills curriculum. A fixed number of hours have been identified for each assignment based on teacher determination. Utilizes the Clock Time Model for the SkillsTutor and Tutor Systems programs. These software programs track time. Requires all pre and post-tests be conducted through face-to-face interaction with a trained test administrator and in accordance with the state‟s assessment policy. Requires all students participating in GED OnlineClass must be post-tested at least every 90 days. Online students that are not post-tested by the 90th day will be prohibited (locked-out) from accessing GED OnlineClass, until such time that they are post-tested. 4 GED OnlineClass: Flexible Learning Environment for Students With the GED OnlineClass, local AEL programs can establish a flexible learning environment for their students using both on-site and online learning. Site-based teachers are encouraged to communicate with the online teachers about students and convey any wishes for the student to be placed in particular software as a part of the discussions with the online teacher when a student enrolls in GED OnlineClass. Reporting Students Attending a Program Site and Working in GED OnlineClass 1. Reporting student participation on GED OnlineClass requires the program to count time a student “physically” spends in their program onsite (e.g. enrollment, testing, instruction, etc) using appropriate class codes. 2. Quarterly, programs also receive documentation from GED OnlineClass about how much time the student spends online using GED OnlineClass instruction. These online hours count toward a student‟s eligibility for performance funding. 3. These two methods allow for accurate tracking of both onsite time spent in a program and GED OnlineClass time. Funding The combination of on-site hours and online hours to equal/exceed 12 hours will allow the student to be considered eligible for performance funding. The combined hours should be entered into ACES by class code for tracking of online hours as well as on-site hours. The total hours simply show student use, and are not a factor in contact hour funding calculations. 5 Job Descriptions GED OnlineClass Instructor Requirements: 1. Must be AEL certified. 2. Must have computer and internet skills. 3. Must have ready access to the internet. Recruitment Responsibilities: 1. Develop student base through recruitment with local AEL programs and other appropriate sources. 2. Initiate and maintain contact with prospective students via email and/or phone. 3. Assist prospective students through enrollment, location of pre-testing site, and the TABE testing process, as necessary. 4. Maintain minimum levels of student enrollment and online class participation hours. Education Responsibilities: 1. Maintain knowledge of all GED OnlineClass, SkillsTutor, and TutorSystems curricula. 2. Create individualized study plans for students based on Skills Sheets or other information provided by AEL teachers with the goal of success on the GED test. 3. Assign lessons to students in increments matching their abilities and needs. 4. Teach all areas of GED curricula, as needed. 5. Evaluate student work, answer questions. 6. Monitor student progress on a regular basis. 7. Refer student back to local AEL class for post-testing. 8. Assist students throughout the GED Test application process. Communication Responsibilities: 1. Initiate and maintain contact with students, both current and prospective, addressing issues and resolving problems. 2. Respond on a timely basis to all student communications (24 hours maximum) 5 days a week minimum, Monday – Friday. 3. Monitor student behavior in the online setting, communicating guidelines for class requirements, expected behavior and addressing problems as needed, communicate your availability to your students. 4. Work effectively with AEL programs/ teachers on issues of student recruitment, retention, testing, evaluations (skills sheets), pre-and post-testing, and ACES reporting. 5. Coordinate with GED OnlineClass staff, responding within 24 hours to emails and other communications or requests for information (Monday – Friday). Administrative Duties: 1. Submit skills sheet to administrators for assignment of student user name and password. 2. Maintain records of student assignments, quiz results and progress. 3. Update online student records with ALL student information, contacts, assignments, testing results, and online hours on a timely basis. 4. Update class announcements within Blackboard on a weekly basis. 6 5. Enroll or request enrollment of students in SkillsTutor or Tutorsystems learning programs. Other Responsibilities: 1. Attend training as required. 2. Undergo performance evaluation by local AEL director. 3. Make recommendations for program improvements. 