Melinda Holt: And I'm going to introduce Todd Evans from ProLiteracy. Todd, go for it.
Todd Evans: All right, thank you very much, and thank you all for being here. So excited about this today. And I'm going to tell you a little bit about our organization, and then I'm going to turn things over to Robin Morgan, who's going to do the bulk of the presentation. She actually developed these wonderful courses.
So for those of you who are not familiar with ProLiteracy, we are an international nonprofit adult literacy organization. Our mission and vision of the world is that every adult has a right to literacy. We try to make that happen by developing and promoting adult literacy learning, developing content, supporting programs, and advocating to help adult learners.
This is a little bit about our kind of history of our organization, which actually started as two separate organizations, Laubach Literacy, founded by Dr. Frank Laubach in the 1930s. He was a missionary and traveled around the world helping folks who had spoken languages develop a written language and developed a methodology to have the individuals who had learned the written language teach others how to read and write. And so his kind of motto of his organization was each one, teach one.
In the early 1960s, Ruth Colvin, also from Syracuse, New York-- both organizations were in Syracuse, New York-- founded Literacy Volunteers of America focused on the United States and helping adults learn to read in the United States. And so in 2002, the organizations came together to form ProLiteracy. And so we've been around about 18 years.
A little bit about what we do. We are a membership organization. We have over 1,000 member organizations. Those member organizations are primarily community-based non-profit organizations, though we do have libraries. We have state-funded organizations. We have prison programs, those sorts of things. Those programs use over 100,000 instructors and volunteers, mostly volunteer instructors, to teach over 245,000 students, adult students, to read, write, speak English, help them get their citizenship, develop their workplace or workforce skills, those sorts of things.
We primarily provide professional development and training through our ProLiteracy Education Network. It's a website that has primarily free online resources ranging from lesson plans, to online courses, to links to other websites. We have a comprehensive tutor and teacher training for basic literacy and ESL. We have a variety of resources and support materials for program managers. And we have some materials around adult student instruction, including, of course, what we're going to talk about here.
We have international programs, where we partner, in about 30 countries, with local agencies. They may have a larger project, and we kind of provide that literacy component. Some of our better known projects are Literacy for Social Change and Women in Literacy. We have a conference. It happens every two years. Hopefully, it will happen again in 2021. Average is about 800 attendees.
New Readers Press is our publishing division. We produce over 400 instructional titles. And then we have an advocacy component, where we work on legislation and legislative funding. And then we also work on developing ad campaigns and support materials for programs. So that's a little bit of a summary about who we are and what we do, broadly. So I'm going to turn things over to Robin, and Robin, take it away.
Robin Morgan: Great. Thanks, Todd. Good afternoon, everyone. Again, my name is Robin Morgan. I am a professional development and online course designer for ProLiteracy. I know that's a mouthful. We're here today to talk about ProLiteracy's workforce development collection. And we'll spend most of our time looking at the student courses, where you're going to learn what's included in each course.
You'll also see the slide features and examples. The four free, mobile friendly, direct-to-student online courses include setting employment goals, tailoring your resume, acing the interview, and communicating at work. We'll also take a look at the supplemental instructor course that expands upon what students are learning in the courses. And Todd then is going to show you how to set up a free ProLiteracy Education Network-- EdNet for short-- a free account so you can access the entire Pitney Bowes workforce development collection. So there's a bunch of different resources there.
OK, so just really briefly, a little bit about this project. Since now, more than ever, it's really important for students to have the skills they need to compete in a rapidly changing workplace, with support from Pitney Bowes, we came up with this collection, this Pitney Bowes workforce development collection. Many of the students ProLiteracy serves share common characteristics, probably, with the students you're working with.
They lack the skills they need to get a job. They have a job, but they don't know how to transition from a job to a career. They may not even realize there's a difference between having a job or a series of jobs and a career. They have difficulty keeping jobs, because they lack the interpersonal communication skills they need to be successful. And then many are English language learners who are unprepared to enter the American workforce and/or successfully acclimate to workplace culture.
In fact, the 2019 member report, ProLiteracy's member report, indicated that in 2019, 45% of the students in our member network of over 1,000 programs were unemployed. So big number. A number that is undoubtedly much higher today.
So in response to that need-- and again, with the support from Pitney Bowes-- ProLiteracy set out to establish a national learning community and developed this series of direct-to-student online courses that would build capacity among community-based literacy and workforce development programs whose goal it is to prepare adults for the workplace. To get started, we selected a core group of direct service providers and field experts. And what they did was just provide input and support as we worked on the courses. They helped us to decide what students an employer-- what students want to know, what employers want them to know, that type of thing, and then helped us cull and decide what was the most important information.
The learning community members surveyed students in their programs. So they surveyed 285 students in their own programs. They also surveyed the employers in the community and their volunteers and staff, just trying to gather information. In addition to that ProLiteracy sent a service provider survey out to our network of member programs. And then those survey results were also used to inform what we put into the courses. And those survey results told us what students felt they needed the most help with and, again, what was most important to the students, the instructors, and the employers.
