Using the Web to Improve Adult Education

What is the Learner Web?

Developed at Portland State University, the Learner Web is a learning support system for adults who want to accomplish specific learning objectives or goals such as earning a GED, improving their English language or other basic skills, increasing digital literacy, transitioning to higher education, preparing for a job, or improving job-related basic skills. The system is structured by the learner's selected Learning Plan and offers self-paced instruction, face-to-face or online work with a tutor or teacher, assessments, and an electronic portfolio. The Learner Web integrates support services from existing local education programs and community-based organizations where learners can receive assistance from classroom teachers, tutors, over the Web, and by telephone.

How Does the Learner Web Work?

The Learner Web consists of a Web-based software system that is implemented regionally. The System is organized around Learning Plans. A Learning Plan is a set of steps structured to help learners achieve an identified goal. For example, if the goal is to get a GED diploma, the steps might include finding out more about the tests, identifying what skills one needs to brush up on, learning new skills and knowledge, taking practice tests, etc. Each step is matched with online and community based resources and a workspace where Learners can take assessments or save their work in an e-portfolio.

Upon enrolling, a learner creates a personal profile, may take a short reading assessment and interest inventory, chooses a goal from the available list and follows the Learning Plan independently or with a tutor or a teacher. The Learning Plan is dynamically matched by the software to both the learner profile information and information about the educational resources. The learner's progress is saved in their Workspacesand can be returned to at any time via the Internet. Learners can choose to share their Workspace with a tutor or teacher.

The Learner Web is one of two platforms for adults recognized by the The National Education Technology Plan and is also recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education as a resource of Noteworthy Practices in technology and distance learning.

Select View Demonstration to request a password to view a video that shows how learners use the software.

See our Media page for recent presentation materials.

Funding generously provided by the following organizations:

Portland State University
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Commerce.gov — U.S. Department of Commerce The National Telecommunications and Information Administration Recovery.gov
The League for Innovation in the Community College
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
EDUCAUSE International Association for K-12 Online Learning Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation