Home | About Us | Site Map


Evidence-based Strategies - Examples, Research and Tools

Strategy f: Involve students in decision-making about their learning, including making choices about lesson content and organization (timing, sequencing, etc.) and about other matters that affect 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.

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)

Learner Goal-Setting
Ronna Magy
A clear and succinct set of suggestions for helping ESOL students set and monitor goals. The activities focus on individual and largely work-related goals.

Improving Student Persistence at the Genesis Center
Nancy Fritz and Barbara Piccirilli Alsabek
In this Providence-based program, two teachers tested the impact of implementing three related persistence strategies: democratizing the classroom, adjusting the curriculum to respond to student interests, and helping learners develop metacognitive awareness of their learning and progress. The combined strategies had strong effect on both attendance and learning gains.

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.


Making it Worth the Stay: Findings from the New England Learner Persistence Project, pp. 42-45
Andy Nash and Silja Kallenbach
These pages describe the strategies New England programs used to provide learning options to students, from reading packets to web-based activities.

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.


Involving Students in Decision Making, in “Making It Worth the Stay: Findings from the New England Learner Persistence Project,”
Andy Nash and Silja Kallenbach
The persistence research at the Genesis Center focused on involving students in making decisions about the class and the curriculum. Here are six activities used in one class to invite student input. Learning gains in that class increased by 84%.