4. Make recommendations for curriculum enhancements. Requirements for Renewing the GED OnlineClass Funding 1. Goal: 30 active students/wk = 10 hours of work time 2. *Minimum: 10 active students/wk 3. *Minimum: 120 learning hours/qtr = 10-12 active students/wk @ 10 learning hours *Any class with less than the amount of students/learning hours at above stated minimums will be reviewed before funding will be allocated for the following fiscal year. GED OnlineClass Instructor Procedures GED OnlineClass instructors are expected to maintain an ongoing dialogue with their students and with the site-based instructors who may also work with the same student. Additionally, instructors should maintain contact with the GED OnlineClass staff, mentors, and other members of the mentor groups. Duties that an online instructor should perform are listed by frequency below: Daily 1. Process new students. 2. Check and return emails on a daily basis. 3. Make student assignments. 4. Update the maintenance database with all student activity. 5. Send TABE information to GED OnlineClass staff for enrollment processing. 6. Respond to GED OnlineClass staff requests. Weekly 1. Post new announcements to Blackboard classrooms. 2. Initiate contact with inactive students (can include email, phone, onsite and online). 3. Update database with Skills Tutor and TutorSystems data. 4. Update database with all student contact and activity. Monthly 1. Warn inactive students that they may be dropped from class. 2. Update maintenance database – All data must be entered by the 3rd of each month. 3. Send students who have been inactive for 60 days an email reminding them they will be locked out of class. If the student wishes to return to the online class, they must return to the AEL classroom and take a post-test. If a student has been inactive for 90 days, the instructor must archive the student. 4. Complete the Archive Form from the Teacher Workroom, to archive inactive students from the Blackboard classroom and ACES. 7 Ongoing Expectations 1. Recruit students on a regular basis. Re-contact students who have filled out an online enrollment form, but have never tested. Develop a relationship with the on-site teacher. Encourage them to have student enroll online. 2. Send extra study material to students. Explore websites that may have extra practice for students. Use other resources that are available to you. 3. Encourage students with email, e-cards and phone calls. Let them know you are interested in their progress and success. 4. Make sure students are post-testing. After a student has made progress or worked at least 12 hours, encourage students to post-test. After 90 days without a post-test, the student must be archived until they take a post-test. GED OnlineClass Systems Administrator Student Enrollment 1. Review all enrollments submitted via the website. 2. Forward HTML file to correct classroom teacher. 3. Send HTML file of students who have filled out an enrollment form but have not taken TABE tests to appropriate online instructors. 4. Collect and process Skills Sheets. 5. Set student up with username and password for appropriate classroom and email it to student. 6. Enter student in database, proper classroom, and email instructor to let them know student has been enrolled and attach Skills Sheet when necessary. Tech Support 1. Answer tech questions from both students and staff. 2. Enroll students in SkillsTutor and Tutorsystems at request of online teacher. 3. Fix worksheets when there is an incorrect answer. 4. Change quizzes when an answer is wrong or if somebody finds a misspelling. 5. Look for dead internet links and make changes as necessary. 6. Email Blackboard Support if classroom “crashes” or something doesn‟t work correctly. 7. Call tech support when website is down. 8. Add/change website as program changes. 9. Renew domain registration and VeriSign. 10. Act as liaison – Blackboard, TutorSystems, River City Net, Skills Tutor, DESE, Project IDEAL. GED OnlineClass Teacher Trainings 1. Train new online teachers. 2. Plan, coordinate and develop content for ongoing trainings for new and experienced online teachers. State AEL office projects 1. Collect data 2. Quarterly reporting 3. Other projects required by DESE 8 Data Collection (work with Data Collection Coordinator) 1. Create spreadsheets for online seat time and teacher time. 2. Email instructions to teachers. 3. Prepare and submit quarterly report to State AEL office. 4. Distribute quarterly update of student hours per teacher to AEL directors. Additional Responsibilities 1. Help with budget, curriculum development, conference presentations. 2. Coordinate with the local directors/literacy coordinators/teachers on questions/processes about GED OnlineClass and ACES impact and process. 3. Develop, maintain and monitor mentoring program for online teachers. 4. Provide existing data requested by Project IDEAL. 9 Local AEL Teacher and Director Role in GED OnlineClass The success of a student‟s transition from an on-site class to the online class is tied directly to the local AEL program. All online students must start in the on-site classroom for TABE testing. Whether the student is referred to the class from an online enrollment or the student is originally an on-site student, the local AEL teacher/director is key to the success of the online student. Role of AEL Classroom Teacher Listed below are the steps involved for an on-site teacher to process a new online student‟s information 1. Student expresses interest in becoming an online student. 