Speaker 1: OTAN-- Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
DAVID J. ROSEN: Please introduce yourself, and include, if you know, or if you have some idea, what you would like to take away from this session. Also, you'll notice on this screen, in addition to my name and my location is my email address. And if you want to get in contact with me, it would be useful for you to have that, and I welcome your emailing me.
And then, at the bottom-- and notice, it's in red-- is a URL, a bit.ly URL, for the slides that I'm going to be showing today. So if you want the slides, you might want to take note of that now. I'll also have a slide at the end that has the same information.
So let's start with some introductions. This is a little bit about me. I have been an independent consultant since 2003. Before that, I was at the University of Massachusetts in Boston as the director of its Adult Literacy Resource Institute.
And since 2003, I've done a lot of consulting, advising, a lot of professional development, working with World Education and particularly the Tech Center there. The past three, I think three years, maybe four at this point, with the Illinois Digital Learning Lab, which I'm very pleased to say just won an award from CoA for its being an innovative technology model.
I've done some work with ProLiteracy, and I'm also currently a board member of ProLiteracy. Some of you may have seen my involvement with LINCS, the US Department of Education Literacy Information Communication System, as the moderator of two groups, the Integrating Technology Group, and also Program Management Group.
And I've been an advisor to several universities. I'm still an advisor to the University of Memphis. And I've been a co-author recently with two online guides to blended learning, one with Jen Vecchiarelli, published by ProLiteracy, and one with Carmen Stewart, published by Essential Education.
So that's enough about me. I really am hoping that you will be an active participant in the chat during the session, and start by introducing yourself. And please do say a little bit about what you're hoping to get from this session. I'm not promising that you will, but I'm curious to know. And if we can, I'll try to address that.
So give you a second to do that. And then I'm going to do something which I have never done before. And by the way, I should say, this whole presentation is very unusual for me. I'm usually much more hands-on, lots of visuals to show you. This really is-- think of this as an oral presentation with me talking. Because that's mostly what it's going to be.
At the end, the last-- I don't know-- maybe dozen or so slides are links to particular tools, by category, of how you might want to use them for greater engagement with students.
This is the first time out for this presentation. And so I'm very-- I already realize that there are lots of things that I would add the next time that I do this, based on what I've been learning the past couple of days-- three days, really, including today, at OTAN. Some fabulous presentations around flex learning. And lots of parts of those presentations really are about how to engage students, particularly in the two of the three flex modes.
But what I'm going to do right now is just take five minutes, no more than that. And I want to look at the future. I'll come back to the present after this. But I think where we're going here is really a very interesting new technology world.
You probably heard of it. If not, it's called the metaverse. I understand that Facebook is changing its name to Meta, honoring its future in the metaverse. But that's not the only one. We've had several models already that have approached the metaverse.
And essentially, what this is is a highly, highly engaging online opportunity, however it's delivered. We'll see how it's delivered. And if adult ed begins to embrace the metaverse, we have the opportunity for high engagement in content, collaboration, communication, creativity, maybe critical thinking, and confidence building. And notice, I did say if. We'll have to see.
Also, I think that the metaverse has an opportunity for great engagement activity. I think it could be very relevant. I think it would allow teachers to really customize their learning for their students in New ways. I think it's certainly social. We have no doubt that that's going to happen. Joyful is a possibility.
Flexible-- we are moving toward great flexibility. Those of you who are involved with flex learning, HyFlex or BlendFlex, know that that's already creating great flexibility. But I think the next step in that is going to be the metaverse.
Multimodal, of course-- I mentioned flex learning, which has three modes. We'll talk about that in just a minute. But it may be even more modes than that. We'll see. There might be opportunity for simulations and learning games right in that environment.
And I think it offers us a potential opportunity to take really full advantage of digital technology. I also want to mention that, depending, again on how the metaverse or verses are designed, it opens up really new and fabulous opportunities for universal design and adaptive technology, which makes it much easier for people with disabilities, including reading disabilities.
So that was the future. I'm not going to go back to that, unless you have some questions about that. We might be able to have some time at the end to go back to that and see what your thoughts are about that.
Mostly, I mention it because you are all involved in technology. You all care deeply about technology. You may have already been delving deeply into the future of the metaverse. But maybe not. And if not, just to raise your level of attention to that word, and those environments, and the potential for us in adult foundational education.
By the way, that's the term I use for our field these days-- not adult education, which is too broad, includes higher ed. I'm looking for a term that really distinguishes us from higher ed, even though adult foundational education is offered by community colleges, and so, in a way, is part of higher ed. But it's not part of credit bearing higher ed.
So what are we going to do in this session? The goal is-- and this would be particularly for those of you who are teachers. The goal-- or incidentally, when you share this, if you are not currently in the classroom but work with teachers who are in the classroom, the goal is really to help teachers think about the challenges that they face in engaging learners, and especially in the online or hybrid environment, and the different ways that there might be to look at those challenges.
As you know, the slides, are all going to be available. So you don't have to capture slides or anything like that. One thing you might want to do-- and you can do this digitally, or you can do this on paper-- is just jot down a term or a question mark about something that I've said, something basically that you want to know more about. It's really for you, not for me. It's so, OK, when I'm back at work, not in the TDLS, what do I want to explore further? What do I want to learn more about?
So my slide has clicked to add a subtitle. How interesting. Talk about some definitions. Ignore that. You'll see that probably on several of the slides, because I'm not doing the presenter view, because I want to see the chat.
So let's talk about some definitions. And some of you may not agree with these. But this is the way I'm looking at the world these days.
Remote distance education, or distance learning-- pure distance education is entirely remote, not in person. That's pure. There are variations on that-- mostly remote, for example. You're mostly familiar with that, I think.
Hybrid models is very simple. It's a combination of in-person and online teaching and learning. And that covers a big universe.
Within hybrid, this is not synonymous with-- it's actually a subset of hybrid-- are blended models. So what's the difference, if it's a hybrid model? It's a hybrid model where what happens online and what happens in person are highly, tightly integrated. And that's really important. And when I use the term blended learning, that's what I mean-- not just that there are two components, but they are very well integrated.
So let's talk about flex models, just for a second. I mean, there have been a lot of great presentations at this conference, symposium, about flex models. And there's lots to be learned about this. It's relatively new to our field.
By the way, it's about a decade old. It was developed at San Francisco State by Brian Beatty and his graduate students. The term HyFlex, hybrid flexible, was coined by them. And they have done a great deal of work on this. So that's-- if this is new to you, Brian Beatty, B-E-A-T-T-Y, you might want to read his book. It's free online. Just Google HyFlex and his name, and it'll pop right up for you. But you may have already read it or may already know about it.
So what is HyFlex? And by the way, BlendFlex is another term. BlendFlex is a kind of HyFlex model. It's a little more restrictive. HyFlex offers the most amount of flexibility. Some of the community colleges around the country are using BlendFlex, to make that distinction.
So a HyFlex or BlendFlex learning model is a blended learning model, highly integrated. And it has usually has three modes. Now I'm noticing that many of the programs in California that describe themselves as HyFlex have only two of the three modes. And they are, of course, in person, traditional in-person, synchronous online, what some people refer to as the Zoom students, or the Zoomers. I like that a lot.
And by the way, I learned at the last session I attended, the roomers and the Zoomers. I'm going to use that from now on. Great session done by the San Diego Community Education-- maybe collaborative? I'm not sure what the full name is. But it was a great session. And that's what they call students who are online are the Zoomers. And of course, the people who are in the room, in the classroom, are the roomers.
And then the third component, which some programs in California have, but not all, and some programs outside of California have, but not all, is the asynchronous online. That is a mode that allows you, if you want, to do everything online, which is really a pure distance learning mode, but more often allows you to choose to do more than one mode if you wish, or to do mostly one mode, or two change modes.
And that's really, by the way, a very important part of the original HyFlex model as Beatty describes it, which is the opportunity for students to make the decision about which of the three modes they're going to participate in on a day by day basis. Now, not everybody does that. And so that's the strict definition. There are definitions that take off from that in a variety of ways, including BlendFlex, as I mentioned.
OK, so we're going to focus on engagement. And what are the teacher's challenges to engagement? Well, all of these models have presented challenges to teachers. And using the technology and coordinating the modes, the in-person, online, and in engaging students. We're not going to talk about all those problems. We're only going to talk in this session about ideas for engagement.
So let me ask you, from what you know, as a teacher, or as someone who works with teachers, why is engagement a problem for teachers? And particularly, why is it a problem for teachers who are teaching students online? I'll give you a few minutes to do that in the chat, please.
OK, no one size fits all. That's certainly absolutely right. I'm not sure I understand what no students equals no class. Say a little bit more about that.
Speaker 3: David, it's Peg. I just unmuted myself, and I put that comment in. So I wasn't quite sure how to understand this question. But I was taking it as in if students aren't engaged, they're not attending. If they're not attending, there is no class. Now, it's a whole different take about the idea of teachers engaging students and the barriers and problems that come with that.
DAVID J. ROSEN: OK, great. Thank you. That makes it much clearer. Tech setup? Absolutely. Technology is a big challenge. People talk about that all the time.
And Mary mentions that if students don't engage, how do we know if they're even there? And if they're there, how do we know what they're learning? No, absolutely, I hear about that all the time.
More difficult to encourage participation and interaction between the in-person group and the online group. I assume those are the two groups you mean. Keeping students engaged. Tech problems, yep.
Engagement means retention. Uh-huh. Good point, Barry. If students are not engaged, maybe they don't last. Maybe they drop out.
Demand to get to the content and engagement sometimes requires out of the box thinking to tailor to the needs of your students. Good point, Dana.
Communication challenges, face to face versus camera versus no camera-- absolutely. There are good solutions to those. And actually, some of those solutions I heard from presentations, flex model presentations that I attended the past few days. The more we know about that, the more we share those ideas, the more we document those ideas for other teachers who are struggling with those problems, the better. Good point.
Dominique says I end up spending time helping someone deal with tech and leaving other students sitting in the conference, without the instruction. It's hard to keep everyone engaged when I'm troubleshooting. Yeah, that's a big problem, particularly if you're teaching in a classroom without any help in the classroom. Some flex models-- the San Diego model I mentioned has somebody else helping in the classroom.
Another interesting model is finding out which of your students really are already fairly sophisticated in using technology and pairing them with students who need help. You can't always do that. But sometimes, you can.
How to keep them engaged when you can't see them or if they have the mic off. Absolutely, and I-- actually, I'll talk about that a little bit, some strategies for dealing with that.
Been requiring partner work for my LTIS students to help with engagement. Uh-huh. And students want to be taught, even if it's online. Otherwise, they drop the class. That's interesting. OK.
Well, maybe that's the case. Maybe not. Maybe there's some other things that can be done.
There is a widespread belief that asynchronous learning is not engaging. And I'd like to challenge that. I think in combination with synchronous, it's much better. But there are ways of having an asynchronous class be highly engaging.
Just a suggestion Dominique has. My student in Modesto took it upon-- students took it upon themselves to work together once a week. They started at Starbucks, and our coordinator opened our closed classroom for them to meet once a week. Brilliant. Wonderful. That's the kind of flexibility that really helps to meet students' needs.
Well, thank you. Those are all very helpful. You have a good sense. You have your finger on the pulse of many of the problems, and certainly many of the most critical problems.
So let's jump ahead then. What does it mean to be engaged? What does it mean, from a teacher perspective, to engage learners?
Well, let's see. First of all, fairly obvious, getting learners interested-- and getting them interested could be getting them interested in a particular topic, an idea, an innovation, an event, a project, whatever it is. But also, another aspect of getting students engaged is just literally getting their attention. And that can be very challenging for the Zoomers, who have turned off their video and turned off their microphones. How do you get them engaged?