The information collected helped us decide how the courses should be structured and what types of activities to include. So the results of all this was a series of four free, direct-to-student online courses and one supplemental instructor course. So we'll start with the student courses. And this is, again, where we'll spend most of our time looking-- what we'll spend most of our time looking at.
We asked a lot of questions, and in total, we had 669 respondents, and that included students, service providers, and employers who helped us make informed decisions about what should be included. We made a special effort to make sure that the student courses were extremely easy to navigate, that they're very intuitive, there's not a lot of online screen text. We wanted to make sure that they required just very minimal computer skills.
They are mobile friendly, so students, if they're on the go, they don't have to worry about trying to print when they're looking at the courses. They could be on the bus. They could be in a subway. They could be looking at the courses, and they can swipe through the courses. And for the bulk of the coursework, they do not have to have a printer handy. They don't have to worry about writing things down.
The courses also were edited by a plain language expert, so they read at or around the fourth grade level. Of course, there are some industry or workplace-specific words or vocabulary words, terminology, things that we needed to leave that word. It might be on a slightly higher level. So anytime we thought the students might struggle, students with lower literacy levels might struggle with vocabulary, we've highlighted those words and made them stand out. And I'll tell you a little bit more about that as we go through the features of the courses.
I'm often asked how long it takes to complete each of these modules. The amount of program support and the time it takes to complete each course really varies depending on the skill level of the student. And that's another thing we'll take a closer look at as we work our way through the slides. Todd, go ahead and advance.
So I mentioned for free, direct-to-student online courses. The first course is setting career goals. So in this particular course, our focus is on helping students to reach beyond the jobs that they, their friends, and their family members have settled for in the past because they lack the skills, the knowledge, or the confidence to do something different. And you can see listed on the slide, you can see some of the things that are included-- for example, distinguish how to distinguish between a job and a career.
The students take career self-assessments. They research careers. Importantly, they identify factors, things that are important to think about when you're choosing a career. They also learn to differentiate between short- and long-term goals and how to practice writing their own smart career goals. And then one of the things they do also, as kind of a culminating activity, is they create a career plan.
So the second student course is called tailoring your resume. And the focus of this course, the emphasis is on helping students to move from having a one size fits all, very generic resume to having resumes that address employer-specific needs for a particular job. So this is where we want students to think about, OK, so maybe my job coach helped me to put together a resume for my last job. So rather than just recycling the same resume for each job, even though employer-- even though responsibilities may differ or what the employer's looking for might differ.
What we're doing is just trying to help them to think about how might I edit my resume. How do I stand out in the crowd here? The goal is to make them stand out in a positive way so that they're invited for an interview.
So some of the things that students learn in this course, again, customizing the resume to match specific job postings. They learn to write about their own skills and accomplish and how to use keywords to make their resume a more likely to be accepted, including by Automatic Tracking Systems, or ATS, scanning software. And oftentimes, this is the first time they even hear that a real person might not even be looking at their resume right away. So how do we make sure that they get past that first step?
Students learn how to write a professional summary, how to identify their core qualifications for a job. They learn how to describe their work and education, write a cover letter if they need one or if it's required. And they learn to use a resume template. And it would point out that we do supply in the course-- we have a resume template that we've used there. But with a lot of the resources we're recommending, we recognize that you also have things that maybe you're already using that work really well.
So you know you might choose to use the resume template we have or you can use your own. So some of these things you can change up to meet your needs. So the focus for the third course, acing the interview, is practice-- practice, practice, practice. We want students to think ahead about the kind of questions they might be asked and then to tailor their answers based on the job postings, what they know about the company.
And then we want them to demonstrate to employers that they've really taken their time to prepare for the interview, that they're not just showing up, just trying to wing it. We do have them take part in activities, and we have videos and things that kind of demonstrate what happens when you do try to just wing it and you don't take the time to prepare.
So in this course, students research the companies where they might want to apply for jobs. Because obviously, you cannot-- when a recruiter or a hiring manager asks-- for example, my husband works in recruiting-- why Insulate? You want students to have an answer for that. Why did I pick this company? You don't want them sounding like just because you're hiring. Not really a good answer.
So we want them to research the companies, prepare for in-person, phone, and Skype interviews, as well as job fairs. We teach them to practice responses to common interview questions. And then we have them practice responses to difficult questions, so some of the questions that students that you're working with might have to answer that maybe you or I wouldn't have to. So maybe topics about how do you answer questions about a criminal record, gaps in employment.
And then, of course, there's always the question that we all struggle to answer, the 'How much do you want to earn?' How much pay do you expect? And of course, we all want as much as we can get, but the right and the wrong ways and how we can address those questions.
