Montana Distance Learning Project Archive

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March April


Distance Learning Update


Missouri GED Online has added some new material to Level 4, as well as incorporated Contemporary McGraw-Hill GED Practice Tests for your students. This site allows students to e-mail teachers their results. The instructions for students to e-mail their teachers are included.  

The links are under Level 4 in the curriculum.  Below are the direct links:

Language Arts Reading -

Math -

Language Arts Writing Part 1 -

Language Arts Writing Part 2 -

Science -

Social Studies - 

Please contact Carol Flynn if you have any questions about this update.

I had this in my last Power Point frame at the directors' meeting last week; good news for Monday morning!

Have a great week,



Conference Call

Click here to access resources from conference call.

Sent on behalf of Melinda Lynnes

DL Training Participants~

Thank you so much for joining us this morning! I'm sorry we got cut off at the end without being able to answer questions...we thought we had 5 more minutes! I'm attaching some info on the Grade Center in GED Online since that wouldn't load for us this morning. Also, if you have questions that went unanswered, please email me and we'll continue the conversation. If you would like another session, please email that to me as well so we can set that up. I know we went quickly, but I hope you'll have a chance to use some of the information and then maybe do a debriefing.

Thanks again for participating.

Happy Friday!


Good Afternoon:

This is the first of two emails. I am attaching the PowerPoint to this email. Be sure to print off the PowerPoint so that you can follow along.

I will send the handouts in a separate email because itís a bit much for everything in one email.

Please join me in an Adobe Connect Meeting.

Meeting Name: MABLE

Summary: USe this for director meetings and other Mable training

Invited By: Linda Gardner (

When: 03/2/2012 8:00 am to 9:00 am

To join the meeting:


If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:

Test your connection:

Get a quick overview:

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Adobe Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.




December January June



Good Morning, Please check out what Mary Grott sent me this morning. They have upgraded Skills Tutor so wanted to share the information. Since things have been a little quiet on the Distance Learning front, Iím not sure that my distribution list is totally accurate. Would you be so kind as to let me know if there is someone on the list that should not be and also let me know if I need to add someone to the list. Thank you for your help. Carol From: Mary Grott []
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2011 8:59 AM

To: Flynn, Carol
Subject: FW: skills tutor Carol, There has been an upgrade to SkillsTutor. It has a different look. Iíve attached a few manuals to help teachers and students navigate. Thanks, Mary


GED Online Manual Revised

Good Afternoon:

I had previously sent you a new Blackboard Manual from Mary Grott. Please see her email below. There were some changes in the Appendix and Table of Contents so you may want to save this document rather than the one originally sent to you.

Happy New Year everyone! Looks like we are back in the routine!!


Click here for the GED Online Manual.


I hope you both were able to take off some time over the holiday break. Itís tough coming back to a five day work week. Yuck!

Iíve attached an updated Blackboard manual. The only change is the Appendix and table of contents. Let me know if you have any questions.


Mary Grott


GED Online Update - Times

Good Morning:

I just wanted to give you heads up that Mandy has updated MABLE with the new times for the distance learning classes.

Merry Christmas everyone!! Enjoy the down time!


GED Online Update

Margaret and Carol,

I hope you both had a nice Thanksgiving. The upgrade is complete and your students can begin working online. The main difference for your students is how the curriculum is displayed on their screen. Right now, as they click the "Click to Launch" button, the curriculum opens in a new window. This appears to be a flaw in the Blackboard system. If a student has their pop-up blocker turned on, this might cause a problem. We will continue to work on the issue, but for now we are stuck trying to come up with a fix.

I've attached a document containing information for your students.
(See attachments below.) They may not need the information or you may want to edit the contents to meet your needs.

Instructions on how teachers can use the system will come at a later time. This will include changing/creating announcements, removing/ students, using the gradebook, and customizing your classroom. Of course teachers can play with the system and can probably figure out how to accomplish many of these tasks their own.

One last item ... We have made some updates to our curriculum that will be added to your classes by the end of the day. Due to these changes, the time standards for some assignments have been changed. I have attached a spreadsheet with these changes. The punctuation unit will have a new look, a new unit on measurement will be added and second quizzes will be or have been added to most math assignments. These quizzes should be used for students who need to retake a quiz. Lastly, a quiz will be added to the Using the GED Calculator section. We are working on creating practice GED quizzes. I have included these time standards, but these quizzes are not available at this time.

