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Have you considered developing a distance or blended learning option at your program but aren’t quite sure where to begin? Are you a director or instructor who wants to know more about best practices and how these options can benefit your learners? Are you experienced but haven’t had training, or want a brushup with an opportunity to share ideas with a facilitated group? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this series of three online modules is for you!

This first module in this three-part series reviews various models of distance and blended learning and how they meet learners’ needs, along with important information for administrators including hiring, planning, and data reporting.

ACLS encourages programs to consider incorporating distance and blended learning to increase access and accelerate learning. This series can help you weigh multiple options and prepare to build these services into your FY20 program plan.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Administrators and instructors who are considering adding distance or blended learning to their program, as well as those who have experience but have not had previous training or want a brushup

As a Massachusetts adult educator, you benefit from our state’s membership in the IDEAL Consortium, a nationally respected organization that helps member states establish quality, innovative distance and blended learning programs.

This module is the first in a series that together comprise a brief version of IDEAL’s yearlong training. Each module provides an overview of important elements of starting and running successful distance and blended learning classes. Modules 2 and 3 will be offered in the fall. Together, the three modules will strengthen your program development, staff team building, student instruction and support, and learner outcomes.

Module 1: Setting the Stage: Planning for a Strong Foundation

The first topic of this module is for all staff. While the second topic is designed with administers in mind, all staff are welcome to join that part as well. We estimate the time as follows:

  • Part 1: Facilitated online course: approximately 3 hours
  • Part 2: Participate in a conference call on June 3 from 10:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.: 1 hour


The online course will run between May 13 and June 3. The total time for this PD activity is approximately 4 hours, depending on your pace and style of learning. 

Module 2: (Fall, 2019) Opening Your Doors: Recruitment, Screening, and Orientation

In this module, you will consider which learners are promising candidates for your program and how to find them. We will describe ways to check that they have the skills and resources necessary for study via distance or blended learning, and how to orient them so they are set up for success.

Module 3: (Fall, 2019) In the Class: Instruction and Assessment

This module explains where to find the list of state-approved curricula, supplemental resources to extend learning, and how to organize them; how to use types of assessment to know how your students are doing and what they have achieved; and options for staying in communication with learners.

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • describe models for distance and blended learning as well as their similarities and differences (all participants)
  • identify the barriers to education that can be addressed through distance and blended learning (all participants)
  • design distance and/or blended learning options for your program (administrators)
  • effectively hire and support staff (administrators)
  • explain and incorporate budget implications (administrators)
  • accurately enter data related to distance and blended learning (administrators)
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 
05/13/2019 - 9:00am
End Date: 
06/03/2019 - 4:00pm
PD Center: 

Digital Literacy

SABES Program Support PD Center - Digital Literacy
Topic Area: 
Digital Literacy
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