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Newly Launched OCTAE Learning Modules

Originator: Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), US Department of Education (sent 09/22/2023)

Dear Colleagues,

Today, in honor of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week and in partnership with the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) is proud to announce the launch of seven free self-paced professional learning modules for adult education instructors and administrators on OCTAE’s Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS).

Tasks: Activities the learner should complete. 

Key ideas: Key concepts or takeaways from the module.

Pro tips: Applicable strategies from professionals in the field aligned with the UDL framework. 

Try it Yourself: Activities that can be used in an adult learner context.

Resources: Additional information about a concept. 

In developing these self-paced learning modules, the goal was to address barriers in Adult Education professional development, providing a more accessible resource that models Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and helps adult educators better meet the needs of diverse learners. Several research-based educational frameworks were applied to redesign the former Learning to Achieve professional development materials in a way that optimizes accessibility and utility./

The learning modules use the research-based framework of UDL to improve instructors’ and administrators’ own learning experiences – while also modeling how to design and deliver more inclusive, effective experiences for adult learners.

To improve access, these learning modules follow a predictable format that uses consistent terms, structure, and categories, all easily identified with recognizable icons. Each module is filled with interactive resources and hands-on strategies that support adult educators in meeting the needs of adult learners such as embedded video case studies, downloadable transcripts and captions, information about Adult Education learner types, and tips and activities that provide adult educators tangible strategies to implement in classrooms and programs immediately.

These seven (7) new modules are:

  1. It all Starts with the Goal
  2. Learning that Works for All
  3. Making Math Matter
  4. Making Reading & Writing Matter
  5. Building Communities for Learning
  6. Self-Advocacy for Work
  7. Learning and Improving Systems for Adult Education

As always, OCTAE encourages dissemination of the new self-paced learning modules with local Adult Education programs. Upon completion of all seven (7) modules, participants will receive a completion certificate that may be useful in meeting a state’s professional development requirements.

For more information on these UDL modules, visit https://lincs.ed.gov/state-resources/federal-initiatives/udl

To access the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) modules and other free resources, visit https://courses.lincs.ed.gov/static/about.html#disabilities

For questions regarding the Universal Design for Learning framework, please contact Amanda Bastoni at abastoni@cast.org.

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