If you have any questions, please donít hesitate to ask.


Mary GrottRockwood Adult Education and LiteracyGED OnlineClassRockwood School District


Schedule Updates




October 16 Distance Learning Training Agenda


September October November  December January February March April May June



November 2009
October 2009
September 2009



Click here for new posts on the Discussions link.


Click here for new posts on the Discussions link.


Click here for new posts on the Discussions link.


Click here for new posts on the Discussions link.


Note to Field Regarding DL

This week's LINCS reminds me of the wonderful distance learning training we had last Friday with Melinda and Shelly. They have put together a distance learning model that works, and in a true professional spirit, they shared it with their colleagues. Kudos to two great ABLE teachers!

Throughout the training, many people shared the challenges and questions they continue to have regarding distance delivery. LINCS this year is focused on keeping this conversation ongoing and robust. Each distance learning post will contain a snippet of research, which is just enough to keep everyone informed on cutting edge information, or you can dig deeper by going directly to the links Norene provides.  What a wonderful way to sustain a research-based distance delivery model.

Additionally, you can read or respond  to the distance learning question of the month by clicking on the red responses . I encourage you to read this section each time, as this is a way to share ideas and best practice between programs. Don't forget, you can always go back and read postings from previous months.

 A major state initiative this year is to effectively integrate distance learning into existing curriculum. LINCS is here to guide and support.



Report from CAAL:  The Power of Technology to Transform Adult Learning:  Expanding Access to Adult Education and Workforce Skills through Distance Learning

October 21, 2009 (New York) -- CAAL today released THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY TO TRANSFORM ADULT LEARNING: Expanding Access to Adult Education and Workforce Skills Through Distance Learning. This 65-page paper is based on a 9-month project directed by Dr. Mary L. McCain of TechVision 21 in Washington, D.C. Federal and state government is the primary audience but CAAL also aims to help inform private sector engagement and assist program and curriculum development professionals. Among the report's recommendations are to establish a national web portal to meet the needs of both adult learners and professional/skilled ICT users; federal incentives to encourage and help states integrate technology-assisted learning into overall adult education and workforce skills planning; projects to support the development of distance learning in a variety of areas (such as distance learning certifications, performance measures that validate ICT literacy, and online learning assessment); a strong research, analysis, and evaluation program; and activities to foster stakeholder involvement, including the philanthropic and business communities. The POWER OF TECHNOLOGY includes a primer section on the tools of technology. Another section presents exemplary national and state technology-based program models for instruction, professional development, and program/data management. Findings of recent research on distance learning are presented and analyzed, and an extensive bibliographic appendix is included. The report is available as NC-CAAL11 from the CAAL website at . It can also be purchased directly from CAAL ($20 plus postage, volume discounts available).

Discussion of Research Items #1, #2, and #3

Follow the discussions on distance learning research at

Kathie Daviau's Google Website


Distance Learning Resources Updated

The Distance Learning Resource page has been updated.  Click here to access the DL Resource link.

Distance Learning Training Memo from State Director

During my shop talk in July and in site visits to local programs, I shared that distance learning would change for our next program year. Last year, many of you filled out an application to become a distance learning provider based on the RAEC Grant model. The model was designed for a vibrant economy, a different assessment policy, and the federal allocation you received in the past. With the economic downturn, a cut in our allocation, and new assessment requirements, the RAEC model will be put aside for another day. We will discuss post RAEC Grant distance delivery at the fall conference. You can look forward to talking about more GED Online seats, challenges, successes, accomplishments, instructional delivery, and professional development.

This coming year distance learning will be available to all programs that would like to use state approved distance learning curriculum for students that are unable to attend classes during regular hours or who live at distances away from your program.  Our first step in preparing for this year is training for GED Online. Directors and staff directly involved with distance learning must participate in the initial training. Below are the details for the GED Online/Distance Learning for this fall.

