Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Edward Kim


Research shows that educators working in General Education Development (GED) preparation classes lack research-based instructional practice. Current research further implies that using research-based instructional practices is beneficial to adult learners. The location of this study was a local public community college and satellite locations in a U.S. state on the East Coast that did not assess whether educators were using the research-based cooperative learning methods in GED prep classes. There was no known information to identify research-based instructional practices in GED prep classes. Therefore, the types of instructions educators used and whether educators were producing successful outcomes were both sought to be researched. This qualitative study explored instructional practices and successful GED outcomes. Johnson, Johnson, and Smith's cooperative learning method served as the conceptual framework for this study. Research questions addressed educators' experiences in facilitating and integrating cooperative learning and their need for supports to improve GED outcomes. Purposeful sampling was used to select 8 educators experienced in GED prep class to participate in interview questionnaires. Five of the 8 participants also completed face-to-face interviews. Data were collected from interviews and documents to determine a plan to construct a research-based tool for educators. Qualitative data were coded manually to extract themes. Findings of the study showed that educators working with adult learners did not report standard use of cooperative learning methods in GED prep classes. A workshop was created in order to help educators redesign instructional practices and provide a research-based tool to enhance adult learners' participation and improve GED outcomes.