Our Capabilities

Online Courses

NCFL offers a range of professional development trainings and facilitated online courses to support learning and literacy practitioners across the educational spectrum. Contact us for cost estimates to bring professional development to your school, district, or organization.

NCFL offers a variety of online courses designed for diverse audiences on these topics:


Children's Literacy

Dialogic Reading

Dialogic reading is a research-based technique that can be used effectively with children ages two through five. In dialogic reading, the adult encourages the child to participate in the telling of the story they're reading together rather than just listening. During this training, participants will learn how to use dialogic reading techniques in the classroom.

Read Together, Reach for the Stars: Dialogic Reading Workshops

This train-the-trainer session will help staff provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed in order to use dialogic reading techniques with their children. Dialogic reading is a research-based technique that can be used effectively with children ages two through five. Participants will leave with materials to deliver parent workshops based on the findings of the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP), research supporting dialogic reading and the work of Dr. Grover "Russ" Whitehurst.


Adult Education

Understanding the College and Career Readiness Standards (SIA Part 1)

This course provides participants with an understanding of standards-based education. Standards offer measurable objectives on which instructors can base their curricula. By "unpacking" or looking at the components of each standard, instructors will consider the knowledge and skills to be taught and learned. The course also focuses on developing instructional activities and selecting instructional resources that tightly align to the standards. Instructors will engage in interactive learning with their peers through a discussion board. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Applying Key Instructional Shifts in a Standards-Based Classroom (SIA Part 2)

Part 1 is a prerequisite to this course. In order to adequately prepare adult students for a 21st century global workforce, it is necessary to adapt the way we prepare and deliver adult education instruction. With standards-based high school equivalency assessments, instruction should address the rigor of the standards. This course examines the key shifts needed to fully implement standards-based lessons in the adult education classroom. This course will move participants from a basic understanding of the standards to practical implementation in the classroom by addressing the key shifts in instruction and curriculum that the CCR Standards demand. Instructors will engage in interactive learning through the use of a discussion board and will create a standards-based lesson plan that addresses key instructional shifts. Instructors will share their plan for instruction with others in the course and will be asked to give and receive feedback. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Focus on Assignments: Working Together to Improve Teaching and Learning (SIA Part 3)

This course is designed to provide adult education instructors with an understanding of formative assessment and Innovation 3 of the Standards-in-Action. Standards-in-Action was developed to promote standards-based education. In this course participants will learn about formative assessment and also learn a method to help close the gap between what students are learning and the expectations of the standards. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

A Walk Through the Instructional Tools on the GED® Website

This online facilitated course is designed to help adult education instructors enhance their understanding of the GED Testing Service ® website. The course provides instructors with an understanding of the resources available through the GED Testing Service®, how to access them, and how to use them to meet the needs, interests, and goals of their students and themselves. Participants will learn about such resources as the High Impact Indicators, the Assessment Guide for Educators, the RLA Extended Response Scoring Rubric, and Quarter Length Free Practice Test among others. Participants will engage in interactive learning with their peers through the use of a discussion board. The online course consists of interactive learning activities and assigned Internet activities. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Accentuating Student Strengths while Differentiating for Learning Differences

Participants will learn basic information about learning differences and how to recognize when students need special supports. Participants will learn classroom strategies and practices to accentuate learner strengths by understanding and activating multiple intelligences. Included will be information regarding digital resources designed to support students through multiple learning modalities. Participants will engage in interactive learning with their peers through the use of a discussion board. The online course consists of interactive learning activities and assigned reading. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Classroom Strategies and Practices—Part 1

This course provides instructors with an understanding of how to integrate research and best practices into effective classroom instruction. Participants will learn how to respond to students' individual and group needs, interests, and goals when developing instructional plans. A variety of instructional strategies and tools appropriate to the needs of learners are presented and participants will learn how to engage students in activities that require them to use critical thinking skills. Formative assessment is interwoven through the course. Participants will engage in interactive learning with their peers through the use of a discussion board. The online course consists of interactive learning activities and assigned reading. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Classroom Strategies and Practices—Part 2

This course provides instructors with an understanding of how to analyze lesson plans to ensure their strength and effectiveness. This course builds upon the content of Classroom Strategies and Practices—Part 1. Participants will learn additional instructional strategies, such as finding the main idea, summarizing reading material, and creating metaphors and analogies. Participants will engage in interactive learning with their peers through the use of a discussion board. The online course consists of interactive learning activities and assigned reading. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Employability Skills in the Contextualized Classroom

The course is designed to provide adult education instructors with awareness of incorporating employability skills in their classroom. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) recognizes that the core purpose of adult education is to prepare individuals—"particularly those hardest hit by the twists and turns of global competition, technological changes, economic isolation, or inadequate education opportunities"—with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce. Participants in the course will examine career opportunities in their area and define how employability skills can be incorporated into English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science classes. The course culminates with each participant creating a lesson plan that is representative of a topic they plan to teach, incorporating employability standards in their planning. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.

Strategies for Student Engagement

This course is designed to provide adult education instructors with strategies to ensure that classroom lessons run smoothly. It introduces and reinforces strategies for student engagement in the adult education classroom. Strategies include checking for understanding, creating a safe environment, being aware of students' goals, academically challenging all students, incorporating differentiated instruction and motivating students. It is a 12-hour, 6-week facilitated course that encourages interaction through a discussion forum. Participants will take both a pre- and post-assessment.

Let's Get to Work: Incorporating Workforce Skills into Your Classroom

This 12-hour, 6-week, online facilitated course is designed to help adult education instructors enhance their understanding of differentiation in their classroom. It focuses on how to differentiate instruction generally and in a sector-specific contextualized curriculum particularly. Career pathways will be proposed for instructors with students interested in welding, health services, or manufacturing jobs. A variety of resources will be used including information from OCTAE and LINCS and about career pathways. Participants will engage in interactive learning with their peers through the use of a discussion board. The online course consists of interactive learning activities. All participants will complete a pre- and post-assessment.


English Language Learners

Prepare Students for Citizenship and Beyond

In this 6-week, 12-hour online course, instructors will examine the citizenship interview process as well as the Adult Citizenship Education Content Standards and Foundation Skills. Participants will interact with each other and the facilitator through a discussion forum and work to correlate these standards with the CASAS Standards. The course work culminates in each instructor's creation of a lesson plan aligned with both sets of standards that could be utilized in a citizenship interview preparatory class.

ELA Transitions

As students begin their educational experience, it is not always clear exactly what their complete path will look like. This 6-week, facilitated online course provides instructors with a research base about motivational factors in the ELA student population. Instructors consider effective strategies for conferencing with students about their educational goals as well as encouraging them to transition to ever-higher levels. Introductory information about the 2014 GED ® is presented to instructors, with an opportunity to connect ELA instruction to high school credentialing. Based on the interaction and instruction in the course, instructors design a classroom strategy to use with their students as they transition through education.

Incorporating CASAS Competencies and Standards in ESL Instruction

The CASAS curricular system is designed to ensure that students successfully develop key competencies that encompass daily life skills. Additionally, the CASAS standards are intended to target progressions of skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and basic math. In this course, participants will explore the CASAS assessment report for an individual student and a class. The assessment report will be used to identify competency development needs. Experiences will include exploring the CASAS competencies and standards and how resources can be utilized to integrate these components of the curriculum more efficiently. Participants will situate the CASAS assessment and their own lesson planning in a context of formative assessment to increase student learning.


How can you take advantage of NCFL's expertise and research? Contact Emily Sedgwick by email [ESedgwick@familieslearning.org] or call 502-584-1133, ext. 207 for more information about training today.