Speaker 1: OTAN. Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Speaker 2: Preparing low-skilled adults for the workplace. OTAN Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2020.
Robin Morgan: So greetings, everyone. Again, I know it's close to lunchtime, so I definitely won't be keeping you over. That's for sure. But my name is Robin Morgan. I'm a professional development and online course designer for Pro Literacy. Are any of you familiar with Pro Literacy? OK. So just a couple of you.
So just briefly, Pro Literacy provides advocacy and resources primarily for a member-- for a network of over 1,000 agencies that are working primarily with adult learners with very low literacy skills. So reading, writing, speaking English, that type of thing. So we'll go ahead and get started here.
So we're here to talk about some series of free workforce development courses that Pro Literacy developed with the support of Pitney Bowes. There are four direct student online courses. There's a supplemental instructor course. And we're also going to talk today about how you access this collection. So we'll talk about those things.
So as you know, now more than ever, it's important for students to have the skills they need to compete in a rapidly changing workforce. But many of the students-- the agencies Pro Literacy provides for work with lack the skills they need to get a job. And let me know if any of these don't ring true for your students as well. They lack the skills they need to get a job or they have a job, they don't know how to transition from a job to a career. Chances are there's a lot of students who don't even know that there's a difference between having a job and having a career path, right?
They have difficulty keeping jobs because they lack the interpersonal and communication skills needed to be successful. When we were putting this together, we had a bunch of direct service providers that gave us input as we were planning. And that was one of the needs they stressed was they said that they have students who-- we do all the work, we do the groundwork, they get a job, and two weeks later, they're back and they no longer have a job because they struggle with the skills they need to keep the job and be successful.
45% of the students in Pro Literacy's member network are unemployed. Almost 90% of the students, the agencies we provide for our work with, almost 90% of those agencies work with English language learners, and about 65% of them work with refugees. And many of they find and they report that many of the ELLs they're working with are unprepared to enter the workforce and they have difficulty acclimating to American workforce culture.
So that was the need that brought about the creation of the courses. So in response, we developed this series of courses that would help to build capacity among community-based literacy and workforce development programs whose goal it is to prepare adults for the workplace.
To get started, we established a team of direct service providers. They were our boots on the ground. They interviewed 285 students in their programs. They interviewed or surveyed-- excuse me-- surveyed the employers in their community. And they surveyed volunteers and staff so that they could get a real feel for what the need was and get that directly from the students and from the employers.
So we also-- Pro Literacy surveyed our network of member programs to find out what students thought they needed the most help with and what mattered the most to students, instructors, and employers. And then, from that was born the series of courses. And everything we learned from those surveys is what informs what we decided to include in the courses.
So the student courses, I mentioned there are four free direct-to-student online courses. Each student course is really simple to navigate. We tried to make it as intuitive as possible, requires very minimal computer skills, so your students don't have to have really strong digital literacy skills in order to use these courses.
The courses are all mobile-friendly. So for example, we'll look at a slide later on that gives you an example of what it looks like, what the course looks like on my really giant iPhone. So mobile-friendly. All the material scale down, so students don't have to scroll up over. The text isn't going to be cut off. It's all going to fit nicely on the device regardless of what the device is that they're using.
And the courses were edited by a plain language expert. So they are fully narrated, they have audio, but all of the text in the courses is written at or below fourth grade level. So in some cases, you have some words obviously that we couldn't cut out and they were important words to leave as is, but they are at a higher level. And for each of those, students have the option, they're highlighted in the course, and they can click on it and they can get a definition.
So now, we'll take a look, a quick look, at what the student courses look like.
The first course in the series is setting career goals. And here our focus was on helping students to distinguish between a job and a career and to get them thinking about jobs or careers they might have and kind of get them thinking beyond the types of jobs they've been pigeonholed in the past, you know? For example, they, their friends, their family members may have always had the same kinds of jobs, the same kinds of jobs in retail or fast food, and we just wanted to get them thinking about what the possibilities were and then help them set goals and plan for moving into a different type of field.
So we're helping students to distinguish between a job and a career. We teach them to use a number of different free online computer self-assessments. They learn to research careers, identify important factors for choosing a career. They differentiate between short and long term goals, practice writing smart career goals, and then they create a career plan.
The second course, tailoring your resume, here we wanted students to get beyond thinking that a resume is something you create once and you take that resume and you turn it in for every job you apply to regardless of what the position is or what the employer is looking for, the skills that are required. So we want students to really get thinking about learning about customizing their resumes, about understanding the employer and the position they're applying for, and thinking about how they can reflect that and get the attention of the hiring manager.
So they learn to write about their skills and accomplishments, how to use keywords, how to pull keywords from a job description, include those in their summary, helping them get past the automated tracking systems or ATS systems, the scanning software. A lot of students don't realize that there might not even be a real person looking at their resume for a while in the process.
They learn how to write a professional summary, which is probably the most difficult part of putting together a resume. Identify their core qualifications. And again, you know, learning to adjust and list different core qualifications depending on what the employer is looking for. They learn to describe their work and their education and how to write a cover letter.
The third course, Acing the Interview, this is where students are researching. They spend a lot of time researching companies, preparing for interviews and job fairs, practicing responses to common interview questions, practicing responses to difficult questions. So for example, oftentimes our students get to the interviews, they don't know how-- they're not prepared to answer questions about criminal background, gaps in employment, so they haven't worked for a while. They've been in school, they've been taking classes or whatnot. They've been taking care of an elderly relative. But those are tough answers-- they are tough questions to answer.
The other one that's tough and I think we all struggle with this one is, how much money do you want to make? I mean, you know, of course, I want to make a lot of money. But how do you answer that question and how do you get what you can't for yourself without reaching beyond what the employer is able to do.
We also teach students in this course how to make a good first impression, the importance of making a good first impression, and how to follow up after a job interview even if they don't get the job. So at that point, don't just drop it, OK, you didn't get the job, you're disappointed, which is a natural response, but we want them to think beyond that point too and still learn from that. And plus, make a positive impression. You know, they might find out they were the second person in line for that job.
Stay in the mind of the person they interviewed with. Something might happen. Another position opens up and then they're the first person. So we want them to follow up after the interview, not just drop it there.
Communicating at Work. This course mostly focuses on, OK, now you've got the skills, we're going to get the job, we want to focus on what happens after that. So students learn the importance of communicating effectively, how to communicate in the workplace. They learn that it's not necessarily a good thing to talk to your employer or talk to your boss the same way you would your friends. How to identify communication roadblocks, use active listening strategies.
To practice handling constructive feedback. No one likes getting negative feedback, but there are effective ways that we can accept that, deal with it, move on, learn from it. So that's an important part of this course. They learn about teamwork, communicating as part of a team, and working as part of a team. We also focus on phone, voicemail, and email tips. So what to do, what not to do. And we spent a fair amount of time on non-verbal communication, what it is and why it matters. So what they're saying even when they don't say the words, just by their gestures, movements, facial expressions, and whatnot. So that's the focus of the Communicating at Work course.
So when I put these courses together, one of the things that I gave a lot of thought was, I just wanted to make it as easy to navigate as possible. So the first thing we did was strip away a lot of the features that would normally be included in the courses and resources that we provide at Pro Literacy. So this is what I came up with.
Each of the courses, you can see here, the blue buttons-- each of the courses begins with the Getting Started button. Getting started is the same for each of the courses. So if you have a student who takes it for the first course, the goals course, and then they move on to take the next course, they don't have to take that Getting Started part again. It's going to be exactly the same, it's just how to navigate the course.
Then the buttons underneath that, the blue buttons are lessons that are included within the course. So for example, in the Acing the Interview course, the first lesson is company research. It's a little tricky to read from here. Then we have types of interviews, interview questions--
Audience: First impressions.
Robin Morgan: Thank you. First impressions. Then there's a follow up lesson. And then, after that, you see this yellow button, the Added Practice. Three of the four courses have an Added Practice section. I mentioned that the courses are mobile-friendly. So when we designed the courses, we designed it so that each of the lessons, the blue button lessons the student takes, they can take it from anywhere. They can take it when they're on the bus, they don't need a printer, they don't need to write anything down, they don't need to manually be answering questions. So they can just go through and they can just take the course from any place.
