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Iowa Distance Education Adult Literacy


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What is the IDEAL Initiative - Building an intentional path from in-person instruction to online teaching starts with strategic planning, instructor feedback, and careful evaluation of student needs. In response to Iowa’s needs, the Iowa Association of Community College Presidents (IACCP) formed a work group charged with expanding online learning for adult education and literacy to learners not previously reached and without waiting lists. The recommendations are compiled in the following report and reinforce a systemic and technology-rich opportunity for learners to build future ready workplace skills while simultaneously building basic academic skills. A single LMS has been adopted for all providers (Canvas) through a partnership with the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC) and an online enrollment and registration system has been implemented that will include a statewide master calendar of course offerings. High-quality, standards-driven, state master courses will be developed which can be delivered entirely online and customized to add area specific content to address regional demands and the needs of the participants. Each community college will continue to offer face to face classes as usual and will use IDEAL to expand services while providing accessibility for participants that may struggle with attending in person classes. Elements of IDEAL will launch fall 2021 with additional elements rolling out such as online registration, development of instructional materials, professional development for instructors, and integrated online HiSET testing.


January 27, 2021 - IDEAL is presented to the Community College Council - see a copy of the slides here.

January 25, 2021 - IDEAL is highlighted in January’s Community College Leadership Bulletin - read the article here.

January 19, 2021 - One-page fact sheet on IDEAL is published. 

January 5, 2021 - IDEAL begins training for instructors in implementing Career Essentials Credential, a partnership with SkillsUSA. Future training dates are available here

December 2, 2020 - Presentation of recommendation to the IACCP/IACCT Joint Meeting - see the full report here. 


Who needs training?
IDEAL is set up to include all educational functioning levels as well as each subject for high school equivalency completion. IDEAL is building the process by which a participant may engage with adult education services from registration to completion entirely remote if preferred. Programs may use any part of IDEAL and the courses and modules for synchronous and asynchronous learning. Program coordinators, instructors, data specialists will need to know how best to incorporate IDEAL into their delivery of services, each role may have required and recommended training. 

How will adult education programs be trained to use IDEAL?
A variety of methods will be used to train users. This includes instructor resources, how-to videos, webinars, E-Learnings, and peer groups from experienced staff. 

Where will training materials be housed?
Links to the training materials will be housed on the Adult Education and Literacy Google site with modules published to the AEL Canvas platform.

When will IDEAL training happen? 
Since fall 2020, there have been preparations around the AEL learning management system (LMS), Canvas and recruiting subject matter experts. Users can expect ongoing training through 2021. 

Stay Tuned!
IDEAL training and educational materials will be provided as the project progresses.


February 2021

  • Instructors begin enrolling participants in Career Essentials Credential - 500 seats statewide.
  • Blueprint shells and visual Canvas module navigation 
  • Migration NROC content
  • Review of existing Reading/Writing content 

March - May 2021

  • Modify selected content for to fit best research practices, identify learning gaps, tailor the activities to align with the College and Career Readiness Standards, English Language Proficiency and Iowa’s 21st Century Skills
  • Hold teacher focus groups to review created materials
  • Online registration 

June - August  2021

  • Reading/Writing Content will be released as it is ready to be published in Canvas. 
  • Create teacher facing module that covers best practices within each  created content area


As important as buy-in is, peer buy-in is critical. It is helpful to bring communities of practice together around faculty champions—the handful of instructors who have eagerly embraced remote teaching best practices, and who can share with their peers
Informal communities of practices have been built for program coordinators and instructors. These meetings are important opportunities to share conversations with their peers in real-time, and embrace their natural orientation to iterative improvement.


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on September 24, 2021 at 4:51pm.