Students also learn here how to make a good impression. So things like how they dress, that sort of thing. And we also cover how to follow up after a job interview. And the important thing is we want them to follow up, even if they've been turned down. Use it as a learning experience or possibly a way to stay in the hiring manager's-- stay on their radar in case the person who is originally hired doesn't work out or they are in need of hiring someone else later down the road. So we want them to be thinking ahead and not just take it personally and just say, OK, that's over with.
So the fourth and final student course is called Communicating at Work. This course goes beyond helping students to get the job, and it's more about helping them to develop the skills they need to keep the job. This was the learning community, the folks that helped us decide what to go into the courses. They stressed the need for a course that would help students to develop the soft skills and the communication skills and all these things that they need to help them stay in the job, because they said it's really common.
They spend a lot of time helping students to get a job, and two weeks later, they come in, and they've lost that job. But they don't really understand why. But their instructors are recognizing that there are patterns, they have certain behaviors, they're having difficulty getting along with their co-workers, that sort of thing.
So in this course, students learn the importance of communicating effectively, both in speech and in writing. They're learning how to identify communication roadblocks, and then we teach them how to use active listening strategies. Students also learn how to practice handling constructive feedback and just what constructive feedback is. No one likes to hear negative things, but how do you take this? How do you spin things in a positive way?
Also, how to communicate as part of a team, tips for talking on the phone. We want them to be able to leave proper voicemails, write professional emails. And then, of course, what nonverbal communication is and why it matters. So what they are saying about themselves, what they're saying in general, without ever saying the words. Some of the things have a tendency to get people into hot water.
So now that you know it's included in the courses, we'll look at some of the features, beginning with the home page. So all of the navigation works off the home page. And each of the buttons you see here-- Getting Started, Company Research, Types of Interviews, Interview Questions, et cetera-- each of these buttons takes students to a different lesson. And then when they finish that lesson, then they're prompted to click to return to the home page so that they can begin the next lesson. So super easy navigation there.
Three of the four courses also have the added practice section. You can see the button there. And every course begins with the same Getting Started lesson. So that top button, that's a few slides where students learn what they need to know how to move around the course. So it's the same in each course. You might decide, if you were working with a student, to just cover that material in an orientation session, versus having the students go through that part on their own.
That way, you could kind of follow up, double-check, see if they're having any problems, if they need to brush up their digital literacy skills. They do not have to take that every time for every course. So the way this is set up, you've got all your buttons there. If, for example, they've taken the first student course and then they're going to go and they're going to take a second course, then they could skip the Getting Started part. It's not necessary to take it again. It certainly doesn't hurt if they would need a reminder, but they don't have to.
The way the student course is set up, they can take these lessons in any order they want to. They can go back, revisit the lessons as many times as they want to. We do recommend for students, particularly when they're working on their own, we do recommend, though, that they start with the top and work their way down through the buttons in order. It's just going to be a little less confusing that way.
But you, as an instructor, might identify, OK, well, this student I'm working with, we've already handled in another class-- we've already really dealt with company research. So maybe we want to just go straight to types of interviews or first impressions is what we want to focus on today.
So you can pick and choose. You can use these courses as independent work for your students. You can assign them as homework. You can use more of a blended learning approach. Really, it's up to you how you want to use the courses.
Let's see. So I mentioned that three of the four courses have an added practice section. So that's always identified on the home page with the larger different color button at the bottom of the screen. Students can move through all of these lessons fairly quickly. The Added Practice section takes quite a bit more time, and that's where it becomes a little more challenging telling you how long it's going to take for each course.
This Acing the Interview Course is, by far, the beefiest of the courses and the most time consuming. So, for example, to get through the five lessons, the blue buttons, for Acing the Interview could take students maybe three hours to click through and go through the screens. The added practice is going to take however much time. That's dictated by what they put into it.
So you might have a student that sits there when they're researching companies. I mean, they could spend a couple of hours just playing with that. Or it's something that they could go through quickly. So some of this is really going to be student driven as far as the amount of time. But the shortest of the courses probably takes a little over an hour to get through the blue button part of the course. And then this would be the longest.
My recommendation would be, obviously, before having students work in any of these courses, have them-- it would be that you would go through and go through each of these courses and click on the slides and figure out how long it takes you to go through. We have some teachers and some instructors who what they do is they go through each of the lessons and they time it out themselves, because they have, say, breakpoints.
So they have either they need to take a break, a physical break, at some point or that sort of thing. Or they just have something, an activity or their own activities, that they want the students to work on. So if it was more of a blended learning approach, they might have the students work independently on these slides in a computer lab for a while. But then when you get to a particular slide or lesson, they have them stop there, and then they come back together as a group. So, again, different ways you can do this.
The other thing I'll add about that added practice section is that that's the only time where students really will need or would benefit from having a printer. I'll talk a little bit more about that later. But it's not required, either. So students could just go through the main lessons. They don't have to do the added practice. Or, again, if they're on the bus and they're just swiping through the courses and they're learning while they're on the go, they can go back later on.