Added practice is slightly different. That's where they're going to apply what they've learned in the courses and then take it and either just go on and practice more, or at that point prepare for an actual job that they're interested in. So that's where for the resume course, the added practice is where they would be working on actually creating their own resume or modifying their resume.
You'll notice that here, you do have the Seek bar at the bottom of the slide, the volume. There is a Resource button up in the upper right corner that they can use. When they click on that, all of the resources that are included in this course will show up. So for example, I don't know how many of you have taken online courses before where there was a particular resource or something you were really interested in and you think, oh, that was really great. After the fact, you go back and think, I have no idea where that was. I don't know how to get to it. So you got through and you have to click through every single side.
So we put all the resources in-- just made sure that they were really easy to find. And in a later slide I'll show you there's yet another place where students can-- from a single click, they can get to all the resources.
There is a resume a template, at least one resume a template included. But what I'll tell you too as educators and as people who are working with students, you probably have a lot of really good templates, resources, and things you're already using. The way the courses are set up-- I mean, we give you the basics, but you can substitute. If you wanted to use a resource that you're comfortable with, you could do that. But we have tried to cover the basics. OK?
The seek bar that you see at the bottom of the screen on the student courses, it's set so the students can't just zip it to the end so it looks like they went through. They have to listen to the whole slide. In our other resources that we prepare for teachers or for tutors, you have the option if you were clicking in, you can move-- you can manually move the seek bar but you can't do that in the student courses.
So this is an example of what the students see in that Getting Started part of the course. And this is where we give them the instructions for how to navigate the courses. And you notice in the top blue speech bubble, the speech bubbles come in and a lot of the text is not there. You're seeing just the static slide where you see all of the information on the slide. Much of the text or the speech bubbles, that type of thing, they come in with the audio. So there's constantly things changing on the screens.
And then there's typically not going to be more than two or three slides in the most where students don't have to engage with the course in some way by clicking for pop-ups, that sort of thing. So we try to keep them involved so that they don't just zone out just listening.
So the top speech bubble, you'll see where it says Hi Alisha, it's just an example of how in some of the courses we have some personalization. So on a prior slide, the student would have entered some information. They entered their first name and they also entered the place where they'd like to work. So kind of a target place. I really want to work at Google someday. And then we capture that information and that information pops up on different slides throughout the course just as a reminder.
But as far as navigating, you'll see the arrows, the gold arrows. Really simple, forward and back. Then there's other symbols at the bottom. You can see the blue house button. That takes them back to the home page. The home page is that screen where we have the picture and the blue button is in the Added Practice button. So it is in a single click of that blue house button at any time, they can go back to the home page.
The printer symbol in the middle is grayed out because it's not active. There's nothing to print here. If it was active, then it would be purple. And also the green books at the bottom of the slide. That's the other spot I mentioned where students can click on those green books and, again, it'll show them all of the resources that are available in that particular course. And then they can just read down through the list, click on it, and get to everything from there.
Most of the resources are going to be just text space, but there is for the three courses that have added practice, there's all that's also where they'd find the single handout that they'd use for the added practice section. So really easy to move around. And then you'll notice we also instruct them that if they see the highlighted words, so any words included in the courses that have the gold highlighting, that they just click on that and then they can get a definition for that word. Exiting in the course. They should use the Exit button. You don't have to, but it just helps in the long run to register the slides that they've taken.
So this is what the resource library looks like. I mentioned that you can either click up on the upper right corner and click on Resources, or you can click on those green books of the bottom. This is what that resource slide looks like. So you can see each one of these green buttons is a link to one of the resources.
So, for example, here I'm going to sneak over because, again, it's really hard to read from the side. But for each of these courses, there's a handout that has all of the definitions. So any of the words they clicked on that were highlighted in gold, every one of those important words is included on the definitions handout that you can access in each of the courses. The interview worksheet, the last one listed on the right-hand side on the bottom, that's the handout they use for the Added Practice section.
