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CAIT at WIU Launches New Online GED Preparation Curriculum

January 28, 2014


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MACOMB, IL — The Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT) at Western Illinois University is launching a new version of i-Pathways–Learning Pathways in Adult Education, its online GED preparation curriculum.

According to CAIT Director Richard Chamberlain, with the launch of the America Council on Education's GED Testing Service new GED test this month, the i-Pathways project needed to revise its curriculum to align with the new test. Chamberlain, who also serves as the director of the i-Pathways project notes, said CAIT staff members working on the i-Pathways project have been engaged in a revision of its curriculum, as well as the custom learning management system that supports it.

"We have been working to revise the curriculum for the past 12 months and have worked to align our curriculum with the common core standards and the core content area standards for both the GED test and the HiSET test supported by the Educational Testing Service," he explained. "But, equally significant, we have revised the technology that supports this project. By using responsive design techniques, we have developed a system that works on the desktop, as well as on mobile computing devices. We know that many of our users rely on smartphones or tablet devices to connect to the Internet, and we can provide them the same learning experience as desktop computer users."

In 2013, CAIT's i-Pathways project became one of 20 publishers nationally designated as a partner with the America Council on Education's GED Testing Service.

"Being designated as a partner is a significant step and allows the i-Pathways project access to a variety of benefits with the GED Testing Service and provides for national exposure of the project," Chamberlain added.

The i-Pathways project was developed in partnership with the Illinois Community College Board. Chamberlain said i-Pathways has been utilized statewide since 2002 and is currently deployed statewide in five other states in the U.S. and, at the program or consortium level, in eight other states.

"The i-Pathways project has added a significant component to our adult education outreach in Illinois," said Jennifer Foster, associate vice president at the Illinois Community College Board. "It enables those learners who are unable to attend a class in a program to still have access to both a teacher and curriculum in order to help them achieve their education goals," she noted.

"The original plan for i-Pathways not only was to deploy a teacher-facilitated, online GED preparation curriculum in Illinois as a distance learning option, but also to offer the curriculum for use nationally. We have served tens of thousands of adult education students in the 12 years i-Pathways has been deployed. We are seeing the curriculum being used as a traditional distance learning option, as a hybrid distance-learning tool and as a classroom resource. The entire team at CAIT has worked hard to create an aligned, rigorous curriculum that utilizes technologies that meet the needs of today's adult education learners, particularly those using mobile technologies," Chamberlain added.

The i-Pathways project offers professional development for teachers and administrators in how to effectively use the curriculum both as a distance learning tool and a classroom supplement. CAIT also supports adult education teachers and students in the field with a seven-day-a-week help desk.

For more information on i-Pathways, visit 2014.i-pathways.org or contact Chamberlain at rchamberlain@cait.org. Learn more about CAIT at cait.org.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations