Welcome to MNABE Distance Learning
Distance Learning in Minnesota ABE
Studies indicate ABE reaches about 20% of eligible students. Distance learning (DL) can help reach adults who cannot access ABE services in-person, and provide greater intensity of service for those already being served. DL can increase access, reach underserved populations, empower learners, expand learning, meet individual needs, help adult learners prepare for lifelong learning in the workplace, and assist college bound adults to prepare for online environments.
Distance Learning provides adult learners with the opportunity for structured learning outside the classroom, generally using online resources. In Minnesota ABE, DL is usually provided in a blended or hybrid model that includes classroom instruction. The DL can be coordinated with classroom content, or run parallel. The state DL policy is here.
Recent data shows the potential for ABE programs integrating in-person and distance learning to help students make significant NRS gains. For instance, statewide data for a recent year shows 49.7% of all participants averaged NRS gains – but 66.7% of students that participated in both traditional and DL (less than 50% of their total hours) made NRS gains!
Digital Literacy in Minnesota ABE
The ability to access, understand, and utilize information in a digital context is essential to modern life. Digital literacy involves knowing how to use computers, smart phones, other devices, and the internet. It also requires being able to use these skills to find, evaluate, and use needed information in many contexts. The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment Project defines basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online, and the Northstar benchmarks been adopted as content standards by Minnesota ABE.
Supplemental Services Project
In July 2009, St. Paul Public Schools ABE with support from the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium began implementing the first statewide Supplemental Services DL grant. Last year, 6,632 Distance learning students completed over 139,000 hours of DL instruction. Current grant focuses include: professional development, to assist teachers and managers in effectively implementing distance learning; providing support for the implementation of two new state-supported platforms (Plato Edmentium and Burlington English); aligning DL platform content with instructional standards; further development of content and updates for the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment; policy development; and providing support for integration of digital literacy education into ABE instruction. In 2016, the project moved to the Minnesota Literacy Council.
To obtain support around DL issues for Minnesota ABE programs, email Support, and your question will automatically be routed to all DL Supplemental Services staff. The person best able to answer your question will reply promptly.