Document Repository Creates Community for COABE

Brian Rahill poses with COABE CFO Kathi Medcalf-Flaker from Clover Park Technical College in Washington State and RainStorm programmer Matt James at the 2015 COABE Conference in Denver this past April.

Brian Rahill poses with COABE CFO Kathi Medcalf-Flaker from Clover Park Technical College in Washington State and RainStorm programmer Matt James at the 2015 COABE Conference in Denver this past April.

The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is an international organization helping to advance literacy opportunities for all people, provide leadership in the advancement of adult education, and create professional development opportunities. One part of its mission is to “to advocate the development and dissemination of publications, research, methods, and materials, resources, and programs in adult education and literacy.”

One of the ways COABE chose to fulfill this mission was to create a document repository of free adult educator resources to not only serve its own 15,000 members, but also the adult education community all over the world.

Recognizing that those teaching adult education are always creating new curricula, research papers, drawings, technical publications, and myriad other materials, COABE felt that if those content creators could easily share their hard work it would offer the adult education community a true benefit.

COABE chose to create an online Adult Educator’s Resource Repository which would create a crowdsourced library of  free adult education resources and curricula to be shared and downloaded.  It would give the instructor community the ability to share their work with others and review and rate materials allowing the community to provide feedback and support to content creators.

RainStorm was happy to partner with this organization dedicated to improving adult education, literacy, and workforce readiness. We took COABE’s concept and design and created a robust, custom-developed WordPress-powered website which allows educators to create and share a variety of educational materials in an ever-expanding living library.

“RainStorm is simply the best to work with! They are professional, results driven, and thorough. We have used their services for our new and improved Adult Educator’s Resource Repository, and we couldn’t be happier!” said COABE Manager Sharon Bonney.

Members create an account and upload course materials to the repository. Built on WordPress, the system has a familiar, user-friendly interface and simple navigation. A wide variety of common file types —eBooks, apps, videos, Word docs, text and HTML files, podcasts, presentations, graphics, and PDF files— can be uploaded to the repository.

COABE website on an iPadResources such as lesson plans and notes, assessment tools, videos, presentations and slideshows, training materials for professional development, lectures, and sample materials may be created and uploaded by any registered user.

All materials are free for registered users to download.  Contributions, from the “Rebooting Your Digital Strategy” app to the citizenship class presentation “Immigrants: Who They Are and What They Contribute” to the science book lesson “Smart Science: Cells” to a slideshow on “Conceptual Understanding of the Order of Operations”, empower teachers to teach and learn from and with each other. Users may even sign up to get updates when new materials are added to the repository.

Once documents are uploaded, reviewed, and approved by an administrator, they are made available to other registered users. Users can browse for materials by category, keyword, topic, program level, material type, or author. Items which fit the search are displayed and the user can then read the abstract and download the pieces which meet their needs.

You can learn more about COABE and register to contribute and share free adult education resources by visiting

Crowdsourcing resources helps spread best practices and good ideas.  If your organization could benefit from a resource repository of its own, contact Monique at or Brian at

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