Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Seeks Online Community Moderators

About LINCS

The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) online community of practice was launched in September 2012 to provide adult educators, professional developers, and other stakeholders with an online forum for discussion, engagement, and information-gathering on key topics in adult education. With nearly 9,000 users, the LINCS Community is now a vibrant part of many adult educators' professional lives. The community is currently structured into 16 groups on topics pertaining to various content areas, special populations, and management and administrative structures. In an effort to deepen peer-to-peer communication and sharing, the LINCS Resource Collection Team will build a team of up to seven experienced online moderators to manage the strategic facilitation of these groups to cultivate a user-driven community to further enhance and professionalize the adult education field.

LINCS is administered by Kratos Learning for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) under Contract no. ED-VAE-14-C-0123.

Position Description

Kratos Learning is now accepting applications for Online Community Moderators to facilitate and manage discussion groups in the LINCS online community of practice. The LINCS Community provides a forum for adult education stakeholders to share best practices and engage in dialogue around pertinent issues. The LINCS team is looking for experienced online facilitators that can cultivate, manage, and engage in data-based strategy development for multiple discussion groups. Online Community Moderators will work collaboratively with the LINCS Team and fellow moderators to execute the daily and long-term management of their groups. Topical groups may have specific audience-based subgroups such as for instructors, professional developers, and program managers. Applicants will identify which topic areas are applicable to their experience and background and of interest to them. Selected moderators will manage two or more groups.

The position will require approximately 10-12 hours a week to coordinate, plan, post, track, and report progress of their groups. Moderators should anticipate checking their groups regularly and engaging in the tasks outlined below. Moderators are anticipated to start executing the below tasking in February 2015 with contract renewal options on an annual basis for the remaining LINCS contract period (through September 2017).

Moderators will perform the following tasks:

  • Develop an annual strategic plan that aligns with the overarching LINCS Community strategic plan to outline a vision for each group  that includes a plan for special events and activities and incorporates strategies for increasing the amount and the quality of reflective user engagement;
  • Observe user behavior and trends to inform strategic planning and moderation of day-to-day activities;
  • Create original posts and discussions with the purpose of igniting conversation, sharing information, and responding to community members;
  • Welcome new members and encourage introductions;
  • Bring awareness about LINCS resources and professional development offerings to members;
  • Generate “buzz” about upcoming activities and discussions;
  • Create relevant and timely topical events that are strategically aligned with events in the field and the release of resources that leverage content experts to include vetted LINCS trainers, reviewers, experts that have been identified within the group’s membership, and authors/facilitators of high profile resources and events;
  • Increase engagement and interaction through the review and analysis of the following: the LINCS Community analytics provided by the LINCS Team, observed community trends, and best practices in online facilitation to inform moderation strategies;
  • Monitor membership, traffic, and engagement;
  • Encourage participants and community groups to share announcements, news, questions, ideas, recommendations, opinions, and more,  and when activity slows, encourage discussion by “seeding” the forum with a relevant topics and questions;
  • Advise the development team of possible improvements and maintenance to the site;
  • Submit a monthly report that addresses all requested elements;
  • Regularly maintain and check the email account tied to your LINCS account;
  • Attend moderator trainings and touch bases with the LINCS Team, which will be held during normal business hours;
  • Engage in ongoing professional development to grow online facilitation skills (to include new research and articles shared by the LINCS Team);
  • Fully utilize all of the features of the LINCS Community and have a working knowledge of the other LINCS site components;
  • Adhere to and enforce the LINCS Community User Code of Conduct; and
  • Secure consistent and reliable internet and phone access.

Moderators must have previous experience and proven skills in the following areas:

  • Facilitating successful online learning events and/or discussion spaces (e.g., communities, blogs, training, webinars, courses, study circles, professional learning communities) to grow engagement and interaction within groups;
  • Participating in and/or moderating online communities;
  • Establishing positive virtual relationships;
  • Using excellent computer skills and comfort with web applications and social media tools;
  • Using strong written communication skills and an adaptable writing style to suit the needs of various end users; and
  • Working in a team-based atmosphere to collaborate on strategic planning for online communities.

Applications are due by December 31, 2014. To view questions in advance, preview the application.

Online Community Moderator Application

Additional Information:

  • Moderators will be required to participate in a formal orientation and training as part of their job, scheduled to begin approximately three weeks prior to the position start date.
  • Moderators can set their own daily schedule for accomplishing the tasks laid out, but they must check their groups regularly.

LINCS Community Management Structure

The LINCS Community is organized into 16 topical groups. The table below shows the existing groups and number of members.

Group Membership*
Adult English Language Learners 1683
Assessment 914
Career Pathways 1571
College & Career Standards 1304
Correctional Education 571
Disabilities in Adult Education 929
Diversity & Literacy 1003
Evidence-based Professional Development 1377
Financial Literacy 670
Health Literacy 1011
Math & Numeracy 1065
Postsecondary Completion 712
Program Management 920
Reading & Writing 1428
Science 591
Technology & Learning 1574

*Confirmed members as of November 24, 2014

LINCS Community Group Descriptions

Group Name Description
Adult English Language Learners A community of practice for educators to discuss issues relevant to providing research- and evidence-based educational services to adult English language learners; share information and resources that can be used to inform practitioners about these issues and improve practice; and enrich and improve public policies related to adult English language learners. Topics may include: Instructional practice, Program design, Research, and Policy.
Assessment A community of practice for adult educators to discuss research and evidence-based practices, instructional strategies, and issues related to assessment; provide information and resources that can be used to develop, expand, and inform the adult literacy field on assessment techniques and issues; and enrich and improve public policies related to assessment by providing an open forum for the exchange of relevant policy ideas. Topics may include: Identifying and incorporating formative assessment activities in the classroom; Connecting classroom formative assessment with the real-world needs of students; Developing ways to include formative assessment results for reporting and accountability purposes; and Using assessments such as BEST, CASAS, TABE, Accuplacer, and high school equivalency exams, including the GED® and HiSET.
Career Pathways A community of practice for practitioners, employers, researchers and policy-makers from the adult education, postsecondary education and workforce development fields to explore instructional and programmatic best practices, policies, and issues in providing career pathways services. Topics may include: Contextual instruction, Work readiness skills, Dual and concurrent enrollment, Integrated education and training, Program design, Academic and career counseling, Flexible wrap-around services, Stackable industry-recognized credentials, Staff development, Assessment, Evaluation, and Strategic partnerships.
College and Career Standards A community of practice for adult education practitioners, community colleges, career and technical training organizations, business and industry, and others to explore policies, practices, and issues in using standards to prepare adults for college and careers.  This group shares information, research, expertise, and resources that assist states and programs to identify, develop or update, and implement adult basic education (ABE) standards that help prepare adult learners for success in higher education and training programs. Topics discussed include the critical skills and knowledge that colleges, universities, and employers expect from incoming students and employees.
Correctional Education A community of practice for corrections educators who work in prisons, jails, and juvenile settings to explore issues related to teaching incarcerated adults, including research and evidence-based practices, policies, and related resources. Topics may include: Educational interventions that help incarcerated adults obtain the skills needed to get and keep a job, acquire a high school diploma or its equivalent; and Transition to postsecondary education or training; Evidence-based practices that reduce recidivism, facilitate reentry, and improve public safety.
Disabilities in Adult Education A community of practice for adult education practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and others to discuss the needs and concerns related to serving learners with disabilities in adult education. Topics may include: Causes and consequences of disabilities, including learning and physical disabilities and other impairments; Legal issues related to serving adults with disabilities; Classroom strategies, methods, and materials; Assistive technology; Accommodations; and Standardized testing.
Diversity and Literacy A community of practice for adult literacy education practitioners, advocates, researchers, learners, policy makers, and all other persons who are interested in exploring the linkages between diversity and literacy. Topics may include: Assumptions about race and poverty often made in adult education programs; Connections among literacy, race, poverty and public policy; Dynamics within and among diverse groups and the misunderstandings that can occur in the teaching and learning process; Domestic violence and its intersection with poverty, race, and literacy; Sexual and gender orientation issues and how they impact learners and teachers; Religious differences and adult literacy classrooms; and Disabilities issues in the context of diversity and literacy.
Evidence-based Professional Development A community of practice for adult educators to discuss issues and evidence-based practices related to designing, implementing, and evaluating adult literacy professional development.  As a network of those working or interested in staff development, the group shares fresh ideas and promising practices; provides professional development for professional developers based on needs or interests; and contributes the voice of the field in shaping policy initiatives. Topics may include: Teacher quality and effectiveness; Professional development systems; Approaches and methods; Factors that influence the effectiveness of professional development; and Related policies.
