Working together to increase usability of Tier 2 vocabulary lessons

A couple of years ago, CrowdED Learning reached out to the folks at Appalachian State University to ask if they would be OK with us taking their Tier 2 vocabulary curriculum and creating Quizlet decks for each of their lessons. They were happy to let us do so, and that resulted in 38 interactive study sets, 5 words each, to support each of their lessons. 

While we were excited about that work...the problem was, the lesson downloads live on their site, the Quizlets live on Quizlet, and it’s likely only a few folks really were aware that BOTH of these resources existed. 

Three weeks ago, I delivered an EBRI webinar in which I made mention of the ASU vocabulary lessons. Soon thereafter, I got an email from an attendee indicating that she was having trouble assigning them to learners in Google Classroom. After some investigating, I came to realize she was adding the the Word doc to her Google Drive and assigning that to students, which meant they weren’t able to get their own copy of the worksheet and work on it within Drive. 

This prompted me to work with Steve Schmidt to contact the folks at ASU. Long story short, in just a little over a week, we’ve worked to make all of these resources more accessible and connected for learners and instructors (see image below):

  1. Google Drive: Now all of the ASU lessons live in a shared Google Drive as Google Docs! This means you can download all of them as Word docs or PDFs if that’s your flavor, or you can copy them over to your Google Classroom Drive so you have the ability to assign the lessons directly within Classroom. (You can find that link and other great resources from ASU on this page.)

  2. Quizlet Links/QR Codes: Within each of the lessons, the folks at ASU have added a link to the Quizlet, as well as a QR code that will launch the Quizlet on a mobile device. This means whether students are given the lessons electronically or as print copies, they can easily access the accompanying Quizlet study set for additional interactive study. 

As we adjust to a new normal that will have to include more options for self-study and virtual learning, I’m hopeful we as a community can work together to come up with similar solutions that help get quality, mobile-friendly learning content into the hands of learners. We would love to partner with other organizations looking to share their content with a broader audience to make great learning content more widely available! :)



Jeff, this is great news!  Many thanks to you, Steve, and ASU for working together to make these resources accessible!

Stay safe and well!


Jeff, thanks so much for your leadership in helping instructors across the country use these Tier 2 vocabulary lessons!

Yesterday, I watched the archived LINCS webinar Teachers' Stories: Moving Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19.  While watching, I thought about how to best use the Tier 2 vocabulary lessons in this remote learning world where we now work with our students.  I also considered the Teaching Adults to Read research, which encourages adult educators to teach vocabulary using direct instruction where students "are given definitions or other attributes of words to be learned."  (Not sure how this would look?  You can find an example here.)  

In the webinar,  Amy Elston (ABE/ASE instructor at College of DuPage in Illinois) shared how she structures her remote class.  She uses Blackboard Collaborate (similar to the free Zoom platform) and meets with her students from 8:30 to 11:30 AM.  She uses the first hour to provide individual help to students.  The 9:30 to 11 AM time is devoted to direct instruction, and she expects all her students to be present during that time.  With a similar class set up, we could provide direct vocabulary instruction during the teaching block and ask students to supply context for the words.  They could then do the App State vocabulary exercises (fill in the blank, sentence completion, yes/no/why, and read and respond) for homework which could be discussed during the next class section.  

If you wish to see the full segment about how Amy teaches reading remotely, it is found from time index 21:32 - 38:40 on the archived webinar.  

How are you teaching vocabulary remotely with your students?


Happy Teaching,

Steve Schmidt

Moderator, LINCS Reading and Writing CoP

Congratulations, again and again, Jeff, for the work you do on behalf of adult students, and thanks, Steve, for supporting these efforts.   I can't help but add my two cents regarding vocabulary acquisition. While the resources you shared are superb, I would like to find instructors using them to reinforce integrated or contextualized instruction. Would it be great to have lessons that use that vocabulary within specific interests of many students?    With the intense focus on IET, what if some Tier 2-Vocabulary Quizlet decks focused on specific occupations or projects implemented in Project-Based Learning instruction? Just thinking. Leecy