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Introduction to the Professional Development on the National Reporting System

All documents for this training have been archived and are available upon request by sending an email to

icon: pdf Session Overview (archived)
icon: pdf Session Outline (archived)
icon: pdf Before the Workshop Session (archived)
icon: pdf Facilitator's Notes (archived)
icon: pdf Handout Masters (archived)
icon: pdf Transparency Masters (archived)
icon: pdf Faciliatator's Supplements (archived)


This professional development sequence has been developed to serve three distinct audiences:

  1. The most immediate and direct audience is state-level staff (administrators, professional development coordinators, and data managers) responsible for planning and delivering information and procedures related to the NRS.
  2. A secondary audience may be those professional developers selected by state staff to insist in rolling-out training in a given state.
  3. Local-level administrators, professional development coordinators, data facilitators, and instructors will need selected professional development related to their individual roles.

Toward these ends the purpose of this professional development sequence is to emphasize and clarify the following:

  1. Understanding the nature of the NRS, why it exists, and how it operates;
  2. Interpreting and using data at all levels: local, state, and federal;
  3. Collecting valid and useful data using two follow-up measures--local follow up procedures and /or data matching procedures; and
  4. Planning for state-wide professional development on the NRS.

Because the audiences are varied and often assume different roles, this sequence has been designed to be flexible enough for state professional developers to select information and activities related to the needs of those individual audiences. Users are encouraged to adapt and augment activities accordingly.

For example, in large states, especially, state-level professional development coordinators will need to train additional staff to assist them in state-wide dissemination. In this case, the sequence can be used to "Train the Trainers". Several activities in this Facilitator Notes are specifically designed for a "Train the Trainers" approach. At the local agency level, instructors may need professional development only on how to collect and record valid data and how to use the data in improving instruction. The professional development for administration and data facilitators, on the other hand, would need to be more comprehensive.

Technical Assistance

Finally, this professional development sequence is designed as only the first step in implementing the NRS. Additional technical assistance will be provided according to the developing needs of state and local entities.

Key Assumptions about Adult Learning

The NRS professional development sequence has been designed to guide facilitators to model effective adult learning. Based on the literature about adult learning and the experience of skilled adult educators, it is assumed that adults learn best when:

  1. They feel comfortable with the learning environment and attempt tasks that allow them to succeed within the contexts of their limited time and demanding lives.
  2. They have opportunities to engage in social learning, i.e., to learn from peers as well as from an instructor.
  3. They have a variety of learning options appropriate to their learning styles (including sensory modalities, ways of thinking, and both individual and group learning), and have opportunities to analyze and expand their modes of learning.
  4. They are able to associate new learning with previous experiences and to use those experiences while learning.
  5. They have an opportunity to apply theory/information to practical situations related to their own lives.

In accordance with these assumptions, the NRS professional development sequence employs research-based components of effective training and professional development theory, demonstration, practice, structured feedback, and application with follow-up. Key research findings on these components are:

  1. The theory that underlies any new practice is a necessary but insufficient component of training.
  2. Demonstrations that illustrate new practices and reinforce their use are essential to full comprehension and implementation.
  3. Participants need to practice new approaches in a safe environment and receive structured feedback on their attempts.
  4. New approaches need to be applied over time in a real situation--preferably ones where continuing feedback and analysis are possible (e.g., peer coaching or mentoring).

Research indicates that long-term change is likely to occur when all of the above conditions are met.

The National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS) is administered by the Division of Adult Education and Literacy in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.