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This NCSALL study circle addresses issues around organizing learning services for students in ways that make sense for them, and what the research says about it. The focus is on the structure and organization of instruction and how we can broaden the range of options that students have so that classes aren’t the only option.

In Session One, Program Participation and Self-Directed Learning, the study circle group will share information about their interest and experience with program participation and self-directed learning and how the topic relates to their own work contexts. Participants will examine research from NCSALL’s Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning (LSAL), which addresses these two issues in adult literacy and education. The study circle members will take part in an activity that begins to deconstruct what it means to participate and engage in self-study efforts.

Session Two, Delivery Systems and Student Participation, gives participants the opportunity to engage with current research and find its relevance to their own practice by (1) exploring the notion of “delivery systems,” (2) making personal connections to research, and (3) discussing implications for curriculum and program design. The group will look at the NCSALL Adult Student Persistence Study results and examine ways the results relate to larger program and learning issues.

In the final session, Session Three, Diversity in Adult Learning and Education, the group will focus on the idea that people learn in different configurations. Three different types of programs will be examined: (1) online, (2) distance, and (3) face-to-face. Participants will be asked to apply the research they have read to different situations.