Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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1.    MT ABLE Program Directors’ Only Meeting


Information from the Program Directors’ Meeting will be shared with the field following the meeting. 


2.    Montana High School Equivalency Test


Have you checked out the ETS website for HiSET, the High School Equivalency Test?  If not,

click here .


Take a look at the following:

·       Test at a Glance

·       Sample Questions

·       Practice Tests

o   Language Arts–Reading (PDF)

o   Language Arts–Writing (PDF)

o   Mathematics (PDF)

o   Science (PDF)

o   Social Studies (PDF)


3.  MTLINCS Research 2012 - 2013


Compilation of Research

Click here  to access a compilation of all of the MTLINCS research for 2012 – 2013.   


Click below to access specific areas.                              

·       Adult College Completion Toolkit, U.S. Department of Education OVAE  

·       Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, National Academy of Sciences, 2012


4.    Research Snippet: Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, National Academy of Sciences, 2012


Principles of Learning for Instructional Design


Do you want your learners to exit your program with some level of expertise in reading and math?  If so, what does successful learning look like?


The ideal culmination of successful learning is the development of expertise. Learners who achieve expertise tend to be self-regulated (Azevedo and Cromley, 2004; Pintrich, 2000b; Schunk and Zimmerman, 2008; Winne, 2001). They formulate learning goals, track progress on these goals, identify their own knowledge deficits, detect contradictions, ask good questions, search relevant information sources for answers, make inferences when answers are not directly available, and initiate steps to build knowledge at deep levels of mastery. The “meta” knowledge of language, cognition, emotions, motivation, communication, and social interactions that is part of self-regulated learning is well developed. The expert learner forms conceptually rich and organized representations of knowledge that resist forgetting, can be retrieved automatically, and can be applied flexibly across tasks and situations.   


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 124


Whew!  So that is what expertise looks like!  Becoming a successful learner does not happen overnight as many of our students would like, for a student’s learning must compete with other demands in an adult student’s life. 


Expertise is usually difficult to achieve—and for a complex skill such as literacy requires many hours of practice over many years—experts tend to have 1,000-10,000 hours of experience in their field of expertise (Chi, Glaser, and Farr, 1988). With respect to literacy expertise taught in schools, an hour per day from kindergarten through twelfth grade amounts to about 2,000 hours in total, after taking out the inevitable days when no real instruction occurs, which is at the low end of the range needed to gain expertise. 


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 125


OK, we know our students are not going to stay with us for 2000+ hours.  And if there are any students who do stay that long, they usually are learners who are struggling and may not be making the gains needed for expertise.  With this in mind, what does the research say we can do for our students that will help them become more proficient learners?


Guidelines for Ensuring the Retention of New Concepts


Supporting Attention, Retention, and Transfer


1.     Present Material in a Clear and Organized Format


… It is important to remove any irrelevant information, even if interesting, that could detract from learning to minimize cognitive load and competing demands on attention (Kalyuga, Chandler, and Sweller, 1999; Moreno, 2007; Van Merrienboer et al., 2006) …


… Providing structure and organization is important to help them understand concepts and how they relate to one another …


Outlines can be used to show structural hierarchies (Ausubel, 1968). Graphic organizers show the structure of interrelated ideas pictorially, with ideas represented as concepts in circles and relationships as lines that connect the circles (Vitale and Romance, 2007). Tables can be used to organize ideas …


2.     Use Multiple and Varied Examples


… There is substantial evidence that knowledge, skills, and strategies acquired across multiple and varied contexts are better generalized and

applied flexibly across a range of tasks and situations …


3.     Present Material in Multiple Modalities and Formats


… Information is encoded and remembered better when it is delivered in multiple modes (verbal and pictorial), sensory modalities (auditory and visual), or media (computers and lectures) than when delivered in only a single mode, modality, or medium …


4.     Teach in the Zone of Proximal Development


… There is moderate evidence that the answer depends partly on the selection of learning goals, materials, and tasks, which should be sensitive to what the student has mastered and be appropriately challenging—not too easy or too difficult, but just right (Metcalfe and Kornell, 2005; VanLehn et al., 2007; Wolfe et al., 1998).


