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Are you starting up or refining a distance education program, or looking for ways add to structure to your distance teaching and learning process? Would you like to know more about best practices for developing a distance or blended option at your program but aren’t quite sure where to begin or what the differences are between these two models? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then the three online modules that comprise the Expanding Access through Distance and Blended Education series (based on the IDEAL Consortium’s IDEAL 101 course) is for you!

This third module in the series explains how to select online instructional products, where to find the list of state-funded online instructional product licenses, supplemental resources to extend learning, and how to organize them. Options for staying in communication with learners are discussed. It also covers types of assessment, how they support instruction and learning as well as retention, and ways to carry them out in the distance learning environment. It includes a discussion forum to share ideas with colleagues, and time with an experienced coach to think through questions or to get suggestions to your program’s specific context.


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Administrators and instructors who are implementing formal distance or blended learning for the first time this year, or who want to transition their remote teaching and learning to a more structured, evidence-based model
  • Those who have experience but have not had previous training or want a brush-up
  • Those who are considering adding distance or blended learning to their program and wish to have an overview of what is entailed

The total time for this PD activity is approximately 5.5 hours, depending on your pace and style of learning. We estimate the time as follows:

  •  4 hours: The online course will run between July 29 and August 19, 2020.
  •  1.5 hours: An end-of-course webinar for sharing and review will be held on August 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. This webinar is a required part of this course. You will not register separately; by registering for the course you will automatically be registered for the final webinar and we will send you the information for how to log on.

NOTE: Modules 1 and 2 are complementary to this module. Together, the three modules will strengthen your program development, staff team building, student instruction and support, and learner outcomes. We encourage you to register for all three.

Module 1: (6/24-7/8) Setting the Stage: Planning for a Strong Foundation

This first module reviews two models of distance education classes and how they meet learners’ needs, along with important information for administrators including hiring, planning, and data reporting. 

Module 2: (7/8/-7/29) Opening Your Doors: Recruitment, Screening, and Orientation

This second module reviews which learners you would like to serve, which are promising candidates for your program, how to find them, and how to support those who need preparation in order to be accepted. We will describe ways to check that they have the skills and resources necessary for study via distance and blended learning and how to orient them according to their strengths and gaps so they are set up for success. It includes a discussion forum to share ideas with colleagues and time with an experienced coach to think through questions or to get suggestions to your program’s specific context. 

    Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe reasons and options for communicating with learners
  • Use considerations for selecting online instructional products and supplemental resources
  • Track learner progress
  • Stay informed of technology innovations
  • Determine how to use various types of assessment by understanding how they support instruction, learning, and retention, and ways to carry out assessments in the distance and blended learning environments
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)
End Date

United States

PD Center
SABES Program Support PD Center - Digital Literacy and Distance Education
Topic Area
Digital Literacy
Distance and Blended Learning