If it comes time and there is a job they want to apply for, then they can go in, and they can go back to that Added Practice section and just kind of brush up their skills again. It's optional, but most students will benefit from the activities.
So in the slide that you see now, you'll see up in that top blue speech bubble, you'll see where it says, hi, Alicia. My name is Betsy. I'll be your guide. Betsy is the course guide. She appears in each one of the student courses. These are all narrated, so there is full audio. The text on the screen is very limited, and it is just simple, plain language text.
But to make it easier for students, if you have students working at a low literacy level, they also have the advantage of having the audio there. They can turn the audio off if you don't want it, but everything is narrated. And you'll see where it says, 'Hi, Alicia.' That's because the students in a prior slide were prompted to answer a question or a couple of questions, and then it just came forward. So a little bit of personalization there.
Let's see. So if you look at the bottom of the slide, you'll see the two gold arrows. Students use those arrows to move forward and back between the slides, very simple navigation. They can click on that house button at the base. You see the blue house. They can click on the house button on the bottom taskbar, and that will always take them back to the home page. The home page is that last-- in the last slide we looked at, the place with the buttons where they decide which lesson they want to move into or whether they want to start the added practice. So the home button's always going to take them back to that home page.
When the icons are in color, they're active. That home button, for example, the blue button, is always blue. I think that's always active in the slides. You'll also see down there in that task bar, the little green books. If students click on that, it takes them to the resource library. I believe on all-- best I can recall, all of the slides, that's going to be green. That's active.
So students have a simple, one-click place to find all of the resources that are included in each course. The printer button that's in the middle, you'll see that it's grayed out. That's because it's not active. There's nothing for students to print here. So if it isn't purple, there's nothing to print. They're not going to use it.
Students also can click on highlighted words to see a definition. I mentioned this earlier. Sometimes there are words that might be a little bit more difficult for students, but they're words that we really needed to leave in the course as is. So they can click on highlighted words. There's a simple pop-up definition that comes up. And in addition to that, each one of those vocabulary words is included on a vocabulary handout.
So all handouts can be accessed either by clicking those little green books. Or up in the top right-hand corner, you'll see where it says Resources. And if you click on the word Resources, than anything that's in there, if there's videos, links, handouts, all of that will show up there. So there's very simple navigation. The seek bar is-- for the student courses, the bar at the bottom is locked so students can't manipulate it.
So what I mean by that is the students have to listen to the audio and have to go through the slide in its entirety. They can't grab a hold of that bar and drag it and just go through. They could click the button to move forward, and they can move on to the next slide, but they can't manipulate that seek bar.
So I mentioned that we have the resource library if the students click on the little green books, that that would take them to all of the handouts. So you can find everything in one place. I know, myself, I get annoyed if I'm going through, I'm taking a course or I'm working on something, and there's these really great resources. And then later on, afterwards, I can't remember where I saw it. So you have to go back. You're scrolling through all these individual slides to find the resources.
The handouts are all included in one place so that students can just look at the green bars. It looks the same for every course and on every slide, and they can go in. They look to see what they need. Oh, there's my list of definitions. There's the vocabulary words for this course. Or there there's the list of common interview questions. I need those so I can brush up for my interview.
The Added Practice sections all have a worksheet that's associated with them. So you'll see in the last of the green buttons on the right on the bottom, the interview worksheet. All of the activities that students do in the added practice, all of those activities on one handout that's clearly labeled which activity it is and which slide it goes so they can keep track of what they're doing.
But I put it all on one handout so that if they have limited access to a printer, it's all right there. And plus, it's just less clumsy this way. There's not so many handouts for them to try to work their way through and figure out where they're going. So it's really not until students get to the Added Practice section that printing a specific worksheet even becomes important.
At any time while they're working on a course, they can click on the green buttons, and they can read the PDFs. Excuse me. They can look at these handouts. They don't have to print them, but they're here. And of course, anything they want to print and keep, they can. but?
We thought it was important that the individual lessons not be printer dependent and not be writing dependent, just so that students can take advantage of using the courses wherever they are or whatever they're doing. If they just got 10 minutes here or there, they can still go through a course. They can go through the lessons. And then they benefit from the lessons, either way.
Let's see. So I should mention, too, that this-- I told you that the courses are mobile friendly. So they do scale to fit any device. I'll show you an example of that in the next slide. Todd?
Todd Evans: Robin, actually, we have a question that I think is appropriate here. Somebody asked, are any of these forms fillable directly in the lesson so they can complete it on a computer and print out a finished worksheet? Or are they designed for the student to print it out and then finish it on the printed out worksheet?
Robin Morgan: They are designed for them to print it out and finish it on the printed out worksheet. A lot of the handouts that are in the courses are more information they don't actually have to-- they don't have to come even complete an activity there. Most of that type of work would be in the interview worksheet-- for example, in the Acing the Interview course or in the Added Practice section.
The other handouts are more examples-- for example, common interview questions type of thing and interview checklists so that they know they can make sure that they have their outfit and whatever they need to take with them prepared. So there's really not any work to do, per se, on most of these handouts. They're more checklists and information. It's really just if there's an added practice, there's templates, that sort of thing. But yes, they would definitely have to print those out. They're not just fill and click.
So I just thought you'd like to see, this is an example of what the slides look like on a small personal device. In this case, it's just a little iPhone 6. So we're talking small field. But each slide scales to fit the device the student is working on. So it's still nice. It's clean. It's easy to click. It's easy to read. It's uncluttered.
The navigation is slightly different here. You'll see that you don't have the bar across the bottom. You still have the arrows. And if students are using a touch screen, they can swipe forward and back, the same as they would, even with a larger-- you know, an iPad, that type of thing.
Where it varies or where it's a little bit different is you'll see you've got that hamburger menu on the upper right, the three bars. So that's where students would click to get to the resources. It's not labeled resources. They still have the option to click on the little green books. Or if they want the equivalent of the text on the full-size screen where it says resources and you click on it, that's that hamburger menu.
Then, instead of the bar across the bottom, the seek bar, you've got where you can see the play and pause progress. So that's where students are going to see if the slide is playing or the pause symbol. And then that circle, where you can see that circle is not quite closed. They can follow the progress of the slide.
So where that becomes important, we had the people who helped us put these courses together-- when their students initially piloted the courses, we didn't have the bar so that they could follow audio progress. There was nothing there. And they found it disturbing, because they wanted to know-- they wanted something visual that told them, OK, the person on the side is done talking, and it's time to move on to the next slide. So that's what that does.
So with this little play and pause circle, when that circle's complete, the audio is done. And students know that the slide then is done and they can move on to the next slide. So then they would just click either of those gold buttons if they wanted to move forward or move back or swipe to get to the screen they want to. Or click on that home button, and that will always take them back to the home page.
Basic navigation is the same on all devices. These are really the only differences. But one of the things I really like about this is just that no matter how small the student's personal device is, the slides are still going to be crisp and clear. There is none of that really annoying dragging the slide around so that you can read the text that falls off the screen. You will not find that. It's all going to scale to fit neatly on each device.
So a lot of these slides that are included in the student courses are interactive. We try not to have more than two or three slides at the most where students are just looking at the screen and listening and not doing anything. So, for example, the slide that you see here is from the Acing the Interview. It's about doing company research. We're helping students to decide what they need to know or what are the important things they need to think about when they're researching a company.
So we want them to ask three important questions-- who are they, what do they do, and what do they value? So different elements may come onto the screen at different times. But once the elements are on the screen, typically they stay there, unless they're clicking on something and they have a pop-up. And then they can make the pop-up disappear by clicking on an X just to get rid of that.
But in this particular slide, they would click on-- following the narration or following the audio, they would click on the pictures to learn more. And all these instructions are included in the audio. So they just click anywhere on that Who Are They or that picture. We try to make the click fields very broad, so they don't have to click on one specific or touch on one specific part. They're pretty big boxes so that they are easy to get into the additional information.
So when they click on Who Are They, then there's a pop-up that comes up that gives a little bit more information. So again, it just makes it a little more interactive. At least, it keeps the students a little more busy as they are going through the courses. But also, it limits the amount of information that's on the screen at any one time. So it's just simpler, especially for those people who are finding the reading aspect of it a little bit more difficult.
So we've also got clickable buttons. Click on the images, clickable buttons. There are audio and video examples included. The pop-up slide layers I mentioned. And then, of course, those pop-up definitions. So if a word in the text is highlighted yellow, they click that word, and then they got the little bubble-- or the little box that appears that has the definition for that new vocabulary word.
So, Todd? Oh, the other thing I didn't mention. You'll notice that there is an Exit button on each of the screens. So you can exit the course just by leaving-- you know, closing out your browser, going out that way. But we do encourage students to use the exit so that we can better track where they are in the courses, what they've done.
But what that does is when they use the Exit button, then the course is going to remember where they were when they left the course. And then the next time they log in, then they'll be prompted to ask whether they want to resume the course where they left off or whether they'd like to go back to the beginning, that type of thing. So there's lots of options. But again, kept really simple, minimal elements on each screen.
So knowledge checks. We also want to make sure that students, as they're going through, that we're checking to make sure that they understand what they've learned so far or what they've learned up to that point. So this is just one example of what a knowledge check looks like here. They are primarily scenario-based. So whatever the students have learned, we create some type of a scenario and then ask them to choose the best answer.
