The US Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) approached the EdTech Center to commission the development of a Transforming Distance Education online course for adult educators. The three-month contract funded a rapid development of the course as well as the launch of a Equity in Digital Learning listserv that is moderated by Digital US. This funding also made possible the convening of researchers and subsequent compilation of findings that identify shared themes across eight organizations’ research efforts on the impact of the COVID pandemic on adult education.
The Transforming Distance Education course draws on content based on over a decade of known practitioner expertise and past research as well the recent research on innovations unearthed since the pandemic from the technical working group. The course is designed with four key considerations in mind: accessibility, relevance, flexibility and portability, and is organized in the following modules:
- Getting Started with Distance Education & Blended Learning
- Outreach, Screening, & Orientation: Supporting Distance Learners from the Start
- Effective Distance and Blended Learning Instruction
- Assessment in Distance and Blended Learning
The course launched in September 2020 and is freely available on the EdTech Center’s site in a flexible format that allows practitioners to self-direct their learning by engaging in micro-learning, and the content is licensed under creative commons to allow for open use and customization.