And I'll talk about this just a little bit more. But basically, it's not when they are disengaged. It's what you have to do well before that to make sure they don't disengage. And that isn't always possible. I know.
A lot of people who are Zooming in have background things going on in the background that are noisy or disruptive in other ways, and they really feel obliged to turn off their microphones, and maybe to turn off their video. That may be the only way that they can stay engaged.
But here's a thought. Even though you can't see them or hear them, maybe they are engaged. So that's something to think about. Are some of those people who you can't see or hear still engaged? And what are some of the ways that you might know if they're engaged?
Well, getting learners involved in discussion is always engaging. And by the way, you've been engaged here, and we've been engaging each other, just using the chat. You could do that with a Zoom chat. You could do that with other kinds of asynchronous discussion or synchronous discussion tools. And in one of the slides that you'll see at the end of this, we talk about that a little bit.
There are learners who some people have described as introverts. And this is true. I mean, there are people who don't participate in class in person. They just don't participate. They are introverts.
And sometimes, interestingly, they will participate if they're Zoomers, or if they're doing things asynchronously, particularly asynchronously. If you have an asynchronous model that involves synchronous chat or asynchronous chat, sometimes, you'll discover, that person never talked in class. But look, she's talking with me all the time. What's going on Here?
Well, that's a characteristic of introverts. It may be that in an in-person environment, they don't interact. But they do in an asynchronous online environment. Something to keep in mind.
If this is something that's of interest to you, there's a woman named Susan Cain who did a Ted Talk about this. And I think she has a website called Quiet Revolution. That might be something that you want to explore.
And one of the things that might be useful is engaging students in what some people would call productive struggle. So what is productive struggle?
Actually, I'm going to skip that. I'll come back to that later. I just noticed that the clock is moving along, and that will take us more time. But I will try to get back to it.
OK, other thing-- think about, as a teacher, how you can help students meet their needs. And one of the things that I think is particularly useful is tapping into their existing motivation. So that's a really interesting challenge. How do you know what they are motivated to do?
And you might be able to find that more easily in the in-person classroom or in the synchronous online. But you might also be able to find that out entirely easily with the asynchronous. It could be an assignment. It could be an assignment which is highly motivating, because of the questions that you ask-- you don't say what is your motivation, obviously. But you're trying to get at that by a series of questions.
Maybe you don't ask those questions all at once. Maybe you ask them each time that you interact with them online asynchronously.
Psychologists talk about three highly important aspects, particularly of young adults. But I think this applies to adults. And they have to do with identity, power, and connectedness. So identity, pretty obvious-- who they are, how they are becoming the person that they want to be, or how, for a person who is changing who they are in any number of ways, how they are engaged in their new identity or becoming the person that they want to become.
Obviously, that is highly motivating. And to this extent to which about this, learn about that from them, the greater you are going to be able to find out and really link with them. I'll give you an example from my own experience.
When I was a high school teacher many years ago, I had an 11th grade class. And on the first day of class, I noticed in the back of the class there were two young women wearing identical motorcycle jackets. And I had this exercise that I did on the second day of class, where every student had to make a collage.
By the way, a digital collage might be a very interesting variation on this thing these days. And in making the collage, they had to select pictures. In this case, it was from magazines. It could be from zines or other images on the web, that said who they were.
So these two girls really had very similar collages. And every image was a motorcycle. And most of them had a motorcycle rider on them.
And so I got the very strong impression that they were very interested in motorcycles and in motorcycle gangs. And I happened to know of a book. It was written by a photographer named Danny Lyons, called The Outlaws. It was about a motorcycle gang in Chicago.
And I actually owned a copy of the book and brought it into class, and I gave it to them. This changed our relationship. I was not any longer their English teacher. I was their person who really cared about them, understood them, connected with them. And everything we did in that class, they were completely engaged in for the entire year. So tapping into students' motivations is a very important way of getting them engaged.
Another way-- I had mentioned power and connectedness. I'll just say a word about that. It's not that people want to become powerful. They don't want to be powerless. They want to have efficacy, as some people call it. They want to be able to have the power to do things. They want to have enough money to be able to make a decent living for their family, for their children, and other members of their family. So the extent to which you can connect into those needs is very important.
And then connectedness-- this is really a major and interesting challenge in the flex model environment. How do you get, for example, people who are online and people who are in the room-- the roomers and Zoomers-- how do you get them connected? And there are a number of strategies, I think, for doing that. Some of those actually have been addressed at some of the sessions that I've attended here at TDLS. And I hope that they get recorded, so that you can see some of those suggestions.
So let me ask you. What needs can you help students with, including remote students, that might engage them? So this is your turn. And let's return to the chat. Let's see what your ideas are. I'll give you a minute to do that.
I am not seeing any comments. But if you want to, I'm going to go ahead. Oh, I am seeing some now. OK. Good. All right. So CTE or job specific language skills. Vocabulation for my English language learners. Absolutely. Contextualize it.
If work is a big interest of your students, use it. Contextualize it. What a fabulous way to teach English, in the context that's really important to the student. And often, it is work. Great. Thanks, Dominique.
Using the Owl camera, and students in class can see the students at home. Absolutely. And the Owl is one good solution to that. There are others. There's something called the swivel. There are some more expensive ones. And there are inexpensive ways. But the Owl is certainly a very good way to do that,
By the way, if you haven't heard about that, go online. Take a look at images. Go to YouTube and take a look at a YouTube video of an Owl camera being used in the classroom. This is very, very popular among flex classes.
Barbara says, listen. Yeah, absolutely. Roya? I hope I'm pronouncing that right-- says I teach a level one. So I want them to have some basic tech skills.
Inclusiveness and equity, including valuing all students and giving equal opportunities to learn and to participate-- great. Paired conversations-- excellent. And by the way, those paired conversations could be pairs within the classroom, the roomers, or paired between the Zoomers, or paired between the roomer, a roomer and a Zoomer. And I really like that match. Because that breaks down the barrier of the two modes.
And if you do that regularly-- OK. We're going to pair people-- what some people do, if they can, if they have devices in the classroom, if all the students have a device, whether provided by the program, or whether it's their own digital device-- could be a smartphone-- is they have everybody go to the Zoom breakout room. And so everybody is participating in the same mode at the same time, whether they're in the classroom or not.
They may not do that for the whole class. They may do that for part of the class.
Cooperative groups with Jigsaw. OK. Good. Regroup the component- for building community. Everybody work together. Excellent. Using Google Docs or Google Forms, or online docs like whiteboard.chat. OK. Pablet, Jamboard, so that students can access before and after class. OK, good.
And somebody does that. Great. Says he does that regularly, and the Owl cameras help with the process. Dominique says InVentures. That's a curriculum that some programs use. There are a lot of partner conversation activities. So she encourages them to meet, call, conference with another student to complete the assignment. Excellent.
Our hybrid classes use everyone on Zoom in the room by a remote only. OK, good. So you do that.
Another thing that some teachers have discovered-- particularly, I think ESL teachers have discovered-- is that all of their students use WhatsApp. They use it maybe to communicate with family and friends from their home country or with others. And as you probably know, most, if not all ESL learners have smartphones. So that's a great tool, and lots of things can be done with that as a tool if the students have them and bring their smartphones to the classroom.
OK, our hybrid classes use everyone on Zoom in the room via remote only. OK, excellent. Good.
Well, thank you. Those are great ideas. And part of the goal here is to engage you in sharing in these ideas. I know I'm doing a lot of the presentation here. But I really appreciate and benefit from, and I think we all benefit from your sharing your ideas about what you do. And we're just using a simple chat facility to do that.
OK, so let's go on to the next slide. What does it mean to engage? Well, many teachers have already discovered this and do that. I'm just mentioning it. Makes something attractive to your students that they need to learn. So you make it attractive in any number of ways.
You may use humor. You may use video. You may use illustrations. You may-- if you're doing a demonstration in the classroom, and also, your Zoomers can see you, you may act it out. You may act it out dramatically.
And it may be something that is boring. I've seen, for example, I've seen people use comic-- in fact, free online comic developing tools to really engage students in grammar, and where students get very excited about grammar, an essential thing people have to learn, but not always something that is engaging. I've actually seen some examples of engaging grammar lessons doing that.
Some students, most of your students who, for example, have gone through secondary education and have not been successful, have to be engaged-- really have to learn some new ways to learn. And you may be able to teach them. I'm talking about what typically is called study skills.
You might be able to check in with them. Make sure that they have those skills. That they don't have those skills, teach them directly. Teach them how to take notes, for example, and other study skills. And then teach students skills that they can use immediately.
OK, I have a couple of things that I just want to mention before we take a look at some of the slides that have resources. And we do have some time. So I mentioned a couple of things earlier I will come back to. I think I'll come back to them after we've just taken a quick look at some of the slides.
Here the link to these slides, if you want a copy of these. This is the bit.ly link. That's easier. Just click on that.
I'm not going to go through all these resources. But I just want you to notice what kinds of resources I'm highlighting, that I think are tools for engaging students. So let me-- actually, I will click on this one.
Oh, in this mode, I can't click on it. Right.
How do I want to do this? I will click. I will come back to this. You can-- if you have a copy of the slides, you can actually click on this, if you do it in Presenter mode, in Presentation mode.
But I'll tell you what this is. The first one, the ways to transfer good in-person class practices, are a number of ways to transfer things that people have already learned over the years, that are highly engaging, and how to do that remotely.
The second one is very specific to WhatsApp. And several ESL colleagues of mine helped me put together this document of what translates from good online practices into WhatsApp practices. So if you're involved in teaching ESL, that might be of particular interest. The other includes, I think, some ESL practices, but not necessarily exclusively.
Assessing online student engagement-- I am going to further develop this. But at the moment, I have one resource that I'd like to suggest you look at. It's very simple, very easy to use. It was developed by an ESL teacher in Illinois, Erin Vobornik. And it's just a simple one page Google-- I think it's a Google Form. And by the way, I have permission to share that with you from Erin.
Flippity-- Flippity is a fabulous tool. Very engaging. Maybe many of you already used this. My colleague, Susan Finn Miller from Pennsylvania, who is the moderator of the LINCS English language learning group, posted this message about Flippity and how she actually uses it in her ESL teaching. If you don't know about Flippity, I urge you to take a look at that.
And then there are a bunch of engaging tools. This is just a very short list of tools for people who are looking where to start, really. Most of these, if not all of them, are free or have free entry level versions. And I can tell you-- well, first of all, several of them are very widely used.
Flipgrid-- Flipgrid is a free tool that allows students to make short videos, one minute videos. And they can be highly interactive, if those videos that the students have made and are presenting online are part of a larger lesson in which people are asked to ask questions about the videos.
Powtoon-- I was thinking actually of Powtoon earlier, when I was talking about the teacher who teaches grammar using an animation program. And so here's the link to that, a cartoon video.
Polling tools-- these are ones that you probably already know. And they're not the only ones, but these are two of the most widely used ones, Poll Everywhere and Mentimeter. Of course, Zoom has a built-- I think Zoom has a built in polling tool, depending on your version of Zoom, maybe.
Here are a couple of text chatting tools. I've mentioned that you can do things highly interactively using a chat, the Zoom chat that we're using right now. But there's also another one called Back Channel Chat. It's very widely used in K through 12. Not so widely used in adult foundational education. But I've used it, and I think it's very helpful. So that's something you might be interested in.
Online content organizing tools-- of course, if you have an LMS, you might want to use that. But if not, Wakelet is a good possibility. Pinterest, both free.
Digital assessment tools-- well, there are two categories here. The first-- actually, the first one listed is a way to assess digital literacy skills. It's probably the most widely used one, at least in the United States, probably North America, and in several other countries, North Star Digital Literacy Assessment. There is a free version. If you want training and how to use it, if you want to provide certificates to students who attain the skills, then there is a modest proprietary model that allows you to do that.
And then the others are all free. And those really are, when I say assessment, these are really content assessment tools. Threaded discussion platforms-- I've talked about the possibility of asynchronous discussion. If several of your students or most of your students are asynchronous online, you could set up a Google Group.
I have not explored this. But this is an alternative to Google Groups which claims to be better than Google Groups and is also free. It's called Gaggle Mail. And then there's Muut. Some people use Muut, also free, at least last time I looked.
And then there-- I'm not going to go through this. But there are lots of different kinds of what I have found, and in some cases myself and what teachers have told me they have found to be engaging for specific kinds of content. This slide is adult secondary education, actually high school equivalency prep primarily in the first three.
Engaging online content for ESL-- here are some. And again, you may already know about all these. But you may not. These are the ones that teachers tell me about the most-- USA Learns, We Speak New York, We are in New York-- those are all free. And then a couple of proprietary ones. Engen is one. Probably, Burlington English should be on this list.
And games to learn English. And then if you're interested in pursuing this further, I've put together a whole long list of free and proprietary ESL/ESOL curricula on a document that I've been maintaining for about a decade called The Literacy List. And I keep that particular page updated.
More online content for reading, writing, and numeracy. These are just again, content that is very widely used and that teachers find helpful. And here are a couple of cell phone apps. There are more. These you will recognize as being XPRIZE apps, the contest that was held over several years and awarded very large prizes for apps that could demonstrate that they were successful in helping students learn.
Two of those, Learning Upgrade and Cell-Ed. There are at least six more that made it to the last category. These were award winning ones.
And then-- and I'm almost done-- a last thought. And this is something, actually, I wrote about in an article that I-- it's actually a column that I write for the Adult Literacy Education Journal on technology. And it's called Technology Solutions.
Every column starts with a problem, an education problem of some kind, usually one that is fairly widespread problem. And then the column is about a full or very often partial solution to the problem involving a set of tools, technology tools. And in that, one of the articles in the column, I argued that engaging and effective teaching, whether it's classes, tutorials, whether it's a curriculum or a whole program, whether it's in person or online, is best built from an understanding of students' needs and goals, and from teachers' knowledge about what is effective in addressing them.
So I'm going to stop there. And we do have a few minutes for specific questions. And I haven't been tracking the questions. Debbie, I don't know if that's something you've been tracking. If so, please tell me. And I'll see if I can answer them. Or if somebody would like to be unmuted, we can do that.
Speaker 4: David, there haven't been submitting questions. It's just responses to what you've asked. So maybe now they could ask their questions.
DAVID J. ROSEN: OK, great.
Speaker 5: David, I have a question, and it's related to your last slide. I really enjoyed your discussion with Anthony Burik of OTAN about goal setting when you were on the LINCS discussion board. Will you talk a little bit about the importance of goal setting?
DAVID J. ROSEN: Oh, yes I will. And by the way, those of you in California have a terrific resource in your neighborhood, since he works for OTAN. But I discovered that, through-- I guess through something I saw on a webinar that Anthony did, that he was on to something very important, which is some tools that might help teachers track and support students not only in the first part of this, which is what you said, which is goal setting-- very important.
And by the way, you don't start by saying, what are your goals, or what are your objectives. Those are not terms that are widely understood or even understood-- if understood, appreciated. There are other ways to get at that.
But once you do have a pretty clear idea-- and you know, I have to laugh when I think about this, how many of my ESL colleagues discovered that if you ask your students what they want to learn, they always say English. And very often, particularly with beginners, true beginners, high beginners, low intermediate students, they haven't really thought. Or maybe they have thought, but they haven't articulated to themselves what those needs are. They haven't been able to break that down. And that can sometimes be the challenge of goal setting.
But Anthony identified some tools that are particularly helpful in allowing a teacher to track those goals and support and encourage learners in doing that. And it is, if you Google ALE Journal-- Adult Literacy Education Journal-- maybe you need to Google the whole thing out-- it will take you to the webpage that lists all of the issues of the journal.
It's all published online, free. You can read every issue if you'd like. And every issue has a technology solutions column. And maybe once you get to that site, you can just search using Anthony's last name, Burick, B-U-R-I-C-K, I think? C-K? Is that right? Anybody know?
Speaker 5: I think it's just K.
DAVID J. ROSEN: Just K. OK. It's
Speaker 5: B-U-R-I-K.
DAVID J. ROSEN: Just K. B-U-R-I-K.
Speaker 5: He's also our current California Teachers of English because of the language precedent.
DAVID J. ROSEN: Ah, excellent.
Speaker 5: We have a double advantage. Thank you.
DAVID J. ROSEN: OK. yeah-- speaking of that, I want to call something to your attention that, frankly, I just learned about. There-- well, I've known about the project. There is a project that was funded by the US Department of Education, adult ed, about what is generally known as nudging.
And there are projects that have been doing this in-- research projects in higher education, for example, where students are-- the word nudge is kind of unfortunate. And in fact, this particular project doesn't even use the word nudge. But it's in that generic area.
The idea is, if you know what students are trying to do, and you gently nudge them, remind them of what they have committed to do, they will, first of all, appreciate it, and secondly be more likely to move toward accomplishing it. And there has been this Department of Education funded project to-- ABT, A-B-T. and. They have produced a very interesting article-- I'm sorry, a very interesting publication, just recently, in December, about technology based-- and they don't call it nudging. They call it coaching.
And if I can while we're here, I will put that in the chat. And if I can't find it, you have my email address. And you can email me. I'll be glad to send you a link to it. And it's a systematic process specifically for adult foundational educators, the term that I use to describe our field, to distinguish it from higher ed. So that might be another useful way to track and help students to accomplish their goals.
Speaker 5: There's a question. Is there a study about the relationship between hybrid delivery and student engagement, persistence, and test gains?
DAVID J. ROSEN: That's a great question. And the answer is yes and no. There is. There actually-- there's one, what I would describe as one particularly useful study about hybrid delivery and persistence and test gains. Actually, it's not persistence. It's test gains. And this was done-- was done and is being done, as far as I know, in Texas.
The Texas Workforce Commission, which is the state agency for adult education in Texas, asked it's-- I think its professional development group-- that's the acronym that's TEAMS, T-E-A-M-S. And they put together a really good model. They, of course, they have the data on every funded program. So they have the outcomes data the pre-post, the and NRS level gains.
BUT what they did is, they categorized it in three categories-- distance learning, in-person learning, and hybrid learning. And they-- now, they may have refined that. I don't know if they break that down further into flex models of hybrid. But at least they have hybrid. And they've been doing this for I think a decade, at least a decade, every year.
And every year, the data comes out very similar. So when I first heard that, I tried to guess what the outcomes would be. Well, I thought in-person learning would have the best outcomes. And that's not the case. And it's certainly not unfortunately the case for distance learning. It is hybrid learning.
So here is evidence in one very large state, for all the programs in that state, that on average learners do better in hybrid learning models. Now we don't know-- we don't really know anything from research about flex models at this point. There have not been any flex models in our field. And I only saw one research model on flex delivered mathematics when I last looked.
Maybe there will be now, because it's catching on. I certainly hope so. And I'm encouraging programs-- in fact, I encourage some of the programs that we're presenting here at the conference, at the symposium, to track that and to report that. And maybe it's something that CASAS is-- I think CASAS is quite interested in this question. Maybe it is something that they will be able to help with.
I don't know the details on that. But do talk with somebody at CASAS about that.