2. Student must complete the TABE tests. 3. On-site teacher fills out a Skills Sheet. 4. On-site teacher sends Skills Sheet to the online teacher dedicated to the AEL program. 5. Online teacher submits student for enrollment. 6. Student must fill out an online enrollment form, which includes an online readiness assessment. 7. Student is emailed a username and password to begin studying online. We encourage the on-site teacher and the online teacher to have frequent communication concerning the online student‟s progress, etc. This is especially important if the student is both attending an on-site class and working online. Please see the list on page 10 for a listing of which online teachers are dedicated to your AEL program. Role of AEL Director Local AEL directors play a vital role in GED OnlineClass, whether or not they have a distance learning allocation. Please see listed guidelines below for all AEL programs. All AEL program directors: 1. Directors should design efficient methods of communication among the on-site teachers, students wishing to become online students, and distance learning teachers. All faculty and staff should be aware of the procedures to ensure that students are provided orientation and testing, and that the testing data is submitted within 24 hours to the distance learning teacher. 2. Students and teachers within a local AEL program should know the designated online teacher and on-site personnel should have the online teacher‟s contact information readily available. 3. Students, especially those who have difficulty with schedules or transportation, should be encouraged to enroll in GED OnlineClass. Students do not need to be in the local classroom for 12 hours before enrolling online. 4. Although it is recommended students be at an 8th grade reading level to work online, GED OnlineClass does have curriculum for readers at the 3rd grade level. Students do not have to test at a certain level to work online. However, students must have some computer knowledge and have an email account. Students should also be self-motivated in order to succeed. 10 5. All hours generated by students will be credited to the local AEL program. Learning hours a student generates will be added together with orientation and testing hours to qualify the student as a 12-hour student, and thus make the student eligible for performance funding. 6. Included in this document are copies of Skills Sheets, teacher listings, and other materials that will be useful for your teachers and students who need information about the GED OnlineClass. AEL programs directors with distance learning teacher allocation: Follow the specific guidelines for the allocation within the grant. 1. Online teachers will work under your direction and under the guidance of their mentor and the GED OnlineClass facilitator. 2. Online teachers have guidelines for the minimum amount of students/learning hours required in order to re-qualify for the online allocation. Minimums have been set at 10 active students generating 120 learning hours per quarter. 3. If an online teacher falls below that minimum on a consistent basis the grant may not be renewed the following Fiscal year. 4. Students and teachers within your local AEL program should meet and know your online teacher and should have their contact information readily available. 5. Local directors should ensure that teachers are enforcing the 90 day post-test or lock-out policy. 6. Online teachers should attend GED OnlineClass professional development workshops. These will keep teachers updated on new technology used with distance learning. Directors must use a portion of their GED OnlineClass allocation for this professional development. 11 GED OnlineClass Skills Sheet Regional Breakdown Please send your students‟ Skills Sheets to the GED OnlineClass Teachers listed below: Blue Springs: Eva Maxwell – firstname.lastname@example.org Bonne Terre: Melissa Hopkins - email@example.com Camdenton: Fern Doublin - firstname.lastname@example.org Columbia: Marla Grothoff – email@example.com Houston: Jennifer Swanson - firstname.lastname@example.org Jefferson City: Phyllis Arthur – email@example.com Hillsboro/ Jefferson College: Tania Langrehr - firstname.lastname@example.org and Jill Warren - email@example.com Joplin: Debra Calderon – firstname.lastname@example.org Kansas City: Susan Kysela - email@example.com Kirksville and Hannibal: Lois Powell - firstname.lastname@example.org Kirkwood: Barb Dryer - email@example.com Macon, Moberly and Trenton: Terri Laughlin - firstname.lastname@example.org Neosho and Carthage: Jerri Hudson - email@example.com Nevada: Larry Nottingham - firstname.lastname@example.org North Kansas City, Della Lamb, and Independence: Mary Beth Hewitt - email@example.com and Megan Nobert - firstname.lastname@example.org Parkway: Julie McKysmick - email@example.com Ritenour: Chris Burgess – firstname.lastname@example.org Rockwood/Eureka, Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Susanna Wesley, and U-City: Diane Velker – email@example.com (A-L) and Linda Techner firstname.lastname@example.org (M-Z) Rolla: Cynthia Marler - email@example.com Sedalia: Deb Isabell - firstname.lastname@example.org 12 Springfield: Mary Ann Hawk - email@example.com and Jane Jeffries - firstname.lastname@example.org St. Charles and Vandalia: Tina Liston email@example.com St. Joseph and Maryville: Donna Whitaker - firstname.lastname@example.org St. Louis and Hi-Tech: Etta Key - email@example.com, Harva Kennedy – firstname.lastname@example.org and Henry Loving – email@example.com Union: Carol Holt - firstname.lastname@example.org Waynesville and Lebanon: Adele Nickels - email@example.com West Plains: Gary Plowick - firstname.lastname@example.org 13 GED OnlineClass Skills Sheet Student instructions: Print this form and take it to the onsite classroom where you are taking your TABE tests. If you are not able to print it, please contact your instructor, who will mail you a hard copy. Teacher instructions: This student is enrolling in the GED OnlineClass and needs to take the assessment test at an on-site class in order to make the score valid. Since the student is taking the test in your program, they will be considered a dually enrolled student and your program may be eligible for funding based on their progress. Please fill out the information at the top of this form, and then put a checkmark in front of the subjects the student needs to work on. When complete, please mail or fax this form to the GED OnlineClass instructor. Student Name Student Email Program Location: Program Code: Program Phone: Date Taken: Instructor Name: TABE Form and Level: CASAS Comments: Raw Scores Raw Score: READING MATH LANGUAGE SCIENCE Interpreting What Whole Numbers Punctuation Biology You Read Interpreting Info Fractions Capitalization Chemistry From Graphs Poetry Decimals Pronouns Earth Estimating and Adjectives/Adverbs Rounding Ratios and SOCIAL WRITING Verbs Proportions STUDIES GED Essay Percents Sentence Structure U.S. History Writing Clear Writing an Essay Integers Geography Sentences Paragraph Political Algebra Organization Cartoons Geometry Special Topics **DO NOT FORGET TO SEND THIS TO YOUR GED ONLINECLASS INSTRUCTOR** Email us at email@example.com to find your instructor's contact information. 14 GED OnlineClass Teacher Mentor Program Guidelines: Each new teacher will be placed into a “mentoring group.” Mentors will instruct new teachers on a variety of subjects, including, but not limited to: 1. Curriculum 2. Best Online Teaching Practices 3. Policies and Procedures 4. Technical Support 5. Student Contact 6. Managing Data Mentoring Groups are constructed by geographical locations. New and existing teachers will have the same mentor throughout their career with GED OnlineClass. Groups will use a variety of vehicles to communicate, including but not limited to: 1. Phone 2. Email 3. Discussion Board 4. Face-to-Face Meetings 15 The Effective Mentoring Relationship For mentors and mentees It is how the mentee experiences the mentoring relationship that determines its success; if all their expected outcomes are achieved the relationship is effective. This section explains the ways mentors and mentees can get the most out of the relationship. What mentors need to do to build an effective relationship The best place to start is to understand what your mentee wants. They‟ll want you to show empathy. It is unlikely all your experiences will match their ambitions; but unless you can understand their point of view you‟re unlikely to have a good working relationship. Challenge your mentee constructively. They might benefit from being stretched by setting their ambitions higher or addressing „uncomfortable‟ issues. The mentee might not appreciate it at the time, but you might be thanked for it in the future! Look to provide advice instead of „the answer‟. Mentees often need guidance rather than a prescriptive solution. Sometimes a few practical pointers can produce dramatic improvements. They will want to know how the organization works. Your greater knowledge and experience of people within the organization could prove invaluable. Help in building networks can be important. Your ability to make introductions or to identify/contact the right person could help steer your mentee on their GED OnlineClass career path. Should your mentee need to make a difficult decision, or rehearse a difficult conversation, you could be a useful sounding board to help them think it through. Help them prioritize their ambitions and actions. Lack of direction sometimes results from being confused about the way forward. Sometimes mentors help just by being there and listening when the mentee needs someone to talk to who is not directly involved in an issue. Never underestimate the importance of the feel- good factor. Think about each session so you begin to know instinctively when to talk, when to listen and when to encourage silence for reflection. Overall the effective relationship empowers the individual to be confident in his or her own abilities. This is achieved by nurturing your mentee and creating self-awareness. What mentees need to do You‟re only likely to get out of the relationship what you‟re prepared to put in. Taking ownership may seem scary but it might energize you into getting the most from your sessions. 16 From the outset give your mentor the respect and recognition they deserve; their time and energy is as precious as yours. Preparing for your mentoring sessions also helps. And, in between sessions, reflect on what‟s been discussed, your progression and what you want from future sessions. Take advantage of your mentor‟s wisdom and experience but don‟t hold back from challenging them where you think it‟s necessary and constructive; the disagreements can make the relationship healthy and stimulating. Be honest at all times, particularly in your feedback on the effectiveness of the mentoring process. Why is mentoring useful? Well mentored individuals feel that they are being looked after, gain confidence in their abilities and respond accordingly. They are often happier, more loyal and productive as a result. This section describes: How you can benefit by running a mentoring program How the mentee can benefit How the mentor can benefit So what do mentors do? As a mentor your focus is the development of your mentee. To do so, you will be required to take on a number of challenging, yet rewarding roles. Rather than dictating what should be done you will be looking for situations to empower your charge; always remember that your role is to help them build up their confidence and abilities to take responsibility for themselves, their jobs and their own development. And finally you will be expected to offer support, a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on and always plenty of encouragement! Most mentoring relationships involve a mixture of all of the above, with the emphasis shifting from time to time as new crises or an opportunity opens up, or as your mentee makes progress. Why run a mentoring program? As mentees gain confidence they become more effective at what they do. And employees on mentoring programs tend to stay with their companies longer. Mentoring schemes make integration to a group or organization smoother and speedier and can be a useful asset in attracting and retaining the right caliber of staff. As mentees develop their ability to communicate, the whole organization can become better informed and relationships tend to be more harmonious. And remember, as far as development is concerned, you are getting „two for the price of one‟: the progression of both the mentor and the mentee. 17 Other advantages include: Improved motivation of employees. It legitimizes „soft skills‟ and promotes taking more time for reflection. It can stimulate entrepreneurial thinking and behavior. Immediate/line managers are able to suggest the mentee take a difficult issue to the mentor for a different perspective or set of expertise. Benefits for mentees Mentees can benefit in a number of ways. They will become more able to cope with diverse situations. A good mentor will also encourage the mentee to apply what has been learned and make sense of experiences. As a mentee you‟ll become more resourceful, develop your own networks of support and be keen to continue your path of self-improvement. Benefits for mentors Individuals who have become successful mentors have said the mentoring role provides: incredible satisfaction in being able to contribute to someone else‟s growth a wonderful opportunity to improve their own learning As a mentor you will have an opportunity to reflect on issues raised and perhaps address your own thinking and methods to make improvements. It can also stimulate a renewed focus on your own career development. Some mentoring relationships benefit from familiarity of concerns; others benefit from differences in perspective. For example, a mentee from a younger generation or different gender or racial background can help you improve your knowledge and understanding. What skills does a mentor need? Let us now break down the mentoring role to specific responsibilities. You‟ll experience four main roles: career counselor, coach, role model/guardian and net worker. To be a successful mentor you might be called upon to wear some, if not all, of these hats. Mentor as coach Coaching involves a variety of skills: assessing, demonstrating, stimulating and/or tutoring. You will be called upon to provide help, advice and encouragement to „unlock‟ your mentee‟s potential and raise their level of performance. This might be geared towards meeting an external standard or gaining some kind of qualification. You might also be required to establish learning tasks and set performance targets as well as telling or instructing the learner on how they might best achieve them. The effective coach will always be on the lookout for situations with the potential to stretch the learner. 