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As featured in the MM/WW topic “An Introduction to the Case Management Service Delivery Model for Adult Education” facilitated by Kathryn Hardman on March 1 & 3, 2021.
The case management system was implemented so that instructors, whether working from home or in the centers, could view and enter pertinent information about instructors’ contacts with students via shared Google sheets. A second and equally important reason for the case management system was designating one person per student who was responsible for managing the case and monitoring contact with that student.
The library experience bags were implemented to provide GED® study materials for students to check out from libraries for distance learning.
This innovation also included traveling instructors who would administer GED® ready tests and provide instruction at various community locations. We chose this strategy in order to try to reach as many students outside the learning centers as possible. However, COVID-19 restrictions have kept the traveling instructors from meeting with students in various off-center locations.
One county has held GED® weekends for a number of years and experienced success, so the innovation proposal expanded that strategy to all counties in the consortium.
The tablet program was instituted to provide students access to tech devices for distance learning. The tablets also include internet connection provided through SIM cards.
LIVE AND LEARN, MESSY MOMENTS
Some messy moments were trying to stay current on assigning cases to instructors and keeping up with monitoring the case management. Another challenge was all staff having to learn about Google sheets in order to implement case management. Along with the collaborative Google Sheets, we had to determine the best way to share the information to meet FERPA compliance using a free Google account.
Another difficult aspect is moving from surface-level contacts with students to meaningful contacts that lead to deeper conversations with students about barriers or motivation. Many students wouldn’t answer phone calls, text messages, or emails. Although this occurred sometimes before the pandemic, this was amplified in 2020.
With the emergency move to online instruction, students had to learn to use technology without face-to-face assistance from instructors. Technology glitches are frustrating moments. Providing technical assistance to students can be time-consuming or challenging.
Purchasing and programming the tablets and negotiating the necessary internet service for them was a long and arduous process. Some problems with the tablets included finding an internet provider that would offer less than a 2-year contract and determining what software would restrict internet access to appropriate sites.
Instructors appreciated the opportunity to experiment with providing traveling instructors at sites in rural areas in their counties. Some moments that made us proud were related to teamwork. A number of instructors worked together to create the instructional materials that would be used for GED weekends. Other team members compiled and stored GED teaching resources on flash drives so that the brand-new traveling instructors could use those resources with their students.
Remote TABE testing has been implemented.
One positive change from the pandemic is that instructors from each county are taking photos of graduates in caps and gowns and using those for social media posts and outreach. Terry Newquist writes up a first-class feature on each graduate for social media posts. Now, these posts occur more frequently than twice-a-year at formal graduations, and these are some of the most impactful and motivating posts.
Instructors have demonstrated growth mindset by accepting the challenge of learning new technology, programs, and the tracking system; they have changed their entire teaching styles since the spring, and we celebrated their diligence and adaptability.
Results of Product
Evaluation of the data is difficult because we cannot compare this year’s data with last year’s due to the impact of COVID-19. Last year 40% of students who attended GED weekend earned their GEDs shortly thereafter. This year 47% of students who have attended GED weekend have earned their GEDs.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO CLONE THIS PRODUCT?
To replicate these innovations, another provider would need the following:
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
GED Weekends Schedule & Tips
List of Supplies for Traveling Instructors:
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List of Resources for GED Experience Bags for Public Libraries: