About the LINCS Learning Portal
The LINCS Learning Portal is an open-access, web-based learning platform that enables learners, instructors, and organizations to access online learning opportunities.
The courses offered on the LINCS Learning Portal are freely available to educators in order to boost their skills and further their professional development. There are over 40 self-paced online courses available for use anytime, anywhere. Each course is virtually facilitated, though registration is required.
To find out the average amount of hours it takes to complete each course, please see the descriptions listed below. Note: The courses do not track the amount of time it takes for a user to complete them; rather, the number of hours given for each course is based off of a general estimate.
For more information on completing LINCS Learning Portal courses, please view our Learning Portal Course Guide
Adult Education Online Courses
Descriptions for all of LINCS’ self-paced online courses are listed below. Register now to start building your skills in the following topic areas:
- Career Pathways
- Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes
- English Language Acquisition
- Integrating Technology
- Teaching and Learning
The Adult Career Pathways courses are intended to help state and local adult education providers deliver programs that help low-skilled adults succeed in postsecondary education and employment. Courses include:
- ACP: Building Strategic Partnerships (1.5 hours): This course is intended for adult education program administrators interested in building new and strengthening existing partnerships essential for successful development and implementation of Adult Career Pathways programs and systems. This course features three modules: (1) Understanding Strategic Partnerships; (2) Engaging Strategic Partnerships; and (3) Sustaining Strategic Partnerships.
- ACP: Developing Effective Bridge Programs (2.5 hours): Are you a teacher beginning to develop a bridge program for your adult education learners? This course helps teachers develop and implement effective Adult Career Pathways bridge programs designed to help adult learners master the basic skills they need to advance to the next level of education, training, or entry-level employment in career fields that are in local or regional demand. This course features three modules: (1) Understanding Bridge Programs; (2) Laying the Foundation; and (3) Developing the Curriculum.
- ACP: Designing Contextualized Instruction (2.5 hours): This course helps teachers understand contextualized instruction and its supporting research base and discover how to use the contextual model of instruction to develop Adult Career Pathways courses, and how to identify and overcome common challenges in developing contextualized instruction. This course features three modules: (1) Understanding Contextualized Instruction; (2) Building Contextualized Instruction; and (3) Overcoming Development Challenges.
- ACP: Integrating Career Counseling and Planning into Adult Education (3 hours): This course is intended for adult educators, administrators, coaches, case managers, transition specialists, career counselors, and others working with adult learners seeking to transition to the next step along a career pathway. The course features three modules: (1) Career Counseling and Planning Programs; (2) Individual Career Development Plan Process; and (3) Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education.
- ACP: Engaging Employers in Adult Career Pathways (2 hours): Through this course, participants learn how to identify, engage, and sustain engagement of appropriate employers in the development of career pathways programs. The course features three modules: (1) Creating a Business-Education Partnership; (2) Building Business Engagement; and (3) Sustaining Business Engagement.
- Introduction to Workforce Preparation and Employability Skills (1.5 hours): This course is designed for adult educators, administrators, teachers, and advisors who seek an introduction to the general concept of workforce preparation and the specific skills outlined in the U.S. Department of Education’s Employability Skills Framework. Participants should expect to learn what constitutes the workforce preparation activities referenced in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA); explain how to integrate workforce preparation activities into adult education programming and instruction; and locate resources you can use to develop and incorporate workforce preparation activities into curriculum and instruction. This course is the first in a two-part series exploring workforce preparation skills. The second course is Workforce Preparation Activities in the Classroom: Contextualizing Employability Skills for Deeper Learning.
- Workforce Preparation Activities in the Classroom: Contextualizing Employability Skills for Deeper Learning (1.5 hours): This course is designed for adult educators, administrators, teachers, and advisors who would like more familiarity with how workforce preparation and employability skills can be incorporated into instructional activities. It is recommended that learners also complete the Introduction to Workforce Preparation and Employability Skills course, which covers workforce preparation and the specific skills outlined in the U.S. Department of Education’s Employability Skills Framework. After completing this course, participants will be able to: describe the rationale behind contextualized instruction that simultaneously addresses college and career readiness instruction and general workforce preparation and employability skills, and demonstrate how this rationale is already incorporated into an existing curriculum; explain best practices concerning workforce preparation activities as referenced in WIOA and illustrate how these practices are currently being used to teach employability skills to adult learners; and locate resources you can use to develop and incorporate workforce preparation activities into curriculum and instruction.
