Staple - Volume 1 & 2
The Literacy Coordinators of Alberta is proud to have received the Canadian Adult Distance Education, 1998 Award of Excellence in Curriculum and Instructional Design for STAPLE Volume 1. STAPLE is a multimedia CD for literacy practitioners. In the vast field of adult education it is truly an honor to have literacy practitioner training recognized for excellence.
A PRACTITIONER'S VIEWPOINT
BY PHILLIS STEEVES
STAPLE Volume 1:
Supplemental Training for Practitioners in Literacy Education, by Pat Campbell, Ed.D. and Flo Brokop, M.Ed.
The world is full of acronyms; each profession has a list of "must knows" which are used frequently by its members. STAPLE (Supplemental Training for Practitioners in Literacy Education) Volume 1 is definitely a "must know" for literacy practitioners. The training program is a valuable resource for literacy workers, both paid and volunteer.
STAPLE Volume 1 is presented on CD-ROM and consists of five modules. Each module is intended to introduce the user to a number of topics in a specific area of interest for literacy practitioners. Module titles themselves are descriptors of the module's focus: Introduction to Assessment, Reading Assessment, Writing Assessment, Teaching Reading, and Teaching Writing. The accompanying handbook provides the user with a convenient "hard copy" of topics most likely to be frequently referenced.
Each module provides the user with more than enough "whys and "how-to,' information to begin to put into practice the methods presented. Topics are well articulated and presented in a variety of ways. The use of various media throughout the training program is one of STAPLE's most outstanding features. Sound, print styles and presentation, stationary and moving graphics, still photographs - all contribute to create a training program which addresses all learning styles.
The use of multimedia within STAPLE supports its greatest strength - its truly interactive approach. Many opportunities exist throughout the program for interaction. Individual choices will enable the user to participate in or bypass activities such as: coding "miscues" while listening to a student read, categorizing statements by "dragging", or clicking on photographs to hear one or more tutors (your choice) share their perspective on assessment.
Users can move easily among and within the modules, selecting the areas most relevant to a particular student or tutor. Other aspects of the training program worth mentioning include the well ordered, natural sequence of topics and the practical, concise information provided for each. The program also manages to avoid the use of jargon while providing a good introduction to the terminology used in the field of literacy.
While well grounded in theoretical knowledge, the program's focus is on practical applications. This focus reveals the authors' insight into the needs of practitioners in the field of literacy. The program is not intended to be exhaustive but is designed to be used as a supplemental training program. It can be used to complement an existing training program or it can provide a sound basis on which to build.
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