About course

Summary:

Welcome to Seamless: Soft Skills in the Classroom and Beyond!  In this course, we will establish the case for soft skills and career pathways instruction—why are we making that shift in our classrooms?

Next, We’ll identify and employ elements of contextualized instruction.  Then we will discuss strategies for creating and implementing a soft skills plan if you’re a program manager or a contextualized lesson plan if you’re an instructor.  Finally, we will identify seamless integration of soft skills and academics.

Audience: Classroom Instructors, Program Leaders, and Agency Leaders

 

The course format is asynchronous in nature, meaning you complete the course at your own pace.  A new module unlocks each week for 6 weeks, but only after you have completed the previous module. There is one module for each chapter of the book Seamless, with much of the course content drawing from the book.  You’ll be able to look back at previous modules any time you’d like, and of course you can pause and re-watch any portions of the videos as needed.  The video must be watched in its entirety for the quiz to unlock.  

Each week, you’ll read a chapter of Seamless and then complete a module quiz and extended response. Some weeks, you’ll be uploading an assignment as well.  For instance, participants in the course who are instructors will be completing a contextualized lesson plan using provided tools, while participants who are in leadership will be completing a partnership identification template.  You'll upload your assignment by choosing a file in the module quiz on weeks an assignment is due.  

NOTE: Only one document can be uploaded, so all editable PDFs required have been combined into one file. If a portion of the assignment doesn't apply to you, simply leave the appropriate portion of the file blank and submit.

All materials referenced in this course are in the Course Materials folder.

Note that you also can’t move on until at least an 80% is achieved on the quiz, and also note that your extended response will be reviewed by the facilitator.  A facilitator dashboard keeps us updated on your progress, and if you’re taking the course as part of your agency’s professional development requirements, your agency will be informed of your status on a regular basis.

There are multiple modalities for this course: The module videos, and either PDF, Kindle, print, or audio versions of the book.  You have access to the full PDF of the book with Kindle and print versions available for purchase on Amazon, and the audio files for each chapter are available for download within each module.

If you encounter an issue at any point, contact us to let us know by navigating to the Technical Support tab on the right-hand side of the screen.




Syllabus

As you read Chapter 1 of Seamless, you will discover that our country is in a crisis. In economics, our young workers are leaving our mountain homes and going to the cities to find work. Employers are locating outside of rural areas to find workers. The burden of education and training is shifting to businesses. The skills that once were valuable in the workplace seem to have disappeared, yet are very necessary for employment and successful career paths.

In Chapter 1, you will read about the history of work in America and the contrast of work life the way it was and the way it is now. You will discover shocking statistics showing the need for not only more education and training, but also for “soft skills,” those abilities that make people eminently employable – oral and written communication skills, attention to detail, problem-solving, willingness to take initiative, organizational skills, and the ability to work independently.

But you will learn that there is hope. In the Adult Education sphere, teachers have learned that contextualization can help them to teach students these academic skills in a real-life, work-ready context using authentic materials.

Module 1 Assignments

  • Watch the video for Module 1
  • Read/listen to Chapter 1 of Seamless
  • Complete the Module 1 quiz and extended response


1 Video, 1 Quiz, 1 pdf, 1 Audio

As you read Chapter 2 of Seamless, you will see that recognizing the need for soft skills is one thing; doing something about it is entirely another. In 180 days, the US Departments of Labor, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Education worked together under a mandate from President Obama to develop a plan for addressing the opportunity and skills gap in America. From this combined effort in 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was born.

This chapter lists the Seven Elements of WIOA’s focus on job-driven training. Notice as you read which of those elements you may have noticed or have been involved with in your county. (You’ll see this again in a future Module.) From these elements, we recognize that the crux of the matter for adult educators is to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in BOTH postsecondary education and the workforce. Teachers should emphasize activities completed in the classroom that will increase the students’ abilities to transition to postsecondary education AND to secure employment.

Module 2 Assignments

  • Watch the Module 2 video
  • Read/listen to Chapter 2 of Seamless
  • Complete the Module 2 quiz and extended response
  • Begin thinking about content for your lesson plan or partnerships for your implementation plan


1 Video, 1 Quiz, 1 pdf, 1 Audio

As you read Chapter 3 of Seamless, you will notice that there are a LOT of great suggestions for teaching/getting students to practice each of the 4 Cs – Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Possibly the most important sentence in the whole chapter is this – “In reality, teaching and assessing soft skills is far more about HOW to you teach than it is about WHAT you teach.” The ideas in this chapter will give you many various HOWS – both for what you do yourself and for what you have the students do.  This chapter also introduces career pathways—and the importance of identifying those in high demand in your region.

Module 3 Assignments

  • Watch the Module 3 video
  • Read/listen to Chapter 3 of Seamless
  • Complete the Module 3 quiz and extended response
  • Complete and upload the career pathway template (both instructors and leadership)
  • Begin work on your lesson plan (instructors) or partnership plan (leadership), due after Module 4


1 Video, 1 Quiz, 1 pdf, 1 Audio

Chapter 4 of Seamless is written for those who implement policy or change at a local, state, or national level.  However, if you don’t fit that bill, you are the decision-maker of your classroom at the very least.  Think about who you can pull in to create a holistic approach to teaching soft skills.  Also, begin to have conversations with your supervisor about how you can help (or even lead!) the charge of soft skills implementation.

Module 4 Assignments

  • Watch the Module 4 video
  • Read/listen to Chapter 4 of Seamless
  • Complete the Module 4 quiz and extended response
  • Complete and upload the soft skills implementation plan (instructors and leadership)
  • Complete and upload your lesson plan (instructors only)

NOTE: The fillable PDF for this module contains both the implementation plan and the lesson plan template. Leadership: Leave the lesson plan template blank, and submit the whole file.



1 Video, 1 Quiz, 1 pdf, 1 Audio

Even if you’re not writing standards, the process is the same for establishing an implementation plan, or getting partners on board.  You will still want the same people at the table contributing ideas.  In Module 5, we’ll talk about partner identification for laying out a soft skills plan and ways to identify those soft skills most needed in your community.

Module 5 Assignments

  • Watch the Module 5 video
  • Read/listen to Chapter 5 of Seamless
  • Complete the Module 5 quiz and extended response
  • Complete and upload the partnership plan (leadership only)*.

*NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: If you are an instructor, you have no document to upload this week; however, the system will require an upload in order to submit the quiz.  Please simply re-upload your lesson plan from last module.



1 Video, 1 Quiz, 1 pdf, 1 Audio

As we reach the end of Seamless and its course, we’ll look over some of the appendix resources at your disposal. There are several ways to access the resources included in the course. First, there are several useful things both in the text itself and in the appendix. These resources are rather small in the book, so they are also available in a PDF form in the course materials and on the SCR website scr.consulting. Additionally, the resource packet also has templates in it for the many other tools we’ve worked with in the course, though it’s important to note that the packet is a PDF. If you want the Word file versions, be sure you’ve downloaded them from the course materials folder before exiting the course. You can always email me as well should you want the files later on but failed to save them.

Module 6 Assignments

  • Watch the Module 6 video
  • Read/listen to Chapter 6 of Seamless
  • Complete the Module 6 quiz and extended response
  • Complete the course post-assessment


1 Video, 2 Quiz, 1 pdf, 1 Audio

FAQs

Great question! Susan Roberts of SCR Consulting has trained thousands of adult educators across the country through engaging in-person workshops and seminars on a variety of adult education practices. Using her knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, she utilizes research-based, practical approaches to introducing the same content effectively in an online environment. Rather than simply reading text on a screen, SCR Academy courses utilize module videos with Susan as your guide as you journey through the content. Project-based learning activities bring the concepts into the classroom with guidance from SCR Academy facilitators along the way.
Upon payment—either by your agency’s provided enrollment key or through credit card—you will be enrolled in the course. You’ll start by taking the pre-assessment—an informal quiz to test your knowledge about the course content. Then, the first module will unlock for you to begin work.
A new module will unlock each week, but only if you have completed the module before it. While the courses are self-paced, your agency and SCR Academy may have parameters in place for a completion timeline. Long periods of inactivity may result in your deactivation from the course.
A certificate of completion will generate when you have completed all course requirements. You must download and/or print the certificate as proof of your completion.
Within the course, navigate to the Technical Support tab on the right side of the screen. Otherwise, you can always email Susan: susan@scr.consulting.

Course Tutorial Video