How Distance Education Will Cut Your Costs
For every student in an adult basic education classroom, fifteen are denied an education because there are not enough classrooms, teachers, adult schools, and funding. High quality distance education is changing this by reaching millions of adults who do not have access to the adult basic education system. Every month, 2.5 million people use the Internet to find online distance learning solutions to get a GED® diploma. We can show you how to easily add high quality distance education to your adult basic education program that will dramatically reduce your cost per student.
Just increasing access to education is not the whole solution. Distance education can also meet and even exceed the standards for learning that are found in the classroom. The GED Academy creates a nurturing distance-learning ecosystem around students that provides more effective learning experiences than learners get in most classroom environments. See why adult learners acquire skills faster with the GED Academy.
Adult basic education and pre-GED students are often faced with years of instruction. But with accurate assessment and targeted instruction, we dramatically accelerate the learning cycle for adult learners. Our GED assessment creates a customized learning plan for each student that focuses on exactly what that student needs to fill in gaps. Even more important, the program actually adjusts as the student is learning, just as a personal tutor would. Your students learn in leaps and bounds instead of the slow step-by-step process assumed in most classroom structures. See why.
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A Complete Distance Education Solution
Does It Carry the Whole Weight of Instruction?
Most adult basic education software is made up of repackaged K-12 programs and does not meet the special needs of the adult learner. It’s not designed to carry the whole weight of educating your students. We’ve created something very different. The GED Academy is a complete learning solution for both ABE and GED level students and covers all five GED subject areas: math, science, social studies, reading, and writing. Learn more about what is covered.
Why You Get Better Results
With the GED Academy, your distance education students are placed in a supportive online distance-learning ecosystem that gives them all the things they need to be successful. They start with a comprehensive assessment that designs a customized learning plan for them. They move through their lessons and are given immediate feedback on their progress and performance. They always know how they are doing and how they’re progressing toward their learning goals. Learn more about our learning scaffolding.
Distance Learning Management and Feedback
With a few clicks of your mouse you can see exactly how your students are progressing toward their goals. You can send them personal messages and encouragements, and open up doors for them to network with other learners and access motivating websites. You can easily create detailed reports on time-on-task and create interventions to improve student performance. Learn more about the LMS.
Frequently Asked Questions about Distance Education
- What kind of results can we expect with your distance learning program?
- How much does your online distance learning program cost per student?
- Should we charge students?
- What is the student/teacher ratio? How many students can a teacher manage?
- What is the relationship of the student with a teacher?
- How do we determine student readiness for independent study?
- What if the students have very low computer literacy?
- Should students come in for an initial meeting with a teacher?
- Many distance educators feel that orientation into the distance education program is a key component of retention. How do we handle orientation?
- How does pre-assessment and post-assessment work in your program? Does it assess skill level and place students in appropriate instructional levels?
- How do your assessments compare to standardized assessments like TABE® and CASAS®?
- How are learning plans developed for each student from a distance?
- How does the GED Academy define student learning goals and learning objectives? And how does it align with our other curriculum?
- How do I know the student is mastering the content and moving toward their learning goals?
- How do you motivate and ensure students are meeting their expectations? What happens when the student is not progressing as they should?
- How do we measure student participation?
- Should we schedule phone meetings?
- Should we include online class meetings?
- Should we encourage communication between the students?
- What about measuring gain with standardized tests like TABE® and GAIN®? How do we get students back to measure gain after several months?
- How do we orient the online distance learning to our cycle of instruction, if we schedule classes in quarters, trimesters, or semesters?
- How do we integrate the GED instruction to career pathways?
- What happens when students get stuck and need help with specific learning issues or problems?
- What support materials do you provide? What does the student need to purchase?
- How popular is distance education? How many adults consider distance learning as a viable alternative?
- Can GED Academy work as a high school distance learning solution?
The GED Academy Accelerated Learning Program
Everything you need in one affordable package.
More comprehensive assessment at less cost per studentMore about online assessment.
What kind of results can we expect with your distance learning program?
The GED Academy is an accelerated learning program. Most of our students are ready to take the GED tests in 2 to 3 months. Even adult basic education students who are starting at Low Intermediate Basic Education (4th/5th grade) will advance very quickly to secondary level work. You can expect to double or triple the speed of skill acquisition with the GED Academy online study program.
How much does your online distance learning program cost per student?
