Transforming Distance Education (TDE)

Transforming Distance Education Course

Welcome to the Transforming Distance Education course site! This course was developed by the EdTech Center @ World Education with support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. This course was designed for education providers and practitioners teaching adult basic academic skills, ESOL, and literacy at a distance and/or through blended learning; it provides strategies and resources that are essential for both setting up and implementing distance education or teaching with a blended approach.  

The course is made up of topics across four modules. Each topic is a micro-learning lesson that can be completed independently; upon completing each lesson you can earn a digital achievement badge. Complete all topics in a module to earn a Leader badge and complete all topics in all four modules to earn a Transforming Distance Education Innovator badge.

Get started by clicking on the topic you are interested in below.

Module 1 – Getting started with Distance and Blended Learning

This module covers key components for planning a distance education program, including assessing program capacity, identifying learner needs and choosing tools or approaches that align with your goals. Complete all topics in this module to earn the Distance Education Program Strategy Leader badge. 

TOPIC 1 – A Reflective Approach

This topic covers how to thoughtfully plan starting up or scaling up distance education by taking into account learners’ needs, your organizational capacity and the technologies required. Complete this topic to earn the Reflective Planning Achievement badge.

TOPIC 2 – Choosing an Instructional Model or Approach

This topic covers the different instructional approaches and models in distance and blended education programs, and provides guidance on selecting approaches that align with your program goals. Complete this topic to earn the Identifying Instructional Approaches Achievement badge.

TOPIC 3 – Gather Your Resources – Use an Equity Mindset

This topic covers how to evaluate and select different resources, including the curriculum, educational technologies, and communication technologies. Complete this topic to earn the Gathering Tools and Resources Achievement badge.

MODULE 2 – Outreach, Screening, & Orientation: Supporting Distance Learners from the Start

This module provides comprehensive guidance on planning and delivering effective and personalized communication to learners during initial outreach and recruitment, through orientation and when providing ongoing support. Complete all topics in this module to earn the Communications and Orientation Leader badge.

TOPIC 1 – Planning Your Outreach & Communications

This topic provides resources and guidance on planning outreach and communication, including guidance on developing communications products to reach your partners. Complete this topic to earn the Planning Communications & Outreach Achievement badge.

TOPIC 2 – Recruitment

This topic covers the effective strategies, technologies, and channels to use to recruit learners for distance education and blended learning. Complete this topic to earn the Recruiting Learners Achievement badge.

TOPIC 3 – Screening to Define Support Needed

This topic covers how to design and use screening resources to understand and define learner needs so you can best support persistence. Complete this topic to earn the Establishing Screening Mechanisms to Understand Learner Needs Achievement badge.

TOPIC 4 – Orientation

This topic provides guidance on the activities and resources needed for comprehensive orientation, including setting goals, ensuring access to technologies, and supporting study skills. Complete this topic to earn the Crafting Effective Orientations Achievement badge.

MODULE 3 – Effective Distance & Blended Learning Instruction

This module provides comprehensive overview and guidance on the different instructional approaches and delivery models for distance and blended learning. Complete all topics in this module to earn the Distance Education and Blended Learning Instruction Leader badge.

TOPIC 1 – Getting Started

This topic provides guidance on how to begin planning how you will make use of learning content for distance and blended instruction. Complete this topic to earn the Planning Distance Instruction Achievement badge.

TOPIC 2 – The Basics of Distance Instruction

This topic covers technologies and strategies needed to communicate with learners and track their progress in order to provide ongoing instruction. Complete this topic to earn the Communicating and Tracking Learner Progress Achievement badge.

TOPIC 3 – Choose your Content

This topic provides guidance and resources for evaluating and selecting learning content. Complete this topic to earn the Evaluating and Selecting Content Achievement badge.

TOPIC 4 – Organizing Learning Resources

This topic covers how to organize learning content and resources. Complete this topic to earn the Organizing Learning Resources Achievement badge.

TOPIC 5 – Delivering Instruction

This topic covers the instructional strategies to support learner engagement, including providing opportunities for learners to use familiar technologies, offering mobile learning resources, and minimizing teacher-centered activities in remote instruction. Complete this topic to earn the Supporting Learner Engagement Achievement badge.

MODULE 4 – Assessment

This module provides guidance on assessment of learning, including assessment types, strategies and tools. Complete all topics in this module to earn the Distance Education Assessment Leader badge.

TOPIC 1 – Why Assess?

This topic covers the different types of and reasons for assessment (e.g., placement, summative, interim, and formative). Complete this topic to earn the Understanding Assessment Achievement badge.

TOPIC 2 – Assessment Options

This topic describes a range of assessment technologies and strategies useful in distance education. Complete this topic to earn the Selecting Assessment Strategies and Technologies Achievement badge.

TOPIC 3 – Assessment and Attendance Policy

This topic covers the current federal policies and guidelines that shape distance education implementation (e.g., proxy contact hours, state policy, and approved curricula/materials). Complete this topic to earn the Following Federal Policy and Guidelines Achievement badge.

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