C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

October 1, 2010

October 2010 Newsletter

Filed under: Newsletter — Jenn @ 5:00 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

October 2010

LearningExpress Library Revisited

Learning Express logoI’ve posted several times in the past couple of years about the ever-popular online resources LearningExpress Library, but I thought I’d take a moment to highlight some features and share some experiences.

For those of you who are not familiar with LEL, it is a “comprehensive collection of test preparation tools, skill-building materials, and career resources”.  That’s how LearningExpress describes their product, anyway.  Here at the Library, we just call it “awesome”– it’s the most used database we subscribe to and we’re always learning something new and exciting about its many features.

The main content of the database is organized into seven Learning Centers which cover a wide range of subjects and interests, including GED Prep; Job Search and Workplace Skills; and Skills Improvements.  Each Learning Center features practice tests, preparation courses and courses of study.

For a new user, LearningExpress can seem overwhelming– there’s a lot of information and a lot of options.  Students (and instructors!) who are not comfortable with new online tools may take one look at the front page of LEL  and wonder “Now what?”

I generally steer students directly to the Learning Centers– here lies the real meat of LEL.  A Learning Center like “Skills Improvement”, however, features 5 areas of study and each area contains another number of options– courses, tests and practice.

Where should a student start?  The real answer, that it doesn’t matter– a student can start anywhere, doesn’t tend to alleviate any worries.  Here’s how I address the question “Where do I start?”

Let’s say a student needs to work on reading comprehension skills.  This area in the Skills Improvement Learning Center features the following options:  Reading Comprehension Practice, Reading Comprehension Diagnostic Tests and Reading Comprehension Courses.  If the student would like comprehensive instruction on the topic, I would recommend starting with the Courses– selecting one or more that match the areas of deficiency or working through the entire sequence.  If the student is familiar with the content but would like to gain confidence through exercises at various levels, I generally recommend the Practice tests and skill builders.  The Diagnostic Tests can be a good place to start for students who want to know what their strengths and weaknesses in this particular area are.

If you are interested in learning more about LearningExpress Library and what it has to offer, I suggest taking a look at the What Do I Do Now? topics featured on the bottom right-hand side of the LEL homepage.  Here you can view tutorials that describe each area of LEL, take a guided tour of the product and browse all of the Learning Center content as well as the extensive list of eBooks available to users.

Of course, you can always contact me with your questions as well!  I’m more than happy to give you or your students a guided tour of any of our resources.

Resource of the Month

Flashcard exchange logoFlashcardExchange (www.flashcardexchange.com) is a creative tool that allows users to create and share flashcards online.  Students and teachers can search an extensive collection of over 32 million user-created cards on any conceivable topic and level.  There are cards for elementary school subjects through college subjects, technology topics, medical topics and occupational topics.  Naturally, language flashcards are also available– from Arabic to Wolof.

While anyone can access existing flashcards, users must register in order to create their own flashcards.  Free registration allows users to create an unlimited number of flashcards, share and study online.  Advanced options, such as image and audio flashcards and printable cards, are available to users who register for a lifetime membership for $19.95.

FlashcardExchange is also available as an iPhone app for quizzing on-the-go.


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