So, for example, here we have June. It's been two weeks since June's interview and she hasn't heard anything back from the employer as promised. What should she do? So students would pick the one that they think is the best answer, whether they should call and ask why the employer didn't call when they said they would. Or maybe June shouldn't do a darn thing. It's up to them to make the next move. Or should June call or email to touch base and tell them that she's still interested and leave her contact information?
So correct to answer is the third one. We want June to call or email to touch base, let them know she's still interested, leave her contact information. So that would be the direction we want her to go in. No matter which of these buttons the learner chooses, though, they're going to get good input. So it doesn't just pop up and say, hey, oh, yeah, no, that's not right.
We give an explanation for why it's not the correct answer, but we also lead them to what would be the right answer for that and why. So there is good, solid feedback for each option the students would pick. So that, hopefully, if they decide to go back, answer the question again, they're going to choose the right answer. Because even if they got a wrong answer, we're giving them enough information to help them to be successful the next time.
The questions are not meant to be difficult. They are simply meant to test the student's understanding, but we want them to experience success. So we tried to walk that line. Students can answer the questions as many times as they need. Incorrect answers, again, prompt the students to try again. The answers prompt the students to continue.
So the added practice we talked about a little bit earlier. This is where students are going to apply what they've learned about setting goals, creating a resume, or acing the interview. The Communicating at Work course is more so than just scenario-based questions, because it's really what more directly applied to a communication course would be that type of thing, versus the written added practice section.
So this is where students apply what they've learned. They apply it to their own lives, to their own employment needs. Let's just say a student is using, like, Acing the Interview. They're using that interview worksheet. They're doing the added practice. The worksheet is designed so that they can use that to just go through and practice what they've learned in the course so they can do it just to brush up or to learn new skills.
But they can also go back. They could print another copy later on, and they could use it because they are applying for a new job, and they want to use that to help guide them through, maybe to redo their resume or to think about what interview questions might be asked at an interview for that particular position. So the activities give them the option to prepare for their own job searches, for their own interviews.
I mentioned earlier that at the end of each of the lessons, we have a transition slide. So this is just so that when students finish up one of the lessons, we want-- they might remember, because they've been in a while. They might remember to click on the little blue house to go back to the home page. But this slide will just help to remind them. This is the end of the lesson. Either click the forward arrow or click on the house, and that's going to take you back to the home page. And then we prompt them to start the next lesson.
So, in this case, the next lesson would be Lesson 3, Spoken Communication. We want them to go back. We tell them exactly where to go, what to click on. But again, if they don't want to take the spoken communication piece, they want to move on to something else on home page, they can do that, too. But we just want to make sure that we don't leave anybody just kind of hanging or uncertain about what to do next in the courses.
So I mentioned that there is also an instructor course. The instructor course is called Preparing Adults for the Workplace. It's a supplemental course for teachers that uses-- teachers who are using the four direct-to-student courses. It contains an introduction module, which tells a little bit about the project and how all this came to be. But it also contains a module on each topic. So, for example, there's a module that deals with the resume course, one that deals with communication, and so forth.
So module on each topic that has teaching ideas and additional activities for each of those. It is loaded with resources. So this is where you're just going to find lots of different ideas and things that you might use with your students. So there are 18 handouts, 15 audio and video examples. A lot of the videos are new videos that we shot specifically for these courses. Some are from outside sites.
There's a discussion board, but lots of links to outside resources. And then, similar to the student courses, you have, in the instructor course, up on the upper right-hand corner where it says Resources, you can click on that. And that will give you a list of all the resources. So that's where you can find-- in one stop, you're going to find the handouts, the audio and video examples, links to outside resources. All of that stuff is there.
Let's see. Oh, we also did, recently, add pre- and post-tests to this. Now, the pre- and post-tests, there's one-- there's a pre-test and a post-test for each of the student courses that you can use. The same questions are asked in the pre-test and the post-test, so you can use the pre-test to get an idea or get a feel for what the student already knows, what they need to work on, that type of thing. And then, alternatively, use the post-test to check and see hopefully they've learned those things after the course. But also, give you an idea in case there's something that you need to revisit.
So if you're familiar with ProLiteracy EdNet, and if you've taken any of our courses before, this will look familiar to you. If not, you're going notice that the instructor course looks quite a bit different than the screen for the student courses. There's a little bit more going on here. On the left-hand side, you'll see that the menu is visible now. So in the instructor course, you have the option to just go through, read the slide title, and move around just by clicking on the slide.
So let's just say you want you want to work on action statements. You don't really want to go through the whole course in it's entirety. You want to work on action statements. You just click on 3.5 Action Statements and it'll take you right there. So that's just an additional layer, another way for you to move around in this course, knowing that you're not always going to want each and every piece of this in the order that it's presented.
So we've given you that as an option. Up on the top, next to where it says Menu, see where it says Notes? If you click on that, that's where you'll get all of the slide notes. So anything that's included in the audio appears in that note section. So sometimes it's handy, because that way, you don't have to keep replaying a slide to get all of what was said if you were writing something down or whatnot. So sometimes that Notes section comes in handy.
