Designing Adult Basic Education and ESL Courses for a Flexible Environment

Session 6: 10:30–12:00 PM, Zoom Room 5


Due to COVID, Elgin Community College’s (ECC) Adult Education department found itself unprepared for the instant switch to online delivery. Instead of opting for a temporary solution, ECC decided to develop courses for flexible delivery so that the courses could be adapted as needed in response to COVID restrictions as well as in a post-COVID environment. The development team used backward design and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to guide the process. The desired outcome was courses that are skills-focused, can be easily adapted for delivery in different modalities, and use adaptable and affordable materials. The development team started with existing course outcomes. A backward design approach allowed the team to incorporate diverse and authentic assessments and encouraged the use of a flipped design approach. Material selection focused on open resources such as Creative Commons. ECC wanted to leverage the flexibility of open resources because they are more dynamic than textbooks and allow for easier adaptation moving forwards. While the courses are currently delivered remotely, they consist of both synchronous and asynchronous components. This flexibility allows the program to adapt to the fluid nature of COVID and makes hybrid delivery (both F2F or online) a possibility in a post-COVID environment. Presenters will discuss the development process and successes and challenges they encountered throughout the development and implementation of the courses.


Heather Martin

Elgin Community College

Marcia Luptak

Elgin Community College

Type of Presentation

Demonstration (90 minute)



Program Strands

  • All

Category Strands

  • Distance Learning
  • Program Administration and Coordination