Sorry. Not much sleep. Long flights, not much sleep.
I mentioned that the courses are mobile-friendly. This is what it looks like on my little tiny iPhone. So you can see that all of the material that's on the slide shows up there. It's easy to read, there's no moving around back and forth to try to get to it. The hamburger menu at the top the three lines, that's where students click to get resources when they're looking at it on a mobile device.
And then, here, instead of having the seek bar across the bottom, you've got the circular seek bar. And that's also where they hit play or pause. One of the things initially we didn't have a seek bar in the student courses, but a lot of instructors had said that they really-- the students really liked some type of a visual so they know for sure when the audio is ended, so they know it's time to click to the next slide. So that was the change that we made.
The courses are very interactive. As I mentioned, we try not to have students going through more than a couple of slides without having to do something. So they're either clicking on a definition, they're clicking on a photo, or they're clicking on something so that they are interacting with the slide or getting to get more information.
So this is just one example of that, where you have the initial text and the photos that filter in. And then we have-- the students are prompted to click on each of the pictures to get more information about a particular topic. So in this case, they would click on the photo on the left to when they're asking-- when they're researching a company and there's three questions we want them to ask, who are they, what do they do, and what do they value. So when they want to learn more about the who are they question and how do you use that, then they click on this button. And there is audio, as I said, that takes them through that.
But that's one of those things too. If you were ever going through these courses or anything and you found that students were struggling and you say, you know? Hey, there's not audio that's linked to a particular component of the course, we're a small organization, you can get in touch with me, you can say, hey, you really need to do this, this is confusing, or I've got this, maybe we could do this a little better, use this resource. We're always open to hearing your suggestions for the courses. Anything that's working, what's not working, that sort of thing.
So in order to keep the courses mobile-friendly, and I mentioned not having paper and pencil involved for taking the lessons, we have knowledge check slides throughout the courses. So they are primarily scenario-based knowledge checks, like you see here. For example, it has been two weeks since our interview, and June hasn't heard back from the employer as prompted, what should she do? And then we ask them to choose the best answer.
The answers, there is audio for each of the answers, the responses that when they pop up. So for example, if a student clicks, they get the right answer. It says, that's great. But it doesn't just say that's great, we remind them again why that's the right answer. So just in case they got lucky and they just happened to click the right thing, they're still going to get a reminder about why that's the best answer. OK? And conversely, if they click on a button and they got the wrong answer, we just say that's incorrect, but then we tell them what June should have done and why.
So, no. At this point, we don't have the capability to get in and see how far the students are in the courses, check their progress, that sort of thing. It's something we hope to have before long, but we just don't have that capability right now. What else? So the questions are not meant to be tricky, they're not meant to be complicated, they're not meant to trip the students up. They really are just to get them thinking about what they've learned and to check their knowledge and check to see whether they got what they needed out of the previous slides.
So primarily, scenario-based questions. The added practice section, I mentioned that this is available. It's only available in three of the courses. It really just didn't apply as much to the communication course, where the scenario-based questions and that sort of thing is what we have for now. We may at some point develop an added practice section for this course, but for now, added practice is available in the goals course, the resume course, and the interview course.
It's pretty involved. In the added practice, there are activities that work on each of the skills students were building or developing earlier in the course. Now, you as educators also know that these courses are fairly long. There is a fair amount to them. But still, we can't cover everything and we can't cover every possibility. For example, if you're teaching students that they should use action verbs in their resume, you might have to do some work before that or with some students you might have to spend more time building the skills they need just to get up to the point where they can write their professional summary.
So what we've done is given you just some basic ideas and some activities you can use with students. But you might have to supplement those with other additional activities depending on the student, depending on their levels.
So the answer to that is the courses were designed with more than one audience in mind. And they're actually being applied now in a number of different ways that I'll tell you a little bit about. So on our website, we have students who can go in, set up their own free Pro Literacy Education Network account, they can just go in and take the courses completely on their own. They might not be linked to any organization or institution, might not have a teacher, tutor, or job coach working with them. But they can get in and they can take the courses.
The agencies, the member agencies that Po Literacy works with are agencies that primarily have volunteer tutors working in the agencies. But we also have a number of other types of organizations that we work with. And so in that case, we have tutors or teachers who are assigning the courses, having the students work in the courses, and then during their sessions, they're just practicing the skills with them.
So they're doing exactly what you said. They're just taking the pieces that they know the students struggled with or the things that they need the most help with and they're working with them there. We also have a number of libraries now around the country who are using these courses for learning circles. So they're using-- they're doing a blended learning approach where they are having the students and each one of them is doing it slightly differently. It's kind of interesting to see all of the different variations because they're just adapting it to whatever their student population is, what their need is, the amount of time they have. But they're using it in learning circles.
So they have students who are coming into the libraries. It's a free program. They have a certain amount of time they spend on the computers during their learning circle, and then they have a facilitator there who just guides conversation and guides activities. So this is very much very student driven. Students are kind of the drivers in the learning circle, with just someone there to help them along.
We did just add a pre and post-test to this. And we don't call it a test, so the students never see the word test, but we do have a pre-test and a post-test. The way it's set up now, because the tests are new or just added, it's set up so that before the students can log into any of the courses, they would have to take the pre-test first. So it's kind of a prerequisite. They can't move into the course without taking the pre-test.
The questions in the pre-test and the post-test are the same. So you can use that just as a bit of a guide, and that really would be the only type of assessment that we have to offer that's linked to it at this point. We'd just be seeing the difference between their answers in the pre-test versus the post-test.
Yeah. I think the closest we come to discussing illegal questions is when we're talking about the criminal background. And I can't remember if that's in the interview course.
Audience: You said-- yeah.
Robin Morgan: Yeah. But, you know, when we're talking about it there, letting students know that giving them places where they can check so they can find out what employers are allowed to ask them, because that can vary state by state.
Audience: That would help.
Robin Morgan: Mm-hmm. So we do cover that if it's something that you-- I hadn't really thought about it, but if it's something that you find that we need to add and have more of that, it's certainly something we can add or we can create a little mini course to go along with it that just deals with that. So we always got new ideas and things coming along.
Audience: Or add it to the resources.
Robin Morgan: We can add it to the resources. Absolutely.
Good question. I have been through this. And just because I mentioned that the lessons, you don't need a printer, you're not long-handing, you're just answering these scenario-based questions. It takes just to click through. The goals course is the first of the student courses. I would say it would take a student approximately two hours for that. And it's going to vary student by student, but since they can't rush their way through the seek bar, it should take them a little while to get through.
So the goals course is about two hours, the resume course is about two hours, the Acing the Interview course probably closer to three hours, and the communication course may be an hour and a half. That's just to do the lessons. The added practice section is not included in that because that would be whatever they make of it. And with every student, depending on their level, some students could spend forever just on the researching a company. They could dig into that and spend hours just looking at the companies that interest them and then just have one thing lead to another. But just to get through those lessons themselves, that would be a place to start.
One of the members of the learning community I mentioned at the beginning that we had this group of on the boots direct service providers who worked with us, one of those members works in corrections. When I was in New York state, I was in a master teacher team for New York State, when we're rolling out common core and doing all that. I found the most difficult-- I don't want to say difficult people. The toughest audience also they-- oftentimes at the professional development sessions, and this was in New York, were the folks who were in corrections. And rightfully so because a lot of times everything that was being presented they say, that's great, but yeah, we can't do that. Or we don't-- you know, that doesn't apply to us. So we did bring them in.
We do have a solution for that coming. And it was born of working with someone and having somebody involved with us who is in corrections. We're going to have-- very soon hopefully we'll be able to put this on flash drives too. So for a very minimal cost, like maybe $10 or just to cover the cost of the flash drives and getting it shipped out, folks in corrections or any place, where you have students who maybe or an area where the internet-- or they have difficulty accessing internet or their connections aren't reliable, that sort of thing, or in a corrections setting, they can just use this flash drive.
