Big Sandy: Bringing the GED® to YOU!

link to Big Sandy product page partnership and service delivery
Big Sandy PLC 2019 - 2021
BSCTC’S Innovation Plan is a Partnership and Delivery Project to take adult education services to high need rural areas in Floyd and Pike counties. The project includes partnering with stakeholders to create connection points and learning hubs throughout high-need areas so students may access instruction in-person and via distance learning. As part of the project, BSCTC’s plans include creating Google classrooms to utilize at hubs and increase distance learning wherever students may need them, creating a virtual learning library to use as a teaching/learning resource.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

 

 

The COVID-19 Pandemic became a roadblock to success. This led to closure of all learning centers. Students and instructors were forced to use distance learning as their only source of communication and instruction. Enrollment, pre- and post-testing, and GED® testing were unavailable.  This greatly impacted the implementation and success of the innovation; however, the innovation greatly impacted the success of BSCTC Skills U program during this time.  Due to the innovation project, BSCTC was more prepared to thrive during the pandemic using a variety of distance learning opportunities.  

 

BSCTC hoped to provide a variety of distance learning opportunities to achieve 30 GEDs® by December 2020.  Distance learning opportunities included a virtual lesson library, GED® classes provided via Google classroom & Zoom, laptop loaner program, the use of Study-Buddies program, and various online resources.  

 

Technology equipment was purchased and used to assist BSCTC to provide distance learning opportunities to students as we became only virtually connected during the pandemic.  The BSCTC SKills U Facebook page was used to provide information as well as motivate students to succeed.  

 

The pandemic continued into the new year, but BSCTC continued distance learning opportunities using various virtual resources such as Google Classrooms, Zoom  classes, Loom videos, a virtual lesson library, a laptop lending program, and the use of Study-Buddies. Lots of outreach and communication by everyone in the Skills U program plus extensive preparation by the team led to 41 GEDs®.

Results of Product

 

Over 60 students were enrolled in Google Classrooms by May 2020. Partnerships were established with 24 connection points including 6 in Floyd County and 18 in Pike County.  Hubs were in progress with 2 in Floyd County and 3 in Pike County.  Eight (8) GED®-seeking students were enrolled in Floyd County hubs before the pandemic; however, the hubs and connection points could not be utilized during the pandemic. Next steps include building stronger partnerships with local stakeholders and establishing hub locations to reach more students.  

 

Spring 2020 Success: Gains were made in enrollment, MSGs, and GEDs between February and April, despite the pandemic. 

Fall 2020-2021 Success:  Gains were made in enrollment, MSGs, and GEDs between September and December, despite the pandemic. 

 

Charts graphing results for attendance, MSG, and GED during the period September - December 2020

Pie graph of Big Sandy enrollment showing breakdown by in-center and distance learning.
Pie graph showing GED attainment in-center and through innovations

WHAT DO WE NEED TO CLONE THIS PRODUCT?

      1. Appropriate technology resources (student laptops & mobile charging cart for those, 11-inch iPad Pros, camera and video equipment)
      2. Marketing (social media, billboards, t-shirts, fliers
      3. Community partners for connection points/learning hubs
      4. Virtual lesson library created on YouTube (instructor-created lessons from Zoom and Loom, other curated lessons)

MASTERY MOMENTS

 

Generally, instructors became much more comfortable using virtual instruction to individual students as well as small groups.  Instructors and students utilized the virtual lesson library.  GED® classes were scheduled and provided through Zoom and Google classrooms.  New programs such as GED Academy™ and Aztek were used with success.  Loom videos were used to provide information to students such as how to get on Google Classroom, how to access the virtual lesson library, etc.  An action map and process video were produced to help students better understand the process of achieving their GED®.  Online TABE® and GED® testing were  utilized. 

 

Setting up the Google Classrooms and YouTube channel in 2019 and early 2020 really gave us a head start when we had to go virtual during pandemic.

 

Creating the connection points and hubs helped us build relationships with partners and helped us reach new students we hadn’t been able to reach.

 

New technology and online platforms helped instructors connect with each other and with students for online work during pandemic.  Instructors were able to instruct virtually from home.

LIVE AND LEARN, MESSY MOMENTS

 

    • Budget – Late start due to KYAE budget holds
    • Covid 19 Pandemic – Students unable to attend class in person.   Unable to carry out GED classes at hubs.
    • Retention – The lack of GED testing (pandemic) made it difficult to keep students interested. 
    • Working with BSCTC policies made some aspects of the innovation difficult or impossible. (transportation vouchers) 
    • Some students and instructors were reluctant to try new platforms of learning. 
    • Some students seem overwhelmed with pandemic responsibilities (home school, work, health)

WHAT IS THE PROCESS?

    1. Learning can take place anywhere.  It’s all about meeting student needs.  In person, online, churches, community centers, etc.  Helping students feel comfortable in their learning environment can build student confidence and bring more success.  
    2. Creating partnerships and hubs depends on strong relationships.  Take your time developing strong, lasting relationships that will impact your students for years to come.  This is something that can’t be rushed.
    3. Go Hybrid.  Start with a mix of traditional and non traditional platforms of instruction.  This will help meet the needs of all students.  Ease into it.
    4. With several programs of instruction, have students choose their favorite and set those up for use.  Don’t overwhelm students with so many resources.