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Preparing for the GED Online: Lessons Learned from Experienced Teachers and Adult Learners
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Waiting lists for adult literacy centers lengthen as budgets shrink and teacher help becomes less available (Spellings, Justesen and Keenan, 2007; Pro-Literacy, 2009). At the same time, adult learners with less than a high school diploma are demonstrating increased familiarity with and use of computers and the Internet. Reder (2007) reported 71% of such learners have computer access, and 62% report using the Internet a median of 5 hours per week. While most states offer some form of online General Educational Development (hereafter GED) support, little is known about how learners use this support and what additional help they might need to fully benefit from it (Silver-Pacuilla, 2008).

The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine instructor and student views of online GED programs focusing on professional development implications. We addressed the following questions:
  • 1) What GED subjects (e.g. social studies, science, math, writing, reading) were most easily learned online?
  • 2) What type of teacher support was most often and most urgently needed for online courses?
  • 3) What mix of face-to-face and online support was most desirable and effective?
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