Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

Problems with the links in the email?

Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at

Montana Information

1.    HiSET Blast

HiSET Program News

 HiSET Action Items


Check out the newly shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

Remember:  The resources below are teacher-designed resources that may be changed as teachers learn more by experience with HiSET and more vendor HiSET materials become available.

Have you created any resources that you are willing to share?  Please email them to MTLINCS.

HiSET Brand Information

Go to the HiSET Resource page to access the HiSET Brand Guide.

Montana Requirements 

Questions about Montana requirements for the HiSET?  Click here for more information. 

 2.  Montana Technology Community of Practice (COP)                    

 Tim Ponder has just introduced three new numeracy websites to the MT COP participants. 

Click here and click on the weekly posts.

3.  MTLINCS Research 2013-2014:  Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research

 Conclusions (Continued)

Only the conclusions and recommendations remain for the wrap-up of this review of Improving Adult Literacy Instruction.  Within the next month, MTLINCS will cite (without editorializing) the nine conclusions and recommendations the research presents.  (To read Conclusions 1 – 4, go to .

Conclusion 5:

The component skills of reading and writing in English and the principles of effective literacy instruction derived from research with native English speakers are likely to apply to English language learners. Consistent with principles of learning, effective instruction meets the particular skill development needs of English learners, which differ in several respects from the needs of native speakers, and uses existing knowledge of content, language, and literacy whether in the native or the English language.

… Some are literate in a first language and hence may need little practice in recognizing or spelling words or even basic comprehension skills …

… Others are recent immigrants who lack basic literacy skills in any language …

… Some English learners may be challenged by the lack of opportunities to use and be exposed to English …

… A particular challenge to address in adult literacy instruction for English learners is developing their language and literacy skills at the same time ...

Conclusion 6:

Improved adolescent and adult literacy programs require the development of measures and comprehensive systems of assessment that (1) include measures of language and literacy skills related to a range of literacy forms and tasks, domain knowledge, cognitive abilities, and valued functional as well as psychological outcomes; (2) include measures for differentiated placement and instruction, diagnosis, formative assessment, and accountability that are all aligned to work toward common learning goals; and (3) produce information at learner, classroom, and program levels that is useful to learners, instructors, program administrators, and policy makers.

Three types of assessment are needed: diagnostic, formative, and accountability assessment. The different forms of measurement serve different purposes. Diagnostic assessment gives detailed information to instructors about which skill components the learner possesses and which need to be developed. Formative assessment provides the information needed to improve instruction by focusing attention on skills that need to be improved as instruction progresses. Accountability assessment provides funders and the public with a sense of how well the program and systems that serve adult literacy learners are working …

… To elaborate: there are no satisfactory ways to comprehensively assess the range of literacy skills that adults bring to instruction and their growth over time …

… Use of only a single composite score on a standardized assessment, by contrast, or measurement of a narrow skill set should be avoided to maximize understanding and return on investment, especially in large- scale effectiveness research.

Conclusion 7:

Technologies for learning can help to resolve problems facing adult learners caused by time and space constraints. Technology can assist with multiple aspects of learning and assessment that include diagnosis, feedback, scaffolding, embedded practice with skills in meaningful tasks, tracking of learner progress, and accommodations to create more effective and efficient instruction. Given the costs of human labor, technology also may offer a more cost-effective means of achieving the extended levels of practice needed to gain reading and writing facility.

… Technology has the potential to scaffold literate activity to make learning more efficient …

… Technology can be used for placement, feedback, and tracking of learner progress for more effective and efficient instruction …

… Technology also can assist with accommodation, and in particular text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies can help to support both reading and writing development …

…In addition, given the temporal barriers many adult learners face to increase literacy opportunity, technology can make added literacy engagement opportunities more accessible and more portable. 

Conclusion 8:

Society increasingly requires broader, more intensive and more complex forms of literacy given new communication technologies. Adults need to be able to use contemporary tools of literacy and become facile with forms of reading and writing that are valued and expected for education, work, health maintenance, social and civic participation, and other life tasks.

Literate practice always involves tools and technologies. Society has moved from pen and paper to digital forms of expression through information media and multimodal communications. To be functionally literate today, an adult will need to also have made this move. Adults need opportunities to learn valued literacy skills, which include the tools and forms of communication and information seeking that have resulted from the information revolution and which society now expects adults to possess as part of being literate and skilled.

Research is just beginning to examine practices and proficiencies related to the use of new information and communication technologies that are now part of being literate in 21st-century society …

… Specific questions for research include the following:

What are the competencies involved in reading and writing online and comprehending and creating multimodal texts?

What instructional materials and programs are effective in developing digital literacy skills …

… Should literacy development always begin with print-based texts or should it start with texts in multimodal and digital media?

Conclusion 9:

There is a lack of research and data of the kind required to better define, prevent, and remediate problems that adolescents and adults enrolled in instruction outside compulsory schooling are experiencing with developing their literacy skills in the United States.

… To provide an adequate research base for better adult literacy improvement efforts, several things are needed:

 Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 261-268

 Coming next:  Recommendations

4.  National Webinar on March 13:  Time to Reskill

Taken from Notices

Join the U.S. Department of Education, American Institutes for Research, and adult education advocates for a webinar on March 13, from 1:00pm-3:00pm ET. With the recent release of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies, (PIAAC) demonstrating the direct relationship between skills and economic security, health, and educational advancement, there is even more urgency to address the needs of low-skilled learners and equip the teaching workforce to help such students achieve their academic and economic goals.

The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) launched a national engagement effort on November 20 (see archived announcement) to explore ways to increase our national capacity to improve the foundation skills of adults in the United States. OVAE is particularly interested in engaging with adult educators to solicit their input into a forthcoming national action plan.

This webinar will be an opportunity to receive a briefing on the PIAAC data, the OECD’s special report on America’s low-skilled population, Time for the U.S. to Reskill?, and engage in a focused discussion about the issues facing adult education.

To prepare for the webinar, see the Consultation Paper, which provides background on the skills issue and the framework for the national action plan. The discussion will continue online in various groups within the LINCS Community of Practice.

National Information

National LINCS Update

Dear LINCS Community members,

Today we debut exciting upgrades to the LINCS Community! Our team has been working on these improvements for many months, and we hope they will make it easier and more enjoyable than ever to participate in discussions, events and more. We invite you to log in, update your profile, and check them out. 

The following features are now available. In the coming days, we will post specific announcements about how to use each feature.

Like Button: Similar to other reputable online communities, we’ve created a Like button you can use to show your enthusiasm for your favorite content. Just look for the thumbs up button throughout the community to like something.

Simplified Email Subscriptions: Setting your email preferences is easier than ever, with a new dedicated space to manage your subscriptions in each group and the My LINCS tab.

Group Quick Links: The updated Groups page features quick link icons to take you directly to the section of each group that you would like to visit. 

Polls: The subject matter experts will post polls to provide another way for you to participate with your fellow members; find them on the menu bar of your groups.

Updated look: Our refreshed design makes it easier to follow comments in a discussion thread and find the different actions you can take in a thread. You can also quickly reach featured events and resources from the dynamic banner on the home page. 

Saved Posts: If your internet browser crashes while you are writing a discussion or comment, your work will be saved in its original location.

Stay tuned for more details about these features, and please contact us in the meantime if you have any questions.

Best regards,
The LINCS Community Team

5.  Math:  Problem of the Week

Taken from Math and Numeracy

A bowl contains 75 candies, identical except for color.  Twenty are red, 25 are green, and 30 are brown.  Without looking, what is the least number of candies you must pick in order to be absolutely certain that three of them are brown?

--Brooke Istes

6.  Rubrics

Taken from Adult English Language Learners

… a wonderful article "Using Rubrics to Promote Thinking and Learning" by Heidi Goodrich Andrade available here While this article is written for a K12 audience, it is also relevant to adult educators. I especially like the rubric example included in the article and what the author says about rubrics being --not only assessment tools, but also "instructional tools."

The article includes steps for designing rubrics and suggests that engaging students in the process of rubric creation can be a good learning experience in and of itself. Rubrics make evaluation criteria explicit from the outset and are also powerful tools for students to assess themselves.

-- Susan Finn Miller

7.  Science Instructional Online Video Review

Taken from Evidence-based Professional Development

Science teaching colleagues, program administrators and professional development staff,

If you have experience teaching science, please read the announcement below. If you work with teachers who have interest and experience in teaching science, please share the announcement, and also encourage teachers to join the LINCS Science Community of Practice.

We are looking for adult education teachers with experience in teaching science to work in a private LINCS online science group to 1) create a list of free, online science instructional videos for adult and out-of-school youth learners, and 2) review and discuss some of the videos. The goal is to create reviews of videos that have engaging science content and good science instruction. The video list would be used to help adult learners, including those with little science content knowledge, and it might also include science professional development videos for teachers. We would select videos from the list, and review them using a simple online form. In the online group we also might discuss how to use science instruction videos with students.   

The project’s purpose is to enhance face-to-face science teaching with good videos to use in class, for classes that have access to a computer and multimedia projector. Many of the videos can be downloaded and saved to a portable drive, so that teachers can use them even if they don’t have Internet access in their classroom.  Students can also watch the videos on their own, outside class, from wherever they might access the web. 

This is a volunteer effort. It will not require a great deal of time for each person to review two-five videos (some of which are quite short.) Each video will be reviewed by at least two teachers. The group’s goal might be to review a total of 10-20 videos. If we get at least six people who want to do this, we’ll begin in March, 2014. 

If you want to join the project, or if you have questions, please email David at We hope from time to time to post reports here on its progress.

David J. Rosen,

Susan Cowles,

 8.  Technology:  Digital Divide Narrows

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning 

In an October 11, 2013 blog article  Jenifer Baker Vanek wrote,

The digital divide is no longer a concept reserved to describe access to the Internet. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that residential use of broadband (high-speed) Internet is rapidly rising. Results from a 2012 survey show broadband adoption to be increasing for minorities and low-income households. Additionally, residential Internet access for non-African American, non-Hispanic minorities exceeds adoption for the U.S. population average (73% versus 70%). Even within the categories of low-income and Hispanic Americans there is significant in home access to computers and Internet (43% and 59%, respectively) (Connected Nation, 2012). Despite this access, there is a huge divide between those who know how to use the Internet to access information and those who do not. Between low and high socio-economic classes the difference in use of the Internet for accessing information has never been greater (Wei & Hindman, 2011) [emphasis mine.]

In her article, Jen offers three specific suggestions for what we can do about this, all of which make good sense. See more at:

--David Rosen

9.  Technology:  Webinars

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Twitter Resource

Click here to access the Slideshare information presented during the Twitter webinar. 

 Click here to access YouTube on using Twitter for Adult Education.

Title: Social Media Webinar Series: QR Codes

Click here to access YouTube on using QR Codes for Adult Education.

Title: Social Media Webinar Series: Pinterest

Click here  to access YouTube for a new version of the Pinterest webinar, using Pinterest for Adult Education.

Title: Social Media Webinar Series: Advanced Twitter

Click here  to access the Slideshare information presented during the Twitter webinar. 

 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