Online Course - Module #4:  Planning The LBS  Program


About This Course

In order to plan a good program and design a curriculum for learners, LBS instructors must, first of all, understand: what is meant by education that is outcome-based, learner-centred, and goal-directed and what that might look like in their setting; how the principles of outcome-based, goal-directed, and learner-centred training directly affect the instructor’s work in planning the program; how strategic planning can produce a program that will respond to individual needs of learners who are at different literacy levels and have different goals for their training. In addition, practitioners need skills for working with the learners in the initial goal-setting/planning stages of the learner’s training. It includes abilities for: gathering pertinent background information, setting realistic goals, analyzing goal requirements, planning out steps to reach goals, and creating and using demonstrations. It also requires a strategic planning approach for organizing the overall and day-to-day program and for planning out a curriculum for learners and the ability to create transparency between the activities of the day-to-day program and the learners’ individual goals.

The course is organized into four units of study. You will find main course notes, links to additional readings and online resources, and opportunities to pause for self-reflection. Guided reflection through questions and journaling will help you focus on the impact these materials have on your own thinking, and what implications follow for day-to-day practice with learners.

“Literacy practitioners today are required to have two sets of skills: the ability to design and create a literacy program and the ability to teach/deliver training effectively.” 

(Bob Smith, LBS, Sir Sanford Fleming College)

This course, Planning the LBS Program offers training on how to plan and organize the overall and day-to-day Literacy and Basic Skills program in ways that,

  1. meet the needs of individual learners, and
  2. make the most of opportunities afforded by a large group setting.

According to the Adult Literacy Educator Core Skills List, (ALECSL) 2001, skills in program development are considered essential skills for practitioners who work in adult literacy programs in Ontario.

Click on Adult Literacy Educator Core Skills List if you would like to see the complete skills list.


The Evaluation and Assessment section describes one core skill that’s related to program development as:

the ability to use a goal-directed assessment process for initial assessments.

Closely linked to that, is another core skill in the section, General Teaching Methods and Strategies:

the ability to develop curriculum with learning objectives and outcomes based on learners’ goals.


The ALECSL goes on to outline how these core skills can be recognized in an instructor’s work: 

1)   “Use a goal-directed assessment process for initial assessments”.

      A qualified instructor demonstrates this skill in the following ways:

  • gathers information on prior learning, education and employment experience.
  • helps learners identify short and long-term goals that are measurable and realistic.
  • identifies communication and numeracy skills and knowledge required for those goals.
  • develops a learning/training plan that outlines the skills and knowledge needed to successfully meet learner goals.


2)   “Develop curriculum with learning objectives and outcomes based on learners’ goals”.

    A qualified instructor demonstrates this skill in the following ways:

  • collaborates with learners in defining objectives, learning activities and training outcomes based on ongoing assessment.
  • incorporates learners’ knowledge and experiences throughout the learning process.
  • develops appropriate curriculum along the continuum of LBS levels one to five.
  • selects for training those skills sets specific to learner goal requirements.

While this additional information is helpful, it also raises other questions.

For example, what, exactly, does a practitioner need to know and be able to do in order to:

  • help learners set realistic goals?
  • determine learning outcomes based on assessment?
  • develop a curriculum and individual training plans based on learners’ individual goals?
  • plan individualized programming for learners in a classroom setting?

The purpose of this course is to answer questions like these.