So, yes. We are working on that. We have to get back on that. We have this very small team of three.
So as you might guess, for our little department, we are revising courses, putting together courses, working on the projects. There's only three of us. So sometimes that takes us unfortunately a little longer to do certain things than we'd like. But that is in the works, and hopefully we'll be releasing that very soon. So they're going to enter the course, they're listening, learning, answering this scenario-based questions, that type of thing.
And then, for three of the four courses, if they're working on their own, then they can use that added practice section and there we lead them through a series of activities that are all included on one hand-out that's broke down for each of the activities and walks them through every step of the process. So that handout is also meant to be a template. So they could use that, just print it off, and just use it for practicing different components of the training. Or they can use it, let's say, for the resume course, they can use it for creating their own resume or for refining a resume. That sort of thing. Does that answer your question?
There is. So the Resource button-- so when they click on the buttons like the green books or that Resources up in the upper right, when they click on that, they have all of the different resources. So when they open it up, they can just read things, they can print them, but we do include graphic organizers and other materials. And then there's the instructor course we'll talk about in a few minutes. And that's very resource-rich.
There are PDFs. There might be a few that are not in PDF format that are Word docs because they're something that we thought the person using them would maybe want to modify it. If you ever got in and there was something that's in PDF form, but you thought, this is good and I don't really want to take the time to switch it over and recreate everything, we could supply you with the Word doc for anything obviously that isn't copyrighted information that we have to leave as-is.
Not that is direct to student. So most of the resources that Pro Literacy has developed up to this point are for tutors, for tutors, teachers. The agencies that belong to our organization, as I mentioned, most of them work with volunteer tutors. So you have laypeople who are with maybe a 16-hour training. And I'm going to use the word learning to do what you do. I use that term loosely. Obviously, you folks spent years learning how to become teachers.
So most of the materials we've created up to this point are resources for those teachers or for tutors. OK? They're for laypeople to be able to use so they're just written very simply, covering a lot of the skills that they need to help the students develop. We are just now starting to get more and to slide more into creating direct student courses. So this is something that we hopefully will be adding to.
This particular-- these courses are part of the Pitney Bowes Workforce collection. So this I'll show you in a bit. There are other resources in that collection and this is something with Pitney Bowes continued funding and support. We should be able to continue adding to because workforce development is just hugely important. I mean, as you know, it's tied to your funding. And that's the case even with agencies that are working with volunteer tutors. Most of them are relying on some type of federal state moneys that workforce developments keep. It's really important.
Audience: And the cost?
Robin Morgan: Free.
Robin Morgan: Free-free. Like the commercial says, free, free, free.
Because it's not just these courses and it's not just these resources. There are a lot of things in there and there's other things, there's white papers and any number of different resources that you can access on education network. Each one of those student courses has transition slides. So I was trying to think and just trying to cover all the bases to make sure we didn't leave students who were working independently wondering at any point, how do I get from A to B. So there are transition sides that tell them.
So again, example. So this is the end of the lesson Understanding Employers Needs. And then we tell them click the house symbol to go to the home page, or click the forward arrow. They can do that. It takes them back to the home page at the end of every lesson. And then they would start lesson three, Spoken Communication. So at the end of every one of those individual lessons, the blue buttons, there's this transition slide that directs the students how to get back so that they can start the next lesson.
No. There is-- it does provide input, but at that point it really would be-- it would require the teacher or the tutor to look at it and acknowledge that they need a little more work in a particular area or not. So along with the student courses, there's also an instructor course and the instructor course is not meant to be a how-to. This is not like you're going to get it and pop into the instructor course. Some are going to try to tell you how to use these student courses or what to do. It's really just meant to be a source of additional ideas and activities. Again, I mentioned we worked with a lot of member agencies, over 1,000 agencies that are primarily working with laypeople, with volunteer tutors.
So the instructor course is just meant to provide supplemental activities and resources and videos and that kind of thing so that they can build skills and have ideas for other activities. So if there's a particular-- let's just say writing a professional summary, it's a pretty tough job for anybody. So we try to give people additional activities or ideas for things they could do with the students to work on the areas where we thought they might be struggling the most.
