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Evidence-based Strategies - Examples, Research and Tools

Strategy c: Implement instructional activities that promote active learning, problem-solving and projects that advance learning objectives and have clear benchmarks for progress and successful completion.


Extending Learning: Reading Packets for ESL Students
Chris Bourret
This is a description of how reading packets are designed, modeled, and implemented so that ESL students at varied levels can enjoy and benefit from them. (See research write-up listed below)

Knowledge in Action: The Promise of Project-Based Learning
Heide Spruck Wrigley
The author describes a variety of approaches to project-based learning, all of which involve learners in taking on a relevant issue, developing a response, and presenting the results to an audience. The benefits of project-based learning include increased self-confidence and self-efficacy, and the development of cognitive and creative skills needed to explore and present students’ work.

Less Teaching and More Learning
Susan Gaer
In two distinct settings, the author teacher used projects to build motivation, confidence, and a sense of community among her ESOL students.

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.

Guided Journaling
This video addresses finding ways to break through misconceptions that may hold first generation college students from becoming engage learners and participating in higher level thinking. The instructor illustrates Guided Journaling as a way to deepen student engagement and encourage active learning.


Reading Packets
Karisa Tashjian, Kim Libby, and Chris Bourret
In this follow-up to their work in the NELP Project, practitioners investigated the impact of optional at-home reading activities (“reading packets”) on learning gains and persistence. The result was a significant increase in the attendance and course completion rates, as well as greater enthusiasm and time spent reading, improved conversational skills, and stronger self-efficacy.

"Then I Stop Coming to School": Understanding Absenteeism in an Adult English as a Second Language Program
Susan L. Schalge and Kay Soga
This case study describes the distinct views of one program’s teachers and students regarding the structure and relevance of instruction, and its impact on absenteeism. Lack of transparency resulted in unclear expectations and an uncertain sense of progress.


GED as Project
Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center
GED as Project is a resource that facilitates analytical, creative and practical thinking as it engages students in inquiry-based projects that will prepare them for the GED and beyond. The guide introduces instructional approaches, strategies and activities that integrate the higher order thinking skills to explore the five subject areas of the GED 2002.