Upper right on the slide, again, Resources. You can click there. You can get to anything-- all of the links, handouts, videos. Everything is included there. And you exit the course the same way as the student courses, so that's all quite simple. One of the differences, you'll notice the bar at the bottom, your taskbar. You have a Next and a Previous button. You have your Replay for your slide refresh is down there on the bottom.
In the instructor course, you can control-- you can move the drag bar. So let's just say you popped in because you wanted some of the information from that slide, but you don't want to listen to the whole slide. You can move that bar, and you can pop around. You can move to the point in the audio track where you want to be.
So single-click navigation allows you to adjust the volume, move forward and back between the sides. The progress bar totally can be manipulated, so that gives you more control over each side.
So the instructor course is where you're going to find ideas for learning group activities and homework, if you decide to assign homework. That's totally up to you. So depending on how you're using the courses, you're going to use these resources in the instructor course in whatever way works for you. It's not a how-to course. It is a collection of handouts, videos, activities, and links. They are really just meant to supplement the course material.
So you're teachers. We are not telling you how to teach. We're not telling you what to teach. We're just putting in one place additional resources that you can use. And you can just add those to what you know and like already. So we're just trying to take-- there's tons of great material out there, a lot of great workforce development materials and things that you can find online. We just tried to take some of the best of those and some of the things that we thought would be really helpful and put them in one place for you.
The other thing that I tried to do with this course was to think about the areas where students might be struggling the most. So tried to think about those areas and then develop them more by giving you suggestions for extra activities, that sort of thing. And then these are things that, of course, then you can just expand upon yourself, because you know best what the student needs, what their weaknesses are, that type of thing, what their strengths are.
So we've given you lots of ideas that will help students to master their skills. For example, if you are helping students to master using action verbs in their resume or you want to help them with staging mock Skype interviews, outline goals and objectives, that sort of thing, this is the course where we're going to give you some of that information and give you ideas for how you might want to do that. Sometimes you see one idea and then, of course, there the wheels start turning, and then you can come up with a lot more ideas on your own. We just tried to make it a little bit easier for you.
So let's see. We've also created-- a lot of the videos that we put together emphasize the impact of non-verbal communication, because that's just such a key thing. We often don't realize what we're saying without saying the words. So we thought that would be really valuable for students.
Most of the videos are included in the instructor course. So really, again, you can use them. They're all housed on YouTube, so it's going to be dependable. It's going to be a dependable place so it's always easy to view the videos. Let's see. I think that pretty much covers it there.
So I thought you've listened to my voice long enough. I thought in the next slide, we'll give you an example, show you what the videos look like. So the video, we're going to show you is a how to or how not to behave during a Skype interview. So I'm going to turn it over to Todd. He's going to show you the interviews, and then he's going to talk to you about Education Network and how to get in. Thank you.
Todd Evans: So this is-- I'm going to do this one, and it is what not to do in a Skype interview.
[skype ring tone]
- Hello. This is Sarah from Johnson Financial Planning. You are Mr. Stoltz?
- Yes. Nice to meet you. Thank you for the opportunity to interview.
- My pleasure. Partyanimal1999, that's an interesting screen name.
- So, yeah. Yeah, one of my previous jobs, first week in on the job, and it was 1999. I got invited to a party, a corporate party. They told me it was a masquerade kind of a party, so I showed up as this big, furry, pink bunny. Everyone else was business casual. Joke was on me, hilarious. So party animal-- you know, the bunny thing. Plus, I got wasted. Anyway.
- That's interesting. So let's get started. You have applied for the position of an office manager. Let me tell you a little bit about our company and the position you've applied for.
Todd Evans: OK, I'm going to show you-- so that was the what not to do during a job interview. And now I'll show you the what to do in a job interview.
[skype ring tone]
- Hello? This is Greg Stoltz.
- Hi, Greg. This is Sarah from Johnson Financial Services. How are you today?
- I'm well, thank you. Very nice to meet you. Thank you for this opportunity to interview.
- My pleasure. Let's get started. So you've applied for the office manager position. I'm going to tell you a little bit about our company and the position you've applied for. So our company is a financial management company, and we have small offices in neighborhoods throughout the city. Each office is staffed with a financial planner and an office manager. And the financial planner meets with clients and advises them on their--
Todd Evans: So, yeah, a little bit about Education Network. So these workforce courses, along with the instructor course and a lot of other resources that we have to offer, our on our learning management system that we call ProLiteracy Education Network. The URL is proliteracyednet.org. That's the baseline URL. And slash workforce will get you to a landing page that will tell you more about the resources and lets you create an account.
And Robin, I think you have a link to that, yes, on the next slide.
Robin Morgan: I do.