Now, for you, folks, this is something you do all the time. So you might still find all of this useful, but you've probably got a million ideas already going into this. But there are five modules in the instructor course. The first is an introduction. The introduction is just a little bit of background on how this project, how the courses came to be. But we also talk there about navigation and that type of thing. So what the students are seeing, what kind of skills are required and aren't, that sort of thing.
And then there is one module for each of the courses. So one module for setting employment goals, tailoring a resume, and so on. And in each of those modules, it's just supplemental activities. So activities, resources. There are 18 handouts included in the instructor course. There are 15 audio and video examples. There are links to outside resources, lots of them. And then, of course, you mentioned that we just added that pre and post-tests, which really aren't part of the instructor course. I put that there to remind myself to mention it.
So the instructor course is going to look a little bit different. This is more of what our format looks like on the courses that we designed for the tutors. So here, you still have audio in the courses, but you can see that you have the option to just choose by slides, so you could just look at that list on the left-hand side, and it's easy for you to target what area or what topic you want to go to. There are also full slide notes. So anything that's in the audio there, you can access there.
You do have a seek bar here. You have the option of like just dragging it all the way to the end and advancing more quickly through a slide on these courses. So we just give you more options than we would the students. Other than that, it's pretty much the same. The one thing I didn't mention too when I was talking about mobile-friendly, you can swipe through these courses as well. So we do have a swipe component that's relatively new. We didn't have that capability until last fall. OK. So that's the same regardless of whether it's the instructor courses, student courses. Students can-- they can either use those gold buttons or they can swipe.
I mentioned that there's a lot of activities, ideas for homework, that sort of thing. So for example, how to master using action verbs in a resume, staging mock Skype interviews, and outlining student goals and objectives. Those are just a few examples of what's in there. The videos, some of them are videos that are YouTube videos that are online that have been out there for a while. A lot of them, though, are videos that are brand new that we shot in-house at Pro Literacy.
And if we have time, I'll click on one of those, and I'll show you an example of what it looks like if we can get the sound to work. Actually, they're pretty good videos. For example, we have this one, this Skype interview. So we have an example of a really bad Skype interview where he's sitting back, there's a giant trash can, you know, Greg's kind of sitting back in his chair. You can't see his face at all. He just looks like just dark. You just can't see his face.
All the things that we teach students in the course is how to get set up and things to do and not to do for a Skype interview or any type of a remote interview. So we have examples, here's kind of a what not to do and here's a good example of a Skype interview. And so those are things that just stimulate a lot of discussion. You can have students watch even the good video. You might have where it's a good example, you might have students still saying, yeah, but that could be better and that could be better.
So it's just-- they're just places-- just additional resources you can use. But I think the videos are something that you could have some fun with. Again, it just breaks things up the types of activities. So there are quite a few of the videos. So if we have time, we'll come back and we'll take a look at that if we can get the sound to work.
So I know some of you asked how do you get these, how do you do this. So I'm going to guess I think only two of you had heard of Pro Literacy before, so that means none of you have a Pro Literacy account, so we're going to skip this, OK? Because that doesn't apply to you. So to set up an account, all you need to do is go to ProLiteracyEdNet.org/workforce.
So you go there and just click the button that applies to you. So your options are to create an account, an organizational account, so that would be if your school or organization wanted to set up an account you would click on that button on the left. On the left, that's if your organization already has a Pro Literacy membership and you want to set up your own individual accounts. So that's not going to apply to any of you at this point. So New Members is where you create an account or you just learn more about a Pro Literacy membership.
So you can just-- yes. Read the screen. Yes.
I guarantee it's a lot easier to read than it is in this particular case here. But you just go to ProLiteracyEdNet.org/workforce, it's a shortcut. It will take you there and you'll be able to set up an account. So I mentioned these are free. The account is free. Most of the resources housed on Education Network or Ed Net for short, most of the resources are free. There are some that are not. We do have a pretty extensive tutor training, that sort of thing.
