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Evidence-based Strategies - Examples, Research and Tools

Strategy a
: Build explicitly on the skills, knowledge, and experiences that students bring to their learning.


Building Community and Skills through Multilevel Classes
Judy Hofer and Pat Larson
Contrary to the current movement away from mixed levels, this program finds that multilevel classes better reflect the diversity of the world in which adults function and communicates to students that they all have strengths and can learn from one another. The authors illustrate that building connections and community helps students work across differences to hear a range of perspectives and collaboratively solve problems.

Creating a Learning Community
Kiran Malavade and Krista Shaffer
In a library-based class designed to build a learning community through teamwork, peer support, and participation in class decisions, students show an 85% completion rate.

Differentiating Instruction for a Multilevel Class
Catherine Saldana
This is an account of how the author differentiated instruction by giving students choices in what they would read and write and in how they would practice their skills. This approach resulted in increased participation and engagement.

Project-Based Learning and the GED
Anson Green
This piece chronicles changes in a GED class after the teacher introduced projects based on student interests and experience. He found that having a real audience for their work led students to apply themselves as never before, provided recognition and praise that boosted their self-confidence, and helped them develop a host of teamwork and presentation skills.


EFF Research Principle: An Approach to Teaching and Learning That Builds Expertise
Marilyn Gillespie
This digest describes how research findings related to building expertise can be applied in adult instruction and assessment. It includes three program examples that demonstrate how learners use prior knowledge and experience to construct meaning and acquire new knowledge.