18 Mentor as Counselor Counseling is an essential part of the mentor's tool kit. You‟ll often be required to: help your mentee develop the confidence and motivation to tackle a learning task/ seize a learning opportunity help them gain insight into their own drives and fears, so that they can recognize and accept the need for improvement or change help them plan how and what they will change about themselves (i.e. how they will learn) help them develop coping strategies to overcome barriers to achievement and learning be available to offer support, or simply to listen sympathetically, when needed The Mentor as role model/guardian What constitutes a good role model is very subjective. Some mentees will be looking for a kindred spirit: somebody who displays the same values and aspirations and has succeeded in areas important to them. Role models can also be picked because of their drive and ambition, attributes that the mentee might be keen to emulate. If the mentee has a sense of vulnerability, they may appreciate a mentor who displays similar vulnerability. Mentor as networker Mentees might value your contribution to their development because of your networking skills. So what makes a good networker? Essentially it is access to other people who can provide support, knowledge, advice or career opportunities. But you might also be helpful to a mentee if you have knowledge of a wide portfolio of information sources such as websites, libraries and professional institutions. Networking can perform a social function, putting an individual in contact with others who share their interests/ambitions and problems. Strong networks can also help the mentee develop career opportunities and interesting learning opportunities. So networks can either offer influence or information. Information networks – such as a corporate plan or even the company grapevine - keep people informed of what is going on; influence networks reveal the people and processes that get things done. Good networking starts with an understanding of what your network should comprise of and how it might be useful to your mentee. 19 How can I evaluate the success of the relationship? Have you and your mentee met all the outcomes sought, taking into account changing circumstances and evolving goals over the course of the relationship? It will be worth reviewing the following: What did we expect to achieve? What did we actually achieve? What else did we learn on the way? How will we use what we have learned in future developmental relationships? Personal and job-related outcomes are certainly one „measure‟ of success. And your organization or overseers of the mentoring scheme will also be keen to see results, particularly as the scheme will have taken up time and resources. Other measurements of success include the following: Has it increased the retention of key staff? Has it raised the competence of the mentee in critical areas? Is the mentee now more confident about his/her abilities and job skills? Would the mentor be happy to take on a new mentee? Would the mentee be now able and happy to become a mentor? Are both parties happy with the relationship? 20 Mentoring Groups Fiscal Year 2008-2009 Mentoring Group Kansas City - Red Mary Beth Hewitt North Kansas City Kansas City Blue Springs Camdenton Kirksville Macon Mentoring Group Kansas City – Blue Karen Crownover Jefferson City Columbia Sedalia St. Joseph Mentoring Group St. Louis - Green Linda Techner St. Louis Kirkwood Ritenour Parkway Waynesville Mentoring Group St. Louis – Orange Diane Velker St. Charles East Central/Union Bonne Terre Jefferson College Sikeston Rolla Houston Mentoring Group Southwest - Yellow Jerri Hudson Springfield West Plains Joplin Nevada 21 Glossary of Terms for GED OnlineClass Blackboard: The organization that holds the GED OnlineClass server and the platform for the classrooms. This is a platform that is accessible only through the internet. Contact Hours: Sixty (60) minutes of attendance by an AEL student in a state approved AEL class conducted by a certified AEL teacher. Enrollment: Completion of GED OnlineClass enrollment procedures. Enrollment Form: Online enrollment form that must be completed from the GED OnlineClass website (www.gedonlineclass.com). Flexible Learning Environment: Web dependent participation online for each activity assigned by the distance learning teacher is a compulsory requirement of participation although some face to face component is retained. Learning Hours: Number of hours an online student spends in the GED OnlineClass, including hours spent on Skills Tutor and TutorSystems. It can be used to count towards a 12 hour student. Maintenance Database: An online database that online teachers use to manage all student data. Online teachers must update the database frequently in order to maintain accurate student records. Mentor: A Missouri AEL certified distance learning teacher, with three (3) or more years of experience, who helps and guides another distance learning teacher‟s development. Mentee: A Missouri AEL certified distance learning teacher who has been assigned a mentor. Recruitment: The systematic gathering of individuals who meet the Missouri DESE Adult Education and Literacy guidelines for enrollment. Skills Sheet: A pre-designed form that is completed by the Missouri AEL certified local site teacher which includes students TABE score results and specific proficiencies designed to help the distance learning teacher with assessing, aligning and assigning the student‟s activities.
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