There are other, some professional development resources and things that are not free. You can set up an account, you can get to these courses, anything in the workforce development collection, and most of the resources for free. And you can do that as a-- you can do that even as a non-member. But to get to everything, you have to become a member. Membership is really inexpensive.
I don't-- It depends. The costs for membership. An individual membership I think is maybe like about $35. You'd get that information when you log in or by talking to somebody in membership. It's an annual membership. But you don't have to-- like I said, you don't even have to be a member to access these courses. You have to set up an account, you can set up a free account. You do not have-- you are not required to become a member to get to these courses.
Well, actually, if you do it as an organization, a single member, like a single person, the membership is very low like that. Organizations, it's a sliding scale. So it's really going to depend on the operating budget of your organization, that sort of thing. The thing to keep in mind is that no matter what you do, to get to these courses you have to set up an account, but you don't have to become a member. So membership is optional. That's something you can do if you want to.
But most of the resources I mentioned, most of the resources are free. So you can still get to a whole lot of materials and courses and that sort of thing for free. Everything in the Pitney Bowes Workforce Development collection I believe at this point is all free. It's web-based. It's housed on Cornerstone. That's the LMS we use.
Well they're logging into-- they're just logging into Pro Literacy. They would have a member account as well. So they're accessing the courses through our Pro Literacy web page.
Audience: Right, but I--
Robin Morgan: So that's setting up an account. So you as an instructor, if you want to get in, you need to set up an account. It can be a free account, it can be a non-member account. You can get to these courses. If you really want to become a member, you can do that. We encourage you to do that. We love that. But you don't have to, OK?
Setting up a student account. So important to know. Students have to set up an account. If they're going to go in and they're going to take these courses, they have to have their own account. OK? So yeah. They have to have an email address to set up an account. It doesn't have to be a real email address. Now, we're not collecting anybody's email addresses, we're not using those for any reason. So students have to have an email address. I say it doesn't have to-- it could be a fake email address, but honestly, if they're going to get a job, they have to have an email address, right? And they have to be comfortable using email. Most of the applications they're going to be completing are going to be online applications anyways. OK?
So you're going to setup student accounts. You can follow and just follow these steps here. We also, when you set up your accounts-- let me go back a slide here too. So once you've set up your account, when you log in, you'll get a page that looks something like this. It's not necessary with the conference that happened in the past, but you'll get this drop down menu. You click on the hamburger menu. Once you're logged in, you click on the hamburger menu that's up in the upper right corner.
And then you're just going to click on Resources. And then in the dropdown list, it says Pitney Bowes Workforce Collection. You click on that. That'll take you into where all the student courses, the instructor course, and everything are housed. Because you're going to see something different than the students are. Students aren't going to be able to see all of this.
So you'll go to the Pitney Bowes Workforce collection. There is a flyer in there. It's a two-page flyer that has instructions, tells the students how to set up an account. So you could sit down with them, walk them through it, or they could do it on their own. You could just print these flyers and use those. It has a place for them to put their user name and their password right on that sheet. OK. So we have given you that. And that makes it a lot easier for the students to get them in and get an account set up for them.
We do have the option. We can in students-- so, yes. We can offer certificates. On our regular courses there are certificates of completion that go with each one once you finish them. I don't think that they are linked to the student courses at this point individually, but that's something we can add if it was important. We can definitely add that.
Really the only way you could do that would be to have the course open. I mean, you can do a screen capture and you can print it, you know? I mean, yeah.
I mean, we have no objection to you taking the materials or taking what we've given you, use it as a template, modify things, make it work for you. It doesn't have to be exactly the way it was created or presented.
Audience: This works for a lot--
Robin Morgan: It does. I mean, like I said, we prepare things a lot of times for tutors who are not going to know how to get from A to Z or to get from point 1 to point 7. So we need to give them the steps along the way. But you can make modifications. So we went through that. So--
Audience: Any questions.
Robin Morgan: But I encourage you to set up a free account, go in and look, and go into the instructor course and check out some of the videos there. They are a lot of fun. I think you'd really enjoy those. Yes.
Speaker 2: www.otan.us.