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program design & management

Evidence-based Strategies - Examples, Research and Tools


Strategy a: Offer learning options (e.g. classroom instruction, distance learning, computer-assisted instruction, drop-in instruction or activities, conversation or book clubs, peer learning groups, tutoring, and enrichment classes) to address diverse student needs


Beyond the Checklist: Using Reflective Practice to Remove Barriers in Family and Community Literacy
Cheryl Brown and Wendell Dryden
This article looks at how one program reinvented itself in order to meet the needs of students who cannot attend regularly.

Learning Disabilities Issue
Field Notes, Spring 2008
This resource for teachers includes a variety of articles about understanding and addressing the needs of students who are “stuck” for any number of reasons. Using approaches that can benefit all students, the authors offer ideas that can help struggling students persist.

Making Universal Design a Reality
Deborah Reck
This article describes the three-tier transition one program undertook in order to better address the needs of students with learning disabilities. Changes included applying the principles of universal design for all students, determining the need for accommodations, and individualizing support for students.

Solving Problems with Computer-Assisted Instruction at the East Texas Literacy Council
Kelley Snowden
The addition of a computer learning center enables this program to provide additional instruction at multiple sites in the community as well as accommodate tutors waiting to be paired with learners.  All students who enroll develop individualized learning plans that include using the learning center in combination with classes or one-on-one tutoring.


Distance Learning for the Adult Learner: Improving Persistence and Effectiveness
Bartlett, et al.
This study of adult ESOL learners in California found that the students in the blended distance learning programs persisted at a rate of 68% as compared to 57% for students in regular ESOL classes. Also, the DL students showed higher learning gains than their classroom-based participants with the same amount of instructional hours.  Students at lower levels made greater gains.

The Impact of Content-Based Instruction: Three Studies
Barbara A. McDonald
The second of three studies reported on in this short piece focuses on the question of whether closeness of learner purpose and course content impact persistence. Comparing three vocational ESL classes that ranged from a strong focus on one vocation (electronics assembly) to a broad focus on general pre-vocational skills, the study found that completion was strongest when focus was strongest. However, other factors, such as differing course lengths and intensity, may have also played a roll in completion rates.

Making It Worth the Stay: Findings from the New England Learner Persistence Project, p. 40-46
Silja Kallenbach and Andy Nash
Two Rhode Island ESOL programs implemented new supplemental learning options, one a take-home packet and the other, English for All, a computer/DVD-based curriculum. Both programs observed students becoming more engaged and self-directed in their learning with increased attendance and completion rates.