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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Glossary of Key Terms

4A Framework
A framework for evaluating edtech tools based on the elements of accessibility, active engagement, advocacy for inclusion, and accountability.[177]

The degree to which content, programs, or tools support and accommodate the needs and preferences of diverse learners.

A practical and theoretical approach to adult education, where learners are autonomous and self-directed, and educators act as facilitators.[178]

Adult Basic Education (ABE)
Adult education programs equivalent to zero through eighth grade.

Adult Secondary Education (ASE)
Adult education programs equivalent to ninth through twelfth grade. The primary objective is to obtain a high school diploma or certificate.

Adults with Disabilities (AWD)
Individuals with cognitive, medical, physical, or sensory disabilities. Adult education programs can provide modified equipment, instructional strategies, and materials to meet the needs of these learners.

Asynchronous Learning
Educators and learners interact with the content and with each other at different times. Asynchronous learning can happen within a structured schedule (e.g., weekly deadlines) and include a combination of collaborative and independent activities.

Blended Learning
Learning experiences that utilize digital or online learning tools that are connected to face-to-face instruction.[179]

Career Technical Education (CTE)
Adult education programs that deliver customized curriculum, including academic career preparation and job readiness skills, to train learners for a specific career pathway. Programs may include apprenticeship/internship opportunities or result in industry certifications.

Competency-Based Education (CBE)
A learner-centered approach that includes the following elements: learner choice, meaningful and relevant assessment, differentiated instruction, mastery-based progress, active and personalized learning, culturally responsive instruction, and clear expectations for learning.[180]

Digital Citizen
Someone who is “inclusive, equitable, and culturally aware as they live, learn, and work in an interconnected world.”[181]

Digital Equity
“The condition in which individuals and communities have the information technology capacity that is needed for full participation in the society and economy of the United States.” [182]

Digital Learning
Learning experiences that utilize digital tools for teaching and learning.

Digital Literacy
The ability to find, evaluate, organize, create, and communicate digital information.[183]

Digital Resilience
“The awareness, skills, agility, and confidence to be empowered users of new technologies and adapt to changing digital skill demands.”[184]

Distance Education
Learning experiences that are influenced by an educational organization (i.e., not private study) where the educator and learner are physically separated; educators and learners use digital tools and two-way communication; and there are opportunities for social interaction. [185]

English as a Second Language (ESL)
Competency-based programs designed to enable learners to become proficient in speaking, listening, reading, writing, mathematics, and decision-making/problem-solving in the English language.

Experiential Learning Model
Establishes a learner’s experiences as central to the learning process. There are four stages to the experiential learning model: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation.[186]

General Educational Development (GED)
One of two California-approved high school equivalency tests. Includes four separate exams: mathematical reasoning, reasoning through language arts, social studies, and science.

Focuses on the individual learner as the center of the learning process.[187] Like andragogy, the educator facilitates the learning process by providing resources and support, but in heutagogy the learner fully owns the learning path and process.

High School Equivalency (HSE) Credential
California has two state-approved high school equivalency tests: GED and HiSET. Learners who pass a high school equivalency test earn a state-issued HSE credential, which is an alternative to a high school diploma.

High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)
One of two California-approved high school equivalency tests. Governed by ETS. Includes five separate sections: language arts—reading; language arts writing; mathematics; science; and social studies.

Hybrid Learning Model
Learning experiences that utilize digital or online learning tools, but digital learning and face-to-face instruction are not connected.[188]

HyFlex Learning Model
Learning occurs concurrently in physical and virtual spaces; learners choose whether to attend class face-to-face or online.

The controlled, seamless, and secure exchange of data between applications.[189]

Learning Management System (LMS)
A digital platform for storing and sharing digital content, managing assignments and feedback, and communicating with learners.

Measurable Skill Gains
A WIOA indicator for evaluating program effectiveness. Adult education program participants can demonstrate measurable skill gains by completing an educational level through pre- and post-testing, credit completion, or entering a postsecondary education program; or by earning a secondary school diploma.[190]

National External Diploma Program (NEDP)
A competency-based and performance-based assessment that allows adult learners to earn a regular high school diploma.[191] NEDP participants build an electronic portfolio to demonstrate their academic and digital skills through a series of life and work tasks.

National Reporting System (NRS)
Evaluates the effectiveness of adult education programs through reporting standards for program outcomes and performance indicators.

Online Learning
Includes asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences that occur online, whether in blended or hybrid learning environments. Online learning also includes open-source content that is free and open to any interested learners.

Open Educational Resources (OER)
Freely accessible, openly licensed digital materials for teaching and learning.[192]

Pedagogical Usability
How well a tool facilitates the learning process.[193]

Remote Testing
A form of computer-based assessment where learners take the assessment from their homes or somewhere other than an approved testing location.

SAMR Model
A model for technology integration that includes four stages of substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition.[194]

Social–Emotional Learning (SEL)
Includes the ability to:

  • set and achieve positive goals;
  • feel and show empathy for others;
  • establish and maintain positive relationships;
  • make responsible decisions; and
  • understand and manage emotions.[195]

Stages of Self-Directed Learning
The stages of self-directed learning include Stage 1: learner dependent on authoritative educator; Stage 2: learner interested in the learning process with the educator acting as a guide; Stage 3: learner involved in the learning process with the educator acting as a facilitator; and Stage 4: learner is self-directed with the educator acting as a consultant. [196]

Synchronous Learning
Educators and learners interact with the content and with each other during live sessions. Synchronous learning can include in-person activities or in digital spaces (e.g., video conferencing sessions).

Technical Usability
The ease of use and interaction between users and the tool.[197]

TPACK Framework
An instructional framework that identifies three core components of content, pedagogy, and technology as the foundation for high-quality teaching with the complex interaction among the three components as critical to understanding how technology integration is implemented within various contexts.[198]

Transformative Learning
“Learning that transforms problematic frames of reference—sets of fixed assumptions and expectations (habits of mind, meaning perspectives, mindsets)—to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective, and emotionally able to change.”[199]

Triple E Framework
A learner-centered instructional framework for helping educators implement effective technology integration through engagement, enhancement, and extension.[200]

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
Commonly accepted digital accessibility standards that emphasize four content principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.[201]

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
Federal policy that requires states to align workforce education programs with performance goals focused on accountability, transparency, and improved workforce development.

  1. Evaluating Digital Instructional Materials
  2. The Adult Learner
  3. Evaluating Digital Learning
  4. What Is Competency-Based Education
  5. Profile of a Lifelong Learner
  6. Public Law 117-58
  7. Digital Literacy
  8. Building a Digitally Resilient Workforce
  9. Distance Learning
  10. Experiential Learning
  11. Heutagogy and Lifelong Learning
  12. Evaluating Digital Learning
  13. Interoperability Crash Course
  14. NRS Tips
  15. National External Diploma Program
  16. Open Educational Resources
  17. A Conceptual Framework Web-Based Learning
  18. How to Apply the SAMP Model
  19. Social and Emotional Learning
  20. Teaching Learners To Be Self-Directed
  21. A Conceptual Framework Web-Based Learning
  22. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge
  23. Transformative Learning as Discourse
  24. Triple E Framework
  25. WCAG 2 Overview

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.