Todd Evans: So to get to the resources, if you have an Education Network account, you just log in. From the landing page, you can click on the little hamburger menu in the top right corner. It will expand and look like it does over on the right-hand side. If you click on Resources, that menu will expand. And you'll see Pitney Bowes workforce development listed in the menu. So you click on that.
And all of the resources, including these courses, are in that Pitney Bowes workforce development collection of resources. If you do not have an Education Network account, you can go to proliteracyednet.org/workforce. It'll tell you a little bit more about the courses. But down at the bottom of that page, you'll see a place where you can create an account. And there's different links if you're a ProLiteracy member or a non-member.
These particular workforce courses are available to everyone, but some of our resources are only available to members, like our notebook, for example, which is a resource that we send to member organizations three times a year. There's an archive on there. That's only available to members. But about 95% of the resources are available to everyone.
We do have a resource accompanying that Pitney Bowes workforce development series that you can use as a handout that shows students-- walks them through the process of creating an account on their own. So, basically, they go to that same link. They create an account. It tells them to make sure that they check I'm not a robot box. Click Next. They type in their password, answer the security question. And then it directs them to click the resources and the Pitney Bowes workforce development.
There's also a place on those instructions where they can write down their username or email address that they use to create the account and their password. So they can keep that with them in case they forget their sign in information.
Robin Morgan: Todd, I would just add here, too, to remind folks that students need accounts, too. So if you want to have students log in and working on the courses, you want to make sure that they set up their own account, as well. So you can help them do that. Again, it's a free account. But anybody who's going to be accessing and using the things on the courses or the resources here would need their own account.
Todd Evans: That's correct. And I think that wraps up the overall presentations. Thank you, guys, and I think Robin and I will stick around to see if there are any more questions. We did have a couple of questions about embedding these courses on your organization's learning management system. So those courses are on our learning management system. We are happy to have you link to those.
If you actually need to embed them in your learning management system, we would be happy to talk to you about that and what you need to be able to do that. So you can contact either Robin or myself using the email addresses on this page.
One more thing. We had a lot of questions about tracking student progress. So I'm going to answer part of that question, and then I'll let Robin add to that. So right now, on our learning management system, we don't have a way of creating a classroom and tracking the progress of users associated with your organization. We are working on that for our member organizations, but not the kind of broader population.
So at some point this year, we hope to put that in place, where any of our member organizations, they would have a person identified as, basically, the reporting person. And they would be able to run, for any course-- see who is enrolled in that course and where they are. Or for any user, be able to run that user's transcript and see all the courses that they are signed up for. But we don't have that right now.
Robin Morgan: I think you covered it all, Todd. I don't think I'd add a thing to that. I did see a question here about whether you'll have access to this presentation. The answer to that is yes. It is in the hands of the powers that be at OTAN, and they're going to work their magic. And they will make it available to you once they've done all the nifty things they need to do on the back end. So I would expect that you'd probably receive it in the same amount of time as you would normally receive things after these sessions.
Todd Evans: One more question that I want to make sure that we answer-- it's a really good one. The question is, can you use the resources from the course independently, maybe in another course or teaching? So as an example, I'm assuming, if you're doing a live workforce development class for a group of students, can you take the resources and the information from these online courses and use them in your class?
The answer would be yes. These are available for you to use. We would ask that you kind of respect the copyrights in that you don't alter things that come from third party places. So if something is branded not by ProLiteracy but from some other resources, that you respect that. But otherwise, our materials generally, for the entire website, ProLiteracy Education Network, our materials are there for you to use and adapt as you see fit.
Robin Morgan: Absolutely. I mean, we've tried to give you some material, some resources things to work with here. But how your students learn best, whatever platform or however you decide to use this, that's up to you. So take what we give you. Make it work for you. Make it your own in that respect.
I mean, as far as the online courses, the student courses, go, I mean, you can't change those. But you can pick the parts out that you want to use when you want to use it. We've tried to give you that flexibility to make the most use out of this. And then that way, you can just incorporate it into what you're already doing. Or if you're not already doing something, this gives you a place-- just a jumping off point. And then you can add things to it as you see fit.
That's what you do. That's what you're good at. Yeah. And we'd love to hear it. If you come up with a different or unique way to use it or if you notice that there's another great site or something that you think would really be a good thing to add to either the workforce development collection or to the courses, let me know. I'd love to hear about it.
Penny Pearson: Hi all. This is Penny Pearson. And Robin and Todd, thank you so much for coming on and showing us this great resource. I think Anthony had posted earlier in the chat about how we were able to come to your conference, and we were just blown away. And I would really encourage anyone who has that capability to attend your conference. It really was quite wonderful.
And your resources are great. I learn something new every time I talk to you folks. And I think from the reactions I've seen, everyone has learned something. And I really hope that they will take you up on your offer to go out there and take a look around, poke around, and see what you have, as in these times, I think these resources are critical. And it's great to have them available for their instructors.