Financial Literacy A community of practice for practitioners, advocates, researchers, learners, policymakers, and others to discuss instructional and programmatic best practices and issues related to teaching financial literacy for adults; share strategies, resources, and information for teaching financial literacy skills as part of a contextualized curriculum; and improve public policies related to financial literacy and adult education. Topics may include: Effective financial literacy skills and practices individuals need in order to make informed and effective financial decisions; Budgeting and planning for financing postsecondary education and training; Instructional strategies; and Financial literacy tools and their use in teaching and staff development.
Health Literacy A community of practice where adult educators, adult education program managers, and health educators discuss the instructional and programmatic best practices and issues related to the incorporation of health literacy into adult education programs. Topics may include: Health literacy instructional materials to incorporate into the classroom; Sharing information about local and national health literacy resources; Helping learners access local and national health literacy resources; The use of health concepts and terminology in science classes; The role of health literacy in preparing students for careers in the health field; and The relevance of health literacy for ABE/GED and career pathways students.
Math and Numeracy A community of practice where practitioners, advocates, researchers, learners, policymakers, and others discuss mathematics and numeracy issues in adult education, including research and evidence-based practices, instructional strategies, and resources. This group promotes the sharing of information, research, expertise, and resources on topics such as: Motivation and math, Math skills for GED completion and transitions to postsecondary and workplace settings; Common math and numeracy instructional issues; Technology in math education; and Math instruction, strategies, and skills necessary for college and career.
Postsecondary Completion A community of practice for practitioners, researchers and policy-makers from the adult education, postsecondary education, and workforce development fields to explore issues related to helping adult education programs embed the skills adult learners need to complete postsecondary education. The group shares information, research, expertise, and resources on topics such as: Curriculum and instruction, College readiness counseling and assessment, Program development, Career awareness, Data collection, and Strategic partnerships.
Program Management A community of practice for administrators of adult basic, adult secondary, and/or adult English language learning programs to explore research and evidence-based practices, policies, and issues in program management and improvement. Topics may include: Promising program practices, models, and policies; and Effective approaches for program improvement, instructional programming, staff development, data-driven decision-making, and program evaluation.
Reading & Writing A community of practice for practitioners, advocates, researchers, learners, policymakers, and others who are interested in discussing reading and writing in the field of adult literacy. This group promotes the sharing of information, research, expertise, and resources on topics such as: Motivation and reading/writing; Diversity and reading/writing; Component skills of reading/writing; and Reading/writing instruction, strategies, and skills necessary for college and career.
Science A community of practice for practitioners, researchers, advocates, and policymakers to explore issues pertaining to teaching science in the field of adult literacy. This group promotes the sharing of information, research, expertise, and resources on topics such as: Science literacy standards; Contextualizing science in the 21st century adult education classroom; and Scientific methods, knowledge, and skills necessary for college and careers.
Technology and Learning A community of practice for practitioners and others to explore issues related to integrating technology and digital literacy into adult literacy curriculum and instruction; share instructional strategies for teaching digital literacy skills as part of a contextualized curriculum; provide information and resources that can be used to inform practitioners about these issues and improve practice; and improve public policies related to digital literacy and the effective use of technologies for learning. Topics may include: Effective technology practices, Technology capacity and infrastructure, 21st century digital literacy skills, Technology tools and how they can be used in our practice, and Uses of technology in adult literacy teaching and staff development.

The management structure shown in the figure below is internal to the LINCS Team. Moderators will provide leadership to their assigned groups. Their main point of contact is the LINCS Group Administrator. They will have access to a pool of experts in their groups’ topic areas to leverage for special guest discussions and group activities.


Graphic shows the management structure of the LINCS Community. Each moderator reports to the Group Administrator, who in turn reports up to the Community of Practice Manager. Both OCTAE and the LINCS Project Director jointly oversee the LINCS team.

To apply, please complete the online application and send additional information as requested to jessie.stadd@kratoslearning.com by December 31, 2014. To view the application questions in advance, preview the application.

Online Community Moderator Application