Learning to Achieve helps teachers of adults with learning disabilities increase their effectiveness. Courses include:
- Learning to Achieve: Accommodations (1 hour): In this self-paced module, participants learn about testing and instructional accommodations appropriate for individuals with learning disabilities.
- Learning to Achieve: English Language Learners (1 hour): In this self-paced module, participants identify testing and instructional accommodation considerations for individuals with learning disabilities.
- Learning to Achieve: Neuroscience (1 hour): In this self-paced module, participants learn about the underlying neurobiology of learning disabilities.
- Learning to Achieve: Definitions of Learning Disabilities (1.5 hours): In this self-paced course, participants learn about the This course describes and explains a consensus definition of learning disabilities and its application and identifies some behaviors that indicate an individual may have a learning disability. It also explains how controversy and debate may affect adult service providers.
- Learning to Achieve: Self Determination for Adults with Learning Disabilities (1 hour): In this self-paced course, participants learn about This course explains the importance of self-determination and self-advocacy for a person with learning disabilities, and describes six factors that affect an individual's ability to be self-determined. It also identifies how professionals working with adults with learning disabilities can support those adults in developing self-determination to achieve their goals.
- Learning to Achieve: Legal Issues, Self-Disclosure, and Confidentiality (1 hour): In this self-paced course, participants learn about This course identifies the legal, self-disclosure, and confidentiality issues that are relevant to service providers working with adults with learning disabilities. It also discusses the possible implications for service delivery when a student discloses a learning disability.
- Learning to Achieve: Workforce Preparation Strategies (2 hours): In this self-paced course, participants learn about This course describes strategies for helping adults with learning disabilities develop skills to enhance their workforce readiness and success; identifies employment-related resources available to adults with LD in your community; and explores strategies to address possible barriers to access for those adults.
Note: The course "Learning to Achieve: Professional’s Guide" is no longer available on the LINCS Courses portal. However, the Professional’s Guide resource, on which the online course was based, is still available on LINCS.
ESL Pro courses provide opportunities for teachers of adult English Language Learners to engage in learning activities that maximize student outcomes. Courses include:
- Module 1: Meeting the Language Needs of Today’s Adult English Language Learner (2-3 hours): This self-paced professional development module addresses the increasingly complex language and critical thinking skills adult English language learners (ELLs) need to succeed in today’s world. The overarching goal of this module is to give professionals who work with adult ELLs the tools to provide rigorous instruction that will help all learners transition to new opportunities.
- Module 2: Integrating Digital Literacy into Adult English Language Instruction (2-3 hours): The module is designed for teachers and administrators interested in integrating digital literacy in their adult English Language Acquisition (previously referred to as ESL) classes and programs.
- Module 3: Preparing English Learners for Work and Career Pathways (2-3 hours): This self-paced professional development module provides the foundational concepts related to designing and implementing an adult ELA program contextualized for career pathways.
English Language Learner University (ELL-U) courses provide opportunities for teachers of adult English Language Learners to engage in learning activities that maximize student outcomes. Courses include:
- Second Language Acquisition: Myths, Beliefs, and What the Research Shows (2 hours): This course offers participants introductory, research-based information on second language acquisition (SLA) by exploring common myths and beliefs about how languages are taught and learned. Topics include: common myths and beliefs about SLA; knowledge about language and SLA; using student’s first language strategically; and interlanguage and assessment.
- Teaching Adult ELLs Who are Emergent Readers (2.5 hours): This course offers introductory, research-based information about teaching adult English language learners who are just beginning to acquire print literacy largely due to lack of access to formal schooling. This course clarifies how and why this particular population is unique, offers processes for identifying emergent readers, and explores a range of teaching and assessment strategies that build initial literacy.
- Formative Assessment to Inform Quality Adult ESL Instruction (2 hours): Participants learn to define formative assessment and explain its integral role in systematically planning and delivering adult ESL instruction, select and design a variety of formative assessment activities that engage learners in setting their own goals and monitoring their own progress, and use appropriate oral and written feedback techniques that inform learners of their progress.
- The Role of Culture in the Education of Adult English Language Learners (3 hours): This course provides techniques and strategies to help educators create a culturally inclusive learning environment and facilitate cross-cultural understanding. It explores a range of topics related to the role of culture in teaching classes with adult ELLs.
- Principles of Second Language Teaching: Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction (3.5 hours): This course explores the basics of instructional planning and execution in adult ESL classrooms using the Communicative Language Teaching approach and other student-centered instructional practices. Topics include: understanding the communicative needs of your students, planning communicative language teaching lessons that integrate communication skills with life skills, work-readiness, and civics content, and implementing student-centered instruction practices and classroom management strategies.
- Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom (4 hours): This course covers the purposes for integrating technology, explores guidelines for planning to integrate technology into instruction, and organizes thinking about the wide range of technology tools available. Examples of adult education practitioners’ experiences in integrating technology are incorporated throughout the course. In the culminating activity, participants create a Technology Integration Action Plan for a unit or lesson that they select for use with their adult learners.
- Build a lesson with OER (self-directed, 3.5 – 5 hours): This user-guided tutorial helps teachers with experience in the Moodle Learning Management System environment develop a comprehensive online lesson using OERs to deliver instruction. The course template is designed with a basic structure aligned to a modified TEAL Lesson Plan Builder (using a WIPPEA lesson plan model: warm-up, introduction, presentation, practice, evaluation, and application) that allows teachers to create a usable online resource that learners can access anytime. The course template is flexible and allows teachers to choose which WIPPEA lesson plan elements to develop online. The course template can be used to design a lesson that fits a variety of instructional strategies (i.e., facilitated, self-study, or flipped) and allows teachers the opportunity to integrate different types of OERs (e.g., text, audio, videos, assessments, and simulations).
- Open Your Classroom With OER (self-directed): This self-paced course introduces adult education (AE) teachers to the wide variety of Open Educational Resources (OER) and familiarizes them with the Creative Commons and other open licenses. Teachers at all levels of AE will gain an understanding of how to identify and search for materials to use in their teaching practice. In addition to learning search strategies, teachers will gain an understanding of how to evaluate OER for appropriate use and how to organize resources for future use with OER Commons.
LINCS’ science courses help teachers use science in adult education classrooms. These courses introduce instructors to the importance of science education, curriculum planning, and the use of science in adults’ daily lives. Courses include:
- Engaging Adult Learners in Science (2-3 hours): This course provides an overview of the relevance and importance of science in the adult basic education/adult secondary education (ABE/ASE) classroom and introduces the use of scientific practices in these classrooms.
- Scientific Practices in Context: Curricular Planning and Lesson Development (2-3 hours): This course provides an introduction to teaching science in context, and guidance on where teachers can find credible science resources. The course also reviews the teaching and learning cycle, focusing on curriculum design, including lesson planning and development, within the context of an adult education science unit.
- Project-Based Science Instruction for Career Preparation (2-3 hours): This course is the third in a series of LINCS online courses that facilitate the teaching of science in the adult education classroom. The first two courses in the series, Engaging Adult Learners in Science and Scientific Practices in Context: Curricular Planning and Lesson Development, introduce the concept of scientific practices. The third course connects scientific practices to science content and the use of science in adults' daily lives, especially in work and career-related contexts.
- Teaching Energy Literacy to Adult Learners (2 hours): This course explains the concept of energy literacy, and introduces the Energy Literacy Framework developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. Educators can use the Framework (available in English and Spanish) to teach adult learners about the role of energy in their lives and to generate potential interest in energy as a career field. This course explores the fundamental concepts of the seven essential principles outlined in the Energy Literacy Framework and provides examples of online resources teachers can use to teach the principles and associated concepts to adult learners.