Margaret Bowles

GED Online Training Information:  10/16/09 in Billings

Click here for more information.  RSVP by 9/4/09


Schedule Updates




April Conference Calls
February Conference call from 12 to 1
January Distance Learning Meeting - 1/7/09 - 1/8/09
October Distance Learning Application posted - due 11/14/08


Overview of Distance Learning Project


Click on month to access topics.



April 2009
  • Conference Call Summary
 March 2009
  • Conference Calls Change
  • Growing Distance Learning in Montana 3/5/09
 February 2009
  • Conference Call Set
  • Summary of February Conference Calls
  • More Distance Learning Tools Posted
  • Montana Protocol Guide
 January 2009 Reading Level Discussion
  • Response #1
  • Response #2
  • Response #3
  • Response #4

Distance Learning Tools

  • Sample Newsletter
  • Students/Employers/Communities:  Win-Win-Win Overview


  • Modules with Grade Levels
  • Scope and Sequence

MABLE and Distance Learning

SKT Alert

Distance Learning Training

  • Quotes
  • Resources
    • Online Learning Surveys for Students and Teachers
    • Curriculum Masters
December 2008
  • Agenda for Training
  • Preparing for Training
November 2008 Meeting Announced
October 2008
  • Distance Learning Application
  • Distance Learning Policy
September 2008 Request for PowerPoint posting




April Conference Call Summary - click here.


March Conference Call OPI Email

Greetings Distance Learning Team,
It was disappointing to cancel the March distance learning conference call, as I think ongoing communication is the best way to maintain our vision and commitment to making distance learning work in Montana. However, between spring breaks, conferences, and trainings, a date for conference calls could not be found. In lieu of the conference call, I am attaching a one page paper, Growing Distance Learning in Montana, highlighting where you should be in the process of implementation, where we are going, and helpful resources. Please don't miss the TeacherTube link!!
If you have any questions or would like to discuss items on the Growing Distance Learning in Montana paper, please contact me. It is a joy to visit about this exciting new dimension to Montana ABLE.
I look forward to our April Conference call.

Click here for Growing Distance Learning in Montana.

Conference Calls Change

Tuesday, April  14. 2009       
12 Noon to 1:00 pm
Miles City, Missoula, Glendive, Sidney, FVCC

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

12 Noon to 1:00 pm
Lewistown, Roundup, Billings, Bozeman, Livingston

Thursday, April 16, 2009

12 Noon to 1:00 pm
Hardin, Crow, Great Falls, SKC, Havre


DL Conference Call on 3/25 at Noon

12 Noon to 1:00 pm
Please call 1-888-224-5889 and use the password ----I have reserved the following lines:  one for Lewistown, one for Roundup, two for Billings (Lincoln Center and College of Technology) one for Bozeman and one for Livingston.  I had reserved that same number last time and somehow Paula was not able to get on to join the conversation until I added an extra line.  Billings is the only one with two lines.
Please remember this call is mandatory for the director and instructional staff involved with the Distance Learning project.
As the date gets closer, we'll get an agenda out to you.
Summary of DL February Conference Calls

More Distance Learning Tools Posted 2/09

Several more items from the Distance Learning Protocol Guide have now been posted as individual documents on MTLINCS.  Click below on the categories.


Responses to Research-based Instruction Question about Reading Level of Participants


Response #4 to Research #7

Looking back over our records, our lowest level reader in GED online had a GE of 4.7.  She struggled in Skills Tutor reading but was unable to come to class due to living 90 miles away; she ended up dropping out and going back to high school.  Most of our online students were 8.0 GE or higher in reading.

Melinda Lynnes
Miles Community College
Center for Academic Success

Response #3 to Research #7

In response the need for higher level reading scores for on-line learners.  It is important to remember that GED on-line is specifically designed for those students with a reading level of at least 8th grade.  Our experience showed that 8th grade was too low.  My suggestion would be that any student scoring below ASE on the TABE would not make a good candidate for GED on-line.  SkillsTutor is geared toward a much lower reading level than GED on-line and is a good alternative.  
It is important to remember that on-line learners must possess a high level of self motivation.  Many, but certainly not all, low level readers are easily frustrated and they quickly loose their drive to complete on-line assignments.  Whatís best for the learner needs to always be in the fore front of our thoughts, on-line is not for everyone.

