Mustard Seed Training

Materials for praying with children.

Using Action Research to Improve Industry Certificate Completion in Integrated Education & Training (IE&T) Providers in Washington D.C.

On Wednesday, April 19, I will be presenting this poster at Kent State University’s College of Education, Health & Human Services (EHHS) Graduate Research Gallery. It outlines the proposed professional development support that Mustard Seed Training will be providing in 2023-24 for IE&T providers in Washington D.C. Enjoy!

Presented by Farrell H., Meagen from Kent State University’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction. Faculty mentor: Chia-Ling Kuo, Kent State University, Department of Curriculum & Instruction


IE&T: Integrated Education & Training (IE&T) is a program model for non-traditional adult learners. IE&T providers develop curricula that simultaneously build the technical skills of Career Technical Education (CTE) while also improving basic skills taught in Adult Basic Education (ABE). 

Figure 1: IE&T Model

Career Technical Education (CTE) + Adult Basic Education (ABE) = Integrated Education & Training (IE&T)

ARDLSIA Project: From 2109-2024 the partners are collaborating on a five-year Action Research / Distance Learning project. The project’s goal is to improve outcomes in distance learning (DL) using action research (AR). 2023-24 will focus on incorporating O*NET standards in action (SIA) in lesson plans in order to increase the number of adult learners passing industry certification exams.

Proposed Methods

AR: Action research involves a cycle of planning, acting, observing, and reflecting. Each participating IE&T provider will create and implement an action research plan.

McNiff, J. (2013) Action research: Principles and practice [3rd ed.]. Routledge.

Figure 2: Action Research Cycle

  • Plan
    • Orientation webinars
    • Submit action research plans for review
  • Act
    • Develop lesson plans
    • Facilitate lesson plans for monitoring
  • Observe
    • Monitor & peer review of lesson plans
    • Track data for action research plan
  • Reflect
    • Reflect on results
    • Write & present reports

CoP: Communities of Practice   describe social context in which individuals become practitioners. Meagen Farrell will facilitate online CoPs for four industry clusters of IE&T providers. Participants will share plans, provide peer review, check in on progress, and present results.

Wenger, E. (1999). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Press.

Figure 3: Four Industry Cluster CoPs

  • Business Administration + Info. Tech. (IT) + Entrepreneurship
  • Construction
  • Healthcare + Early Childhood + Law & Security
  • Hospitality

2023-24 Timeline

9/18-9/20Orientation webinars: Action research, distance learning, and O*NET standards
10/6 & 10/20Pre-CoP webinars for each industry
11/10Submit draft ARDLSIA plan
11/20Receive feedback on ARDLSIA plan
11/28Submit updated plan
12/4-12/8Technical assistance on lesson plans
12/8-12/31Design & facilitate lesson plansLesson plan for quarterly monitoring period
1/15Documentation for all lesson plans & classroom observations complete1st & 2nd quarter reports
2/9Receive peer and monitor feedback on lesson plans & classroom observation
2/16 & 2/23Post-CoP webinars for each industry
3/1Submit final lesson plans
2/27-3/1Technical assistance on one-page summaries & poster presentations
3/8Submit one-page summary & poster
3/18Receive feedback on one-page summaries & posters
3/22Celebration eventShare project highlights
April TBDUDC Research WeekPresent posters

O*NET standards: The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) collects data on knowledge, skills, activities, training and wages for hundreds of occupations. The database is provided free at through sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Millions of people each year use O*NET to create job descriptions, design occupational training, analyze occupational trends, or find job openings.


OSSE: 12 IE&T providers in the District of Columbia receive funding through the Office of the State Superintendent’s (OSSE) Department of Adult & Family Education (AFE) led by J. Michelle Johnson. Providers will receive an honorarium from OSSE to defray costs of participating in the research project.

UDC: The University of D.C.’s (UDC) Adult Education program is coordinated by Dr. Heather Bruce. UDC will support the ARDLSIA project by coordinating professional development by Meagen Farrell, World Education, and educational technology vendors. UDC will incorporate ARDLSIA poster presentations in their annual UDC Research Week in April 2024.

Mustard Seed Training: Founder and KSU student Meagen Farrell H. contracts to provide professional development services. In 2023-24, she will support ARDLSIA project implementation through online CoPs for four industry clusters, technical support, and feedback for IE&T providers.

Future Opportunities

Online courses: All OSSE & UDC professional development webinars are recorded and made available online for free. In order to increase future PD usage and structure new provider orientation, recorded webinars may be repurposed into an online course format. This would allow interactive elements for asynchronous users, tracking of participation, and possible scheduled facilitation of cohorts.

Modified CoI survey: The Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey was developed in higher education to measure presence in online courses. The CoI survey could be used to gauge IE&T providers’ presence in online CoPs. The survey has not been validated for use with participants under 11th grade reading level. IE&T providers could provide feedback to pilot a modified CoI survey appropriate for their adult learners.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education model. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), pp. 87-105.

About US

Mustard Seed Training is a team of faith-based artisan creating materials for praying with children. Our ministry is to share the love of God and neighbor.

Our group was founded in 2017 by CGS catechist and woodworker Meagen Farrell. Meagen is also an author, trainer, and PhD student in the fields of adult basic education and educational technology (that’s the “Training” part!).

Thank you for your patience & prayers!

Our goal is to provide you with quality materials and service. Please view our shipping policy and refund policy. We take a scheduled break every year from December 22 (or the last Friday before Christmas) to January 2 (or the first Monday).

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