5.     Space Presentations of New Material


It is better to distribute the presentation of materials and tests over time than to concentrate the learning experiences within a short time span (Bahrick et al., 1993; Bloom and Shuell, 1981; Cepeda et al., 2006; Cull,2000; Rohrer and Taylor, 2006) … However, there is evidence that rereading can enhance metacomprehension skills and long-term retention of text material, especially if it is spaced and especially for low-ability students …


6.     Test on Multiple Occasions, Preferably with Spacing


… There is substantial evidence that periodic testing helps learning and slows down forgetting …


7.     Ground Concepts in Perceptual-Motor Experiences


There is substantial evidence that it is important to link concepts to be read or learned to concrete perceptions and actions …


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 125-130


Do you ever get the feeling that some of your students are not engaged in learning? Quantity versus quality?  Are you working harder than the student?


Supporting Generation of Content and Reasoning


Learning is enhanced when learners have to organize the information themselves and exert cognitive effort during acquisition or retrieval. Simply put, it is the student who should be doing the acting, thinking, talking, reading, and writing for learning. 


1.     Encourage the Learner to Generate Content


… This fact explains why free recall or essay tests that require the test-taker to generate answers with minimal cues often produce better retention than recognition tests and multiple-choice tests in which the learner only needs to be able to recognize correct answers. It also explains why tutors learn more than tutees in peer tutoring when students start out on an even playing field (Fuchs et al., 1994; Mathes and Fuchs, 1994; Topping, 1996) …


2.     Encourage the Generation of Explanations, Substantive Questions, and the Resolution of Contradictions


… Students may be prompted to give self-explanations of material by thinking aloud or answering questions that elicit explanations connecting the material to what they know …


3.     Encourage the Learner to Construct Ideas from Multiple Points of View and Different Perspectives


… another example, readers who comprehend stories can be instructed to adopt the perspectives of different characters and their resulting recall protocols and story representations end up being quite different (Anderson and Pichert, 1978). Readers eventually can be trained to adopt multiple character viewpoints while reading stories and thereby achieve greater cognitive flexibility. Laboratory experiments and classroom studies have shown the benefits …


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 130-135


If your students are learning, you must be engaging in many of the above suggestions.  In fact, you yourself may have mastered many of the strategies via automaticity.  Congrats!  If not, reread the guidelines.  Check off what you are doing well and consider retooling by using those you have not implemented. 


Stay tuned: More Strategies for Instructional Design

National Information

5.  Adult Career Pathways Training and Support Center (ACP-SC) Webcast: Engaging Employers to Support Adult Career Pathways Programs

Taken from LINCS Community Notice

Webcast:  April 11 from 1:00 p.m. MDT

Join Christopher Coro from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE); Kathryn Hund, Former Director of Workforce Education and Training at the Kansas Board of Regents and Kansas Department of Commerce; and Susan Hoyne, Instructional Dean, Shoreline Community College, Washington State as they share their perspectives, experiences, best practices, resources, and recommendations on employer engagement in supporting Adult Career Pathways programs. The webcast will be filmed live at the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association 2013 Conference and simultaneously broadcast to the field.

Engaging Employers to Support Adult Career Pathways Program

April 11, 2013 at 1:00PM MDT during the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association 2013 Conference in Cheyenne, WY

Click here to Register:

6.  Reading:  Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling Webinar

Taken from LINCS Community Notice

Webinar:  April 16 from 2:00 p.m. EDT

LINCS Community members … are invited to participate in a free webinar on the Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling: An Adult Reading Course of Study curriculum, a resource in the LINCS Resource Collection. This research-based literacy intervention is geared toward adult educators who teach reading and writing and is designed to teach adult learners to decode and spell words accurately and fluently.

Hosted by LINCS subject matter expert Daryl Mellard and Charles A. MacArthur, Ph.D., a Professor of Special Education and Literacy in the School of Education at the University of Delaware, this event will take place on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 2 p.m. EDT.

Additional information including instructions to access the webinar will be distributed shortly. The event will be recorded and archived, and a continuing discussion will take place in the LINCS Community.

7.  User Tip:  OVAE News

Taken from LINCS Community Notice

The LINCS Community team often posts important OVAE announcements. But did you know that you can personally receive OVAE news in your inbox or RSS reader and then share your knowledge with your LINCS Community group members? OVAE has two main sources of news—the OVAE Connection email newsletter and a brand-new blog! The blog provides readers with up-to-date information about events and OVAE presentations, highlights from OVAE staff visits to the field, and more. Readers can sign up to receive updates via their favorite RSS reader. Help us spread the latest news in adult education by subscribing to these sources and sharing their content throughout the LINCS Community!


P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!


Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101