Jerry Guay


Response #2 to Research #7

I would be curious to know from those who implemented the Montana Distance Learning Pilot Project if or how they used it for the low-level reader.  We have been using SkillsTutor in our program for approximately three years.  However, we do have some of the lower-level modules that aren't available in the GED Online program.  Mike Rea has suggested below, "Those readers, however, would probably benefit more from the direct instruction at an adult education center."   

So my question is two-fold:

  1. Did any of you encounter students who wanted to work on the GED Online but were unable to do so because of insufficient reading skills?

  2. Did any of you implement suggested reading levels as was done in North Carolina?

Thanks for your input! 

Norene Peterson, Billings


Response #1 to Research #7

While the consideration of reading level is important, wouldnít it make the need for SkillsTutor unnecessary to use with GED Online since SkillsTutor is geared towards students with lower reading levels?  That means those students with reading difficulties would have little chance to qualify for GED Online.  Those readers, however, would probably benefit more from the direct instruction at an adult education center, thus supporting the North Carolina study.  At the very least, SkillsTutor could possibly be used as part of the instruction at an adult education center; otherwise, it wouldnít seem to serve a purpose with GED Online. 

Mike Rea, Lewistown


Distance Learning Tools

More tools have been posted on MTLINCS!  Check them out!

SkillsTutor Scope and Sequence

The scope and sequence is located in the Montana workroom.  Click the FAQ button and it is located in the Quick Reference folder.  The file was just scanned into the system and the font is a little weird - but it will give the information you need.  You can save the document to your computer by right clicking on the file and choosing "Save."

Mary Grott
GED Online

MABLE and Distance Learning

I just wanted to give you heads up that programming set up the Distance Learning classes for me in MABLE.  I've gone into each of the new Distance Learning Sites and set you up so that you should now be able to see GED Connections, GED On- Line with all of the lessons and Skills Tutor.
Pick a student and click on their summary page.  Go to add attendance and pick today's date.  You should see the three Distance Learning classes you need in the drop down of classes for your site.  If you choose GED On-Line you will also see all the lessons you need.  I see everything you should have so please check to make sure this  works for you.
I've also copied in the data entry folks not in my DL distribution list so that they realize the new classes have been added as well.
Let me know if you have any problems.  Have a great weekend.


Important Message from OPI

There is a problem with Skills Tutor.  I had an email from Melinda today saying she wanted to check her students work in  Skills Tutor and went to check a class and there are no classes to check.  I sent off a quick email to Mary Grott and she contacted Skills Tutor.
Any teacher with a Montana login can change a password and manipulate classes.  We are guessing that someone was in practicing with Skills Tutor and did something by accident.  The bad news is any student data that was in the class is also gone.
Weíll keep you posted!!


Distance Learning Meeting

Quotes from January Distance Learning Training

  • It doesn't work for everybody.  Hardin

  • If you (the employer) show that you care about the employees, it keeps them from making a lateral move to another business.  Havre

  • I don't want to become a faceless avatar.  Kalispell

  • It may be a good idea to go to the smaller communities and talk about what adult ed money they have and what they can contribute.  Missoula

  • Distance learning can be time intensive.  Miles City

  • Distance learning can get students into the door that have never been there.  The goal is to hook them!  OPI

  • Marketing should be separate from partner agencies.  Roundup

  • If we provide incentives for students to get their GEDs, then they become more literate and better employees.  Salish Kootenai



Agenda for Training on 1/7 & 1/8

Click here for the agenda.

