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Using Writing Instruction Videos in Adult Education


On May 1st this year, in the LINCS Reading and Writing CoP, I wrote:

Teachers needed for adult secondary education video review project

Writing teaching colleagues,

I am looking for a handful of adult secondary education writing teachers who teach adults or out-of-school youth, and who are interested in working with other teachers in an online group to review free, online writing instruction videos. The goal is to put together a good list of teacher-reviewed and rated ASE level videos with engaging content and sound practice, a list of annotated videos that could be used by students who need to learn and practice how to write well at the secondary or pre-college level.

This is an update, with links to some resources for those who want to look at adult secondary education (ASE) and college prep level writing instructional videos for adult learners, and/or professional development videos on teaching writing for themselves and their colleagues.

In the spring, over a dozen adult secondary education and college prep writing teachers responded. Many were experienced writing teachers, and a few had been using instructional writing videos. All were interested in expanding their instructional video repertoire, and many looked forward to working with colleagues to find and review the videos.

In the spring and summer we took on three tasks.

Using the threaded discussion feature of an online Google work group and Google Documents, we:

  1. Designed and refined an evaluation form that we then all agreed to use in evaluating the videos. (If you are interested in seeing this form, email me.)
  2. Identified as many free, web-based ASE and college prep writing videos as we could find. I was interested in what the “state of the art” of these videos would be. Would we find many? Were any developed specifically for adult learners, or were they all for high school and college level students? I hope we can discuss that  on the LINCS Reading and Writing CoP. I am inviting the members of the writing video review group to join the Reading and Writing CoP so that if there is discussion you can hear their views. We produced a document that lists the writing videos we found, by category. Categories include, for example: Advice on Writing, Audience, Kinds of Writing, Style, Grammar and Usage, Punctuation, Editing and Proofreading, and more. Almost all the videos are intended for students; a few are intended for writing teachers. As far as I can recall, none were developed specifically for adult learners. You will find the draft document that lists the videos we found at I am hoping that over time we will add more – and better -- videos to this document.
  3. Reviewed some of the videos. So far we have published eleven reviews. Each video had at least two reviewers.  You will find the reviews in a draft document at

Recently, at national conferences and webinars, I have been doing presentations on the results of this project in which we discuss the project but also look at and discuss some of the writing videos.

I hope that the project will continue; I will consider adding other ASE writing teachers who may be interested in reviewing videos; If you are interested, email me.

I hope that you will look at the reviews and some of the videos, and that you will post your questions, comments, suggestions, and concerns to the Reading and Writing CoP.

This has been a successful project in many ways. It shows that a small group of committed adult education professionals can take on a volunteer work project, do good work, and create useful products for the field. It’s an excellent example of what a Community of Practice sub-group can help to achieve for themselves and others in the community of practice. I believe that the video list and reviews define the state of the art of ASE writing instructional videos. I am hoping that those who look at some of the videos will comment on them in the LINCS Reading and Writing CoP. After reading some of the reviews, and looking at some of the videos, what do you think the state of the art is? What do you see as the future of supplemental instructional videos? As a field, what is needed to make instructional videos more effective?

Here’s  a reminder that you will find two articles I have written, one on using instructional videos in adult basic education, and one specifically on this writing videos review project, in the online journal, Digital Life and Learning, at .

My thanks to the ASE and college prep writing instructors who helped to develop the evaluation form, found the videos, and wrote reviews for this project: Anthony Gabriel, Christie Knighton, Sasha Lotas,  Janice Parker, Stacy Peckham, Deborah Rei, Susan Reichard, Connie Rivera, Dorothy Taylor, and Arthur Upham.

David J. Rosen