Winter 2012

Welcome to the twelfth issue of NEDP News, an informational newsletter for NEDP directors, coordinators, assessors, and advisors. (Printable version)

In This Issue

Message from Jim Harrison

CASAS is pleased to announce that the soft launch of the Web-based NEDP is under way and rolling out one competency area at time. Six NEDP providers soft-launched Health Literacy beginning in the fall of 2011, and nine additional sites will launch Civic Literacy and Community Participation in March.

The Web-based NEDP provides an integrated system for completing Task activities, conducting In-Office Checks (Spot Check/Interviews), scoring client responses, and conducting Post-Task Assessment and Portfolio Review. The format has received positive feedback from clients and assessors for its “one-stop” convenience.” As the soft launches roll out, we will continue to work closely with the field and rely on the feedback of dedicated clients and assessors.

The NEDP community continues to grow. Last fall new practitioners were trained in Connecticut and Washington State. The Washington training was the first to use webinar technology to link participants with their trainer on the East Coast.

The CASAS 2012 Summer Institute is June 12–14, 2012, in San Diego. We encourage you to attend. In addition to the NEDP Symposium and dedicated strand of workshops, the Institute offers a valuable opportunity to meet and network with NEDP providers and adult educators from across the country.

Author: Jim Harrison

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NEDP Soft Launch Update

The challenges associated with implementing the new, automated system have been accompanied by excitement – expressed in assessor comments about the quality of the new items and online scoring and by client comments on the usefulness of the items, the up-to-date resource (Appendix) materials, and how much they are learning from the new items.

The purpose of the soft launch approach is to implement the new NEDP gradually while performing needed tests on the new items and the online system in an authentic setting – NEDP sites with NEDP clients. The data generated by each soft launch will enable CASAS to continue refining the system in advance of a full launch of the online NEDP later this year.

The Health Literacy sites have gone through a process that will be repeated for each subsequent soft launch.

  • First, site staff members attend two webinar-style training sessions to learn how to use the online system, including setting up personnel, enrolling clients, administering the online tasks, and scoring client responses.
  • Following the training, they familiarize themselves with the online assessment process and new items by creating “test” clients, going through the items and scoring the results.

Currently sites are enrolling actual clients who are progressing through assessment, post-task assessment, and completion of the soft launch items. (Once admitted to Generalized Assessment, candidates participating in the soft launch complete Task A, then complete the soft launch items, and then progress to Tasks B through E. (Task items covered in the soft launch are omitted from Tasks A through E.)

CASAS offers its thanks to the programs and clients participating in this first soft launch. They are leading the way toward implementation of the Web-based system, and their dedication and feedback will benefit all soft launches that follow.

Feedback from the field is a critical component of this process, and assessors and clients alike are providing valuable information that contributes directly to program development. Participants are encouraged to communicate comments, questions, and suggestions through feedback boxes that accompany each task item as well as by e-mail and phone. CASAS in turn analyzes this data, sorting comments into common categories and assigning each a priority level. Feedback categories include technology issues, task item clarity, scoring criteria, training-related issues, and general comments. Results help guide CASAS as it troubleshoots problems and programs new refinements.

The next competency area slated for soft launch is Civic Literacy and Community Participation. This will be followed by soft launches of Consumer Awareness and Financial Literacy, Twenty-First Century Workplace, Geography and History, Cultural Literacy, and Scientific Inquiry.

Programs will be contacted with training dates, a requested N (number of soft launch participants based on program size), and a multi-month timeline for soft launch completion.

CASAS looks forward to working with each site as we create a program to meet both the current and future needs of NEDP clients.

Author: Melissa Dayton

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Look and Feel of NEDP Online Assessment

Now that NEDP is preparing to go online, NEDP professionals will want a glimpse into the look and feel of the online program. The interactive nature of the program has received many compliments from the field: clients and assessors alike mention the ease of having all of the material in one place and the value of authentic resource (Appendix) materials. Many have commented, “I learned so much!”

A tour of the online system begins with the “home page” that lists the Task items for a given competency area. This home page allows both the client and site administration to navigate easily through the items by clicking an item from this screen.


Once an item is selected, the item-view screen displays tabs for the task overview, one or more Activity tabs, In-Office Check (Spot Check/Interview), and space for client and assessor feedback.

Task item view screen:


The Health Literacy items include many features that incorporate multiple, engaging ways for clients to prepare for the Task and to record their responses. Among them are the use of “drag-and-drop” technology, audio recording of oral responses, and written responses typed into easy-to-use text boxes. Clients praise the variety of modalities for completing the items with comments such as, “I liked it and thought it was faster and much easier than using the booklets” and “This was clear and easy to use.” See the sampling below of these modalities.