Cost is dependent on the number of students you want to educate in your distance education program. A ball park estimate is that your cost per student will be in the $15 to $20 range for a complete GED distance learning program. Call 1-800-931-8069 for a customized pricing estimate.
Should we charge students?
That depends on your school’s situation and philosophy. Many adult schools charge for distance learning programs such as the GED Academy. The programs not only pay for themselves but often become sources of revenue for adult schools.
What is the student/teacher ratio? How many students can a teacher manage?
We have found that a teacher/facilitator can manage as many as 150 to 200 distance education students successfully. The GED Academy study program is designed to be completely self-paced and stand-alone so that teacher support is very minimal and can be placed where it’s most effective. We have automated much of the follow-up process for teaching adults, so that teachers get excellent results with their students with minimal time investment.
What is the relationship of the student with a teacher?
Teachers in online distance learning become guides and facilitators for student achievement. They often take on a mentoring role for the adult learner by guiding them through the complexity of preparing for their GED diploma and moving into post-secondary continuing education. The long-range objective of distance learning is to build skills for life-long learning, from online continuing education to traditional post-secondary education. Guiding students into these opportunities allows them to quickly develop self-sufficiency in their learning.
How do we determine student readiness for independent study?
Do adult learners need special skills to be successful in online distance learning? Many adult learners have not been successful in classroom learning environments in the past and bring poor learning self-esteem and habits to their GED preparation. We have found this to be single biggest factor in determining success for adult basic education and adult secondary education. Consequently, we’ve built a complex online distance-learning ecosystem around the student that continually builds his or her self-confidence and learning habits with small learning victories. Our new distance learning technology is designed to change adult learners’ self-image as learners.
Because of this important piece of our program, we have not found it necessary to screen students beforehand to determine their readiness for independent study through distance education. If they have access to a computer and Internet connection and can turn the computer on and login, they’re ready for our program.
What if the students have very low computer literacy?
We have designed the GED Academy online distance learning programs to require very little computer skill to use the program. If students can turn on the computer, they will be successful. We are also adding a new course called Computer Skills Academy to our program that will teach basic and intermediate computer skills, allowing students to gain even more from independent study and help prepare students for continuing education. This program is expected to be available early 2011.
Should students come in for an initial meeting with a teacher?
Making a personal connection with students is always a good idea. You will have better results if you do this, but it is not necessary. Our home study version of the GED Academy includes an initial meeting via phone with the student because we service students from all over the U.S. as well as international students.
Many distance educators feel that orientation into the distance education program is a key component of retention. How do we handle orientation?
We make the orientation an integral part of the instructional program. Built-in tutorials take students step-by-step through the process of getting started, developing study goals, and identifying the areas they need to work on. Students always know exactly what is expected of them and how to get information they need when they need it. Distance learning support is ongoing and integrated, instead of handled in a single orientation.
How does pre-assessment and post-assessment work in your program? Does it assess skill level and place students in appropriate instructional levels?
Yes, we use a built-in GED pre-assessment test to place the student in the appropriate level in each subject area. Additionally, the program is evaluating student performance in each lesson and altering the basic learning plan for the student. Our study program is designed to maximize students’ success by adapting to what they need when they need it. Think of it as a personal tutor sitting next to your student who has infinite patience and a sense of humor.
How do your assessments compare to standardized assessments like TABE and CASAS?
Our GED assessments are more complete than TABE, CASAS, GAIN, and WorkKeys. They measure the full range of subject area skills needed to be successful with the GED tests, which the other standardized tests fail to do. The result is that your students not only get first-hand experience with GED style tests, but the learning plans created by the GED Academy are much more accurate preparation for the GED tests.
How are learning plans developed for each student from a distance?
In our online distance learning program, students go through an initial three-step process in each subject area. They first define their learning goal, then commit to a study schedule, and finally take an initial assessment that creates a customized learning plan. All this is done automatically with their online tutor, Leonard, who explains why and how they will be moving through the program. Here’s how it works.
How does the GED Academy define student learning goals and learning objectives? And how does it align with our other curriculum?
As a starting point, we have correlated the study program to the GED test expectancies. However, several of our subject areas go beyond what is expected for the GED tests. Our goal is for the student to not only do well on the GED tests, but also have the skills to go on to continuing education.
How do I know the student is mastering the content and moving toward their learning goals?
Two ways. First, the program is designed to move the student progressively toward their learning goals and to constantly adapt to what they need to move at their personal fastest speed. Secondly, teachers have access to a sophisticated learning management system that shows in great detail how their students are progressing toward their learning objectives and goals.
How do you motivate and ensure students are meeting their expectations? What happens when the student is not progressing as they should?
Our distance learning technology has multiple ways to motivate success. The biggest factor is our learning feedback process. Instead of relying on post-assessment feedback, we have moved part of the assessment process to the actual learning experience for the student. When feedback is just-in-time it produces more rapid and effective learning.
The learning management system alerts the teacher when students are falling below expectations and provides easy-to-use intervention tools to get students back on track toward their goals.
How do we measure student participation?
The GED Academy meets two common student participation curriculum models.
Clock Time Model Curricula: The program electronically tracks the time each student spends interacting with the instructional material and has a feature that disconnects after a present period of inactivity.
Learning Mastery Model Curricula: The program includes built-in GED assessments which are normed to the GED Practice Test. Mastery is demonstrated by passing the GED test assessments and by the completion of content by the student. Teachers may set their own standards of mastery or use the level of mastery set by the GED Testing Service.
Should we schedule phone meetings?
Accountability is important in teaching adults, in both traditional and distance education. Follow-up can be done with email, texting, or phone calls. We’ve found emails to be most successful because they utilize our teacher time most effectively, and students can respond when it is most convenient to them.
Should we include online class meetings?
Scheduling online class meetings can be costly and not always productive. If guidelines are outlined initially and meetings are scheduled ahead of time, online class meeting can be effective methods of instruction. But they require teacher prep time and the software to connect to all the students. We have designed the GED Academy online distance learning program to be a stand-alone solution that does not require virtual classroom instruction.
Should we encourage communication between the students?
Yes. Learning is not a solo process and is best when learners can talk to other learners to get alternate viewpoints. Additionally, social contact between learners can provide motivation, support, and interest.
What about measuring gain with standardized tests like TABE and GAIN? How do we get students back to measure gain after several months?
If your adult learning center or school needs to substantiate student performance with NRS-approved measures for funding, it will be necessary to do pre- and post-assessments. If the teacher has maintained constant communication with students, then asking them to come in for a post-assessment is usually not problematic. Rewards for the return visits are also helpful.
How do we orient the online distance learning to our cycle of instruction, if we schedule classes in quarters, trimesters, or semesters?
One big advantage of distance education is that it doesn’t need to conform to traditional instructional cycles of the school system. A core benefit of distance education is that learners can move at their own pace independently of peers, teachers, and traditional expectations. Most adult schools using the GED Academy for distance education treat it as a complete, stand-alone GED preparation course that covers all five subject areas and enroll students in a single online GED test prep program.
How do we integrate the GED instruction to career pathways?
The GED Academy provides a lot of flexibility in curriculum design. It is packaged as a complete GED test prep program that readies students for the GED exam and for transition to continuing education. But the instructional content can also be customized to the needs of specific career pathways. For example, the math content can be designed to prepare a pre-nursing student for the math he or she will need for nursing classes.
What happens when students get stuck and need help with specific learning issues or problems?
This is where a personal teacher and mentor can be valuable. We can provide live student support for you, or you can assign someone to fill this need with your students. We assign a personal teacher to each of our online distance learning students. Students can call their personal teacher toll-free to get help whenever they need it.
What support materials do you provide? What does the student need to purchase?
The GED Academy is a complete package of study materials. It includes a digital study guide, GED Smart, that is built into the instruction. It also includes three complete online GED practice tests in each subject area, as well as quizzes and activities built into the lesson assignments. It is not necessary to purchase additional materials.
How popular is distance education? How many adults consider distance learning as a viable alternative?
Over 2.5 million people go to the Internet for solutions to help them to get a GED diploma every month. The GED Academy’s home study program has been educating adults for the GED test for over 8 years. We prepare more people for the GED tests than many states do.
Can GED Academy work as a high school distance learning solution?
High school distance learning programs can provide an important alternative for at-risk students. Distance education with GED Academy can be an effective, affordable alternative to prepare students to pass the GED test. As schools struggle to manage No Child Left Behind programs and alleviate drop-out rates, high school distance learning programs are becoming more widely accepted for their ability to address the issues of at-risk students.
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