This suite of courses will get you started in using the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards to support English language learners in two important instructional areas: 1. academic language development and 2. engagement in academic content.
- Module One: Introduction to the ELP Standards for Adult Education (1 hour): provides an understanding of why and how the standards were selected and how they are organized. It also explains what the new ELP standards entail and why and how they relate to state-adopted academic content standards. With the necessary support that ELP standards provide, adult education programs can now expand their capabilities to implement academic content standards for all our learners. Please read the LINCS Resource Profile for Tips for getting the most out of this module.
- Module Two: Analyzing Student Tasks in Relation to Content Demands, Thinking Skills, and Language Use (3 hours): introduces the first two steps in a four-step task analysis process. The process is designed to identify what students need to know and be able to do in relation to three lenses: content knowledge, analytical skills and language use. Task analysis helps us to focus on all the various cognitive demands placed on adult English language learners as they tackle an instructional task or project. Please read the LINCS Resource Profile for Tips for getting the most out of this module.
- Module Three: Digging Deeper into the English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (3 hours): is the third and final training in a three-part series that introduces the ELP Standards for Adult Education and how to begin using them. Module Three engages users in the last two steps of the task analysis process that was introduced in Module Two. Steps three and four help us to better understand which of the core disciplinary practices and ELP standards are relevant to certain instructional tasks—and to instructional practices. This training answers the question: How does the task analysis process support educators’ understanding and integration of the ELP Standards during their planning and instruction? Please read the LINCS Resource Profile for Tips for getting the most out of this module.
- Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning (5 hours): Many adult education classrooms contain students whose ages, native languages, educational backgrounds, and academic skills vary widely, which poses many teaching challenges for instructors. Research shows that differentiated instruction is one of the most effective approaches for helping students learn. This course walks participants through the steps of planning a differentiated lesson, including how to write effective learning objectives, choose among approaches to differentiation (content, process, product), and design assessments. In completing the course, participants produce their own differentiated lesson plans that are suited to their instructional content and environment.
This suite of self-paced courses support teacher effectiveness, especially using and understanding the Adult Education Teacher Competencies, delivering evidence based instruction in the classroom and implementing a Teacher Induction program using the Adult Education Teacher Induction Toolkit. The courses are tailored to the needs of practitioners and programs, especially teacher mentors, staff developers and beginning teachers. Courses are divided into multiple segments to allow for practice, reflection, and extended learning. The courses, which can be used independently or as a series, include:
- Introduction to Teacher Effectiveness and Induction (1 hour): This introductory course guides you through what the research tells us about teacher effectiveness. It also provides an overview of the Adult Education Teacher Competencies, an introduction to teacher induction, and a summary of the Adult Education Teacher Induction Toolkit and its resources. A completion certificate is available.
- Principles of Learning for Instructional Design (3 to 3.5 hours): This course introduces and demonstrates key principles and strategies featured in the National Research Council’s Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Supporting Learning and Motivation. It supports teachers' understanding of instructional design principles to promote learning and the strategies for applying those principles in their teaching. Participants observe these principles in action in adult education classrooms and have options for extended learning and reflection. For those in a teacher induction program, this course is recommended during the Learning step of the Teacher Induction Pathway in conjunction with activities in the Mentoring Guide for Teacher Induction. A completion certificate is available.
- Motivating Adult Learners to Persist (3 to 3.5 hours): This course centers on principles and strategies in the National Research Council’s Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Supporting Learning and Motivation which are significant for motivating adult learners to persist. Topics include: using and inspiring learners’ interests, building learners’ self-efficacy, using incentives and motivation, providing choice and autonomy, and using digital media to promote persistence. Videos demonstrate the classroom application of the strategies and give participants the opportunity to learn about and practice effective classroom observations. For those in an induction program, this course is recommended during the Learning step of the Teacher Induction Pathway in conjunction with activities in the Mentoring Guide for Teacher Induction. A completion certificate is available.