Audio recording:


Drag and drop:


Consistent with the current print-based NEDP program, resources necessary to complete a Task (Appendix) are provided for each item. However, they use a variety of media such as audio and video podcasts, links to websites, and informational documents. Clients and assessors have said, “The resources are good, very informational,” and “The resources tied nicely with questions,” as well as “I liked the idea of comparing two diets in conjunction with the literature from the U.S. Department of Health.”

Assessors have responded positivity to the new Scoring Criteria feature. To score Take-Home (current Task Booklets) and In-Office Check activites, assessors access the scoring criteria by clicking a pencil icon, circled in red below. This button activates a pop-up box (as indicated on the right part of the screen) that provides the necessary scoring parameters. Administrators appreciate the ease of having the scoring criteria and guidelines appear side-by-side with the client’s response in a simple uniform format.

Scoring Criteria pop-up box:


CASAS will continue to make enhancements to the program based on feedback from the field and in-house analysis. We look forward to working with more of you as NEDP launches additional competency area items.

Author: Celanire Flagg

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Training Updates

ConnecticutCT Training

Connecticut held a training workshop for 18 new advisor/assessors in August 2011. Connecticut has expanded to add two new sites, one in Manchester and another in New Britain. We wish both new sites much success.

Good luck to all new Connecticut advisor/assessors as you launch your new NEDP sites and offer more clients an opportunity to improve their lives.


This past fall four new advisor/assessors at Literacy Source in Seattle were trained by Pat Katz from New York via a webinar. This is the first time an advisor/assessor training was held using this format. The usual 3 ½ day training was done remotely in nine 2 to 2 ½ hour sessions. Kay Hartley from California joined Pat in a few of the sessions. Pat and Kay were able to role-play assessor/client scenarios that helped the trainees visualize the process.

Pat has incredible knowledge of the NEDP process and did a fantastic job with the new format. CASAS anticipates doing more training in the future using this webinar format.

We were fortunate to have very strong candidates for this training. They came to each session prepared, having done their assigned reading and homework. They also made it a point to be on time each and every day. CASAS wishes them well during their training year working on their first portfolio.

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NEDP Forum

The NEDP Forum, located on the NEDP Professionals Web page, is a quick and easy way to share ideas and comment on important issues related to operations, new developments, and other topics. Please see the guidelines for using the forum listed on the opening page. Participating is easy! You can…

  • Create a new thread
  • Join in a discussion already underway
  • Reply to posts
  • Manage your subscriptions

CASAS welcomes your participation. Please check back regularly!

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2012 CASAS National Summer Institute

Start your planning now and mark your calendars to attend the CASAS National Summer Institute.


June 12-14, 2012
Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
San Diego, California

Online registration is now open. Register early and save!

Similar to years past, the Institute includes a strand specifically designed for NEDP professionals including a symposium on the first day of the Institute. NEDP session topics include information about:

  • Practitioner Tips for Implementing NEDP
  • NEDP Transitions to Postsecondary Education and Careers
  • NEDP Soft Launch – Transitioning From Paper-and-Pencil to Web-Based Delivery: Lessons Learned (panel discussion)
  • NEDP: Plans for Evaluating the Design of the New Web-based NEDP

In addition to NEDP topics, the Institute is a great opportunity to participate in more than 80 workshops, training sessions, and panel discussions focusing on key issues in adult education and training. Don’t miss this opportunity to come to beautiful San Diego and to network with other adult educators.


1-800-255-1036 ext. 131 /

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Contact Us

We are ready to answer your questions and to assist you with your program needs!

NEDP Project Director
Jim Harrison
1-800-255-1036, x191

Performance Assessment Redesign
Melissa Dayton
1-800-255-1036 x 181

General Operations Questions
Christine O’Hara
1-800-255-1036 x135

5151 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 220, San Diego, CA 92123-4339
FAX 858-292-2910

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NEDP News – Previous Issues

The NEDP News is our primary vehicle for keeping NEDP practitioners and other stakeholders abreast of the latest NEDP developments, including the redesign. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues.

You may view previous issues at select NEDP News.

Editor: Christine O’Hara Copy Editor: Nancy Taylor Web Delivery: Andrea Mullenmeister
Contributors: Jim Harrison, Melissa Dayton, Celanire Flagg, and Christine O’Hara, CASAS.

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