New Process for Approving Teacher-Created DL Courses Implemented

New Process for Approving Teacher-Created DL Courses Implemented

As always, Minnesota ABE is moving forward rapidly, breaking new ground in developing teacher-created distance learning (DL) courses. The new process for approving such courses is now underway, with three courses already approved, and several others under review!

Unlike homework, which cannot be used to claim contact hours, all DL courses must provide direct instruction plus opportunities for practice, and interactivity, with the software and with the teacher and/or other students. The process provides for approval of DL courses that:

  • are online, via either an LMS or a class website;
  • include at least 12 lessons totaling a minimum of 20 proxy hours;
  • are built by a Minnesota ABE professional using materials they have created and/or published resources they have curated;
  • cover core ABE content; and
  • are aligned with MNABE content standards (CCRS, TIF, NDLS).

These courses have already been approved:

  • Grammar and Writing 2, a self-paced course of various grammar, mechanics, and usage topics as listed in CCRS Language Anchors 1 and 2 Level D and E. This is a unit completion course delivered via Schoology.
  • Math 0230 (Developmental Education Algebra, delivered in partnership with Anoka Ramsey Community College, addressing college common course outcomes. This time-on-Task course is delivered via D2L.
  • Entry Level Help desk, part of an IT Career Pathway P2P grant. This ELA course for CCRS levels C-E covers all ABE content standards.

Courses should be thoroughly developed and trialed prior to submission. Once approved, teachers can retroactively report proxy hours from the trial phase. Initial approval for courses will cover use by the creator. After the pilot phase, courses can be considered for use by other teachers and programs.

  • The initial approval for time-on-task courses will initiate a pilot process of three months, during which the user will verify and validate content, course construction, etc.
  • For unit-completion proxy hour courses, in addition to verifying that the course works as intended, teachers will be required to gather student data from pilot test users to determine the appropriate number of proxy hours per completed unit. The initial approval for unit-completion courses will initiate an official pilot process of six months.

At the end of the time specified above for unit-completion and time-on-task courses, the original applicant is encouraged to request statewide approval if the course appears instructionally effective. Approved courses will then be available for statewide use, and the DL Team will work with the course creator to determine the best way to share course materials for statewide use.

The approval process is outlined in an Addendum to the DL policy. Here are the applications for unit completion and time-on-task courses, which are reviewed by the DL Support Team once submitted. We have also provided practical considerations on how to develop and submit new courses.  Please submit any questions to [email protected].

Tom Cytron-Hysom, DL Consultant DL Support Services, Literacy Minnesota
Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt, Senior Manager for Educational Technology & Digital Literacy Literacy Minnesota