LINCS Discussion Lists - An In Depth Look

Subscribers | Purposes | Discussion Lists as Professional Development
How to Use Discussion Lists as Professional Development
Professional Development Resources


The National Institute for Literacy discussion lists are intended to address a range of audiences such as: adult education teachers; administrators at the program, coalition, state, and national level; researchers and evaluators; curriculum developers; policy makers; program and conference planners; graduate students; and others.

Purposes of the Discussion Lists

The purposes of the lists are to:

  1. Bring together in common dialogue separate communities with mutual interests
  2. Promote professional information sharing
  3. Enable sharing of international perspectives and research
  4. Enable new teachers, volunteers, graduate students and others to learn about the issues, challenges, satisfactions and successes of adult literacy education
  5. Provide opportunities for subscriber-driven professional development

The Discussion Lists as Professional Development

The discussion lists are communities of practice in adult literacy and language learning. The discussion lists provide an ongoing professional development opportunity for practitioners and other subscribers to interact with national experts and literacy professionals both in spontaneous and planned online guest discussions. Subscribers:

  • Investigate pertinent questions for improving practice
  • Keep informed of developments in research and practice
  • Sharpen subject knowledge and skills
  • Gather resources and build new knowledge around teaching and learning issues
  • Make changes to improve practice
  • Build networks for learning and change

How to Effectively Use the Discussion Lists for Professional Development

At national conferences, participants have asked: How can we effectively use the national discussion lists for professional development? In response, the How to Effectively Use the Discussion Lists for Professional Development web page was developed to enable subscribers to:

  • Share how they use the discussion lists as professional development
  • Share tools that support using the discussion lists for professional development
  • Identify what practitioners have learned and how they integrate that learning into practice
  • Explore, when feasible, how instructor learning may impact student learning

Explore challenges in using the lists as professional development and strategies to overcome the challenges, including:

  • Gaining computer comfort and overcoming fear of posting to discussion lists
  • Managing the volume of discussion list email
  • Planning dedicated time for learning online
  • Developing and advancing professional development plans
  • Assessing for themselves the value of various discussion contributions
  • Sharing learning and reflection
  • Documenting participation
  • Earning acknowledgment or credit for using the discussion lists as professional development