MN ABE Distance Learning 102: Instructional Issues Course Application
Hi and welcome to the 2020/21 DL 102: Instructional Issues course application!
This form must be completed before November 6, 2020. It will take approximately 20 minutes to read and complete. Adam Kieffer will contact you after the application cutoff date to confirm your participation.

Please read all of this section before starting the application. Make sure to click the Submit button at the end when you've completed this application. If you encounter a required question that isn't applicable for you/your program, just write 'N/A' or 'None' in the response box.

The purpose of this professional development (PD) initiative is to build the capacity of MN ABE consortia to offer quality distance learning (DL) opportunities for their ABE learners based on established best practices. This year's cohort will be focused on questions around best practices for distance education, blended learning, and DL platform integration.

This PD initiative is supported by Literacy Minnesota's DL Supplemental Services grant for 2020-2021. Any questions regarding the eligibility requirements or application and review process should be sent to Kirsten Collins (Literacy MN) at kcollins@literacymn.org or 651-251-9068.

DL 102 eligibility requirements:
1) Anyone who has completed DL Basics Online or DL 101 (in any year). *If you participated in DL 102 before, you are still welcome to apply again, though priority may be given to first time participants. Space in the cohort is limited.
2) Commitment to full participation and completion of online work which includes reading and responding to weekly questions and discussion from your peers and the facilitator in the online course, participating in a couple webinars, and implementing suggestions from peers with your blended and distance learners.
3) Attend a half day cohort kickoff online on the morning of (date moved forward to mid November; exact date TBD very soon!)

DL 102 Application and Review Process:
The DL/Tech Supplemental Services Grant Team will review all applications and notify selected participants by Friday November 13th. Space in the cohort is limited.

Distance Learning 102 Course Content:
Distance or blended/hybrid learning teachers who have some experience teaching online or working in their DL program will spend several weeks focusing on how to best support their blended and distance learners. Each participant writes a case study describing a current instructional or programmatic challenge. Together the cohort discusses each of the case studies, suggests solutions, and builds an online "community of practice" that remains available as a resource after the course is done. Through the discussion, each participant arrives at a few ideas to pilot and implement. After a month (or more) of piloting, each participant reports on their success/challenges in a final webinar. There may be an additional check-in/support webinar mid-course. CEUs awarded for this course will be 2 or 3 for the kickoff, and 10-12 for the rest of the course.

Examples of potential DL 102 participants' issues:
Communication in a blended environment: Google Voice, Email, Remind, Whats App, etc.
Integrating approved DL platforms into synchronous instruction
Teaching learners technology and digital literacy skills to participante in blended and DL classes
Prioritizing and setting expectations for hybrid/blended teacher tasks and workload
Setting up a online website or course for ease of use
Best practices using instructional tech tools

Timeline:
• Kick-Off Online Meeting - morning of Friday November 20th. Discuss our common instructional issues/questions. Bring, talk through or brainstorm possible case studies based on our questions or issues. Begin writing case studies in the online course. Explore and get comfortable with the online course. Calendar online case study discussions.
• Late November - Webinar to share and review case studies topics and stay connected.
• Mid December - Begin weekly discussions in the online course, focusing on a single case study per week. (This will be shortened or lengthened depending on how many participants we have.)
• January - Webinar to discuss strategies and piloting priorities.
• February - Participants try out the strategies that emerged from case study discussion and suggestions. Complete a report on results.
• Mid March - Presentation webinar - Cohort share results/successes/challenges from their implementation. Course is complete; complete course evaluation; award CEUs. Course CEUs will be about 10-15 depending on number of participants.

Your First and Last Name (or preferred name) *
Email (Choose an email you want to use for all communication and participation in this course) *
ABE Consortium *
ABE Program Name (if different from consortium name) *
School District (if applicable)
Your work phone number (or personal number if your work phone is not accessible right now): *
Your work mailing address: *
Have you completed DL Basics for ABE (online)? *
Have you completed DL 101 in a previous year? *
Are you able to attend a 2-3 hour online 'kickoff' web meeting on the morning of Friday November 20th? If not, please list alternative dates. *
Do you have about an hour a week to devote to reading and responding to posts in an online course for the duration of the course? *
Approximately how many learners does your program serve per week? (If you don't know, see if you can easily find out from a colleague, or just put, "I don't know.") *
Approximately how many learners does your program currently have enrolled in some form of distance learning each month? *
Approximately how many DL hours does your program generate each month? (If you don't know, see if you can easily find out from a colleague, or just put, "I don't know.") *
Which distance learning platforms do you currently use? Or, which DL platforms are used at your program? *
What is the most common distance learning model at your site? *
Approximately how many instructors and staff do you have engaged in distance learning, including hybrid or blended classes? *
Because of Covid-19 schools, students, and staff are now mostly in a distance only or hybrid (in person and distance) learning and working environment. Please write a short paragraph describing how your program is currently operating. For example, how do you recruit learners? How do you communicate with and schedule them? How do you orient them to online meetings and DL platforms? How do you follow up with them? How do you assess them? What is your progam doing well? What are your challenges? *
Please write a short paragraph about what you hope to achieve in the area of blended or distance instruction over the next year. What are your goals? What is a major instructional challenge for you? What would a successful blended and distance program at your site/program look like? *
Please write a short paragraph about the DL platform(s) you are most interested in using or learning more about and the target learner population(s) you are most eager to reach with your blended and DL efforts. (Complete list of approved platforms is here: http://mnabe-distancelearning.org/approved-dl-platforms ) *
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