Preparing for Training

Good Afternoon,
I am sure that even with the busy holiday days, you have had time to figure out that the distance learning training will occur early in January. Not a minute to rest in the New Year!
The new semester will be a perfect time to begin your distance delivery, yet I am sure you have dozens of questions in your mind regarding implementation of distance learning. The planned training on January 7th and 8th should address all of your concerns. You can look forward to learning about the online process, student orientation, teacher resources, enrolling and engaging online students, 2007-08 student data profiles, and much more. Prior to attending the training, it is important that you read the Distance Learning Policy that was included in the Protocol Guide, or go to on the LINCS Website.
Beyond reading the Distance Learning Policy, there is work that you should be doing in the next few weeks to prepare for distance learning. Pursuant to each of your applications, work force partners and agencies have been identified to contact with distance learning information, so it is time to begin to prepare for you initial site visits. The work that can be done prior to the training includes:
  • Fill out potential employer/partner agency contact sheet (page 51/54 of Protocol Guide) to prepare for your on site time.
  • Prepare newspaper article to announce distance delivery (sample on page 51 of Protocol Guide).
  • Telephone potential partners to schedule a January meeting (page 53 of the Protocol Guide).
  • Create marketing packets for your onsite visits (page 55-58 of the Protocol Guide).
The Montana Distance Learning model is more than a curriculum, it is a process. It is imperative that directors and distance delivery instructors attend the training in order for your program to become enrolled in GEDOnline and experience success with distance learning. Each of you can look forward to lively conversation as ideas and future plans are shared during your time in Helena.
It was exciting to see the commitment and vision that was apparent on each application. The application was the first step in planning for an effective instructional model. You can look forward to building on your model next month.
Have a blessed holiday with visions of distance learners dancing in your heads!

Margaret Bowles, OPI


Distance Learning Meeting

Welcome to Distance Learning!  I have reserved a conference room at the Red Lion Colonial Hotel, 2301 Colonial Drive, in Helena on January 7 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm to discuss and plan Distance Learning.  This portion of the meeting will frame your distance learning for the program year.
I have reserved 30 sleeping rooms at the Red Lion Colonial Hotel for the evening of January 7.  YOU NEED TO CALL SOON AND NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 12 to reserve a room in the block and guarantee it with your own credit card!  The number to call is 443-2100 and ask for the OPI/Distance Learning block of rooms.
Mary Grott from GED On Line will conduct our training on January 8 beginning at 8:00 am.  We have computer labs set aside at the Helena College of Technology,  1115 N. Roberts Street.  Leave the Red Lion Colonial Hotel and travel west to the stop light at 11th Avenue and Fee Street.  Stay in the left hand lane driving north past the Albertsons Grocery Store to the next light on the corner of Fee Street and Prospect.  Turn left off Fee Street on to Prospect Avenue.  Work you way to the right hand lane and continue on Prospect Avenue to the stop light on Roberts Street.  American Federal Bank is on the corner of Prospect Avenue and Roberts Street.  Turn right on to Roberts Street and go down the street three blocks.  The College of Technology will be on the right hand side of the street.
We will reimburse lodging at state rate, meals not provided at state rate and one vehicle per site.
We look forward to seeing you in the new year!

Carol Flynn


Distance Learning Application


Good Morning,
Attached (click here) is the application for becoming an ABLE distance learning provider. At first glance, the application may seem daunting, but it is actually built to guide you in all the up-front work that needs to take place prior to coming to training and learning the online curriculum.
The pilot project validated that the distance learning curriculum by itself will not greatly impact enrollment. This application is designed to help you set the stage for success and increased enrollment.
To complete the application, you will need to do the following:
  • Form a team to complete the application together (director and staff)  (at a minimum, potential online instructors)
  • Refer to the following resources to complete the application: Montana Distance Learning Protocol Guide (click here)  and Montana Distance Learning Policy (click here) (distributed to each program at the Data Quality Conference).
  • Post questions regarding the incorporation of distance learning into your program on LINCS. Pilot team instructors and directors have agreed to answer any questions that you may have as you fill out the application. Instructors and directors involved in the pilot project have a depth of understanding that can guide you in generating the distance learning plan that will fit your community. Simply send specific questions to Norene, prompt answers are guaranteed.
The application is due November 14, 2008, and the required training will be the first week of December. Distance learning seats will open after training. The location of training will depend on the number of programs that apply. If several apply, regional trainings may be scheduled.
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the application. Also, distance learning will be an agenda item in the director Shop Talk next week.
I look forward to bringing distance learning to other ABLE programs.



Distance Learning Policy


Montana ABLE's Distance learning policy has now been posted.  Click here.


Distance Learning PowerPoint


... I have a favor to ask...Could you provide a link to the Distance Learning PowerPoint (from last week's data quality workshop) on the Distance Learning webpage of the Mtlincs website?

Victoria Clark
Literacy Bitterroot staff and
Bitterroot Valley Community College Effort spokesperson

Done!  The PDF of the PowerPoint is now posted on the Resource link of the Distance Learning page.