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How to Use the Messaging System

The LiteracyLink e-messaging System performs two primary functions:

  • To enable a teacher and a learner in a LiteracyLink virtual classroom to communicate about LiteracyLink instructional content; and
  • To enable users to easily request and receive technical support and customer service assistance from PBS.

How to read your teacher's e-mails
To use the LiteracyLink Message Center, teachers and learners must both agree to an e-mail user policy.

The first message you will receive is an automated message announcing the name of the teacher that has agreed to be your online teacher. After receiving this, check in your Portfolio frequently to see if your teacher has commented on your work.

To read a message, click on the Message Center in your Home Space. Then click on the blue line under each message title. If a message does not appear, numbers will indicate additional pages. Click on each number to view pages of additional messages.

After you read a message and want to delete it, click on the Delete button. Click on the Refresh button after deleting messages. You can also Save any message you choose. To view Saved messages, click the Saved icon. The Trash icon allows you to view your deleted messages.

Use the LiteracyLink Message Center to request help or support.

From your Home Space, click the Message Center link. Click the Write a Message link, and you'll see one or more address book icons, such as or . The Help/Support icon will address the message to the LiteracyLink online support desk. Click the icon to address your message, then type your message in the box.

The Virtual Classroom icon allows teachers to send messages to learners and the learners can send messages to his/her teacher. Click the icon to address your message, then type your message in the box. If you want to save the message, just check the "copy self" box before you send it.

How to Use the Messaging System
The virtual classroom's e-messaging system allows messages to be exchanged between teachers and learners who have been accepted into a classroom. Teachers can e-mail an individual learner or an entire class. All users can send a message to LiteracyLink's technical support/customer service. Learners cannot communicate with each other.

Reading Messages
When the mailbox graphic and text message "You have new mail" appears, you need to check your mailbox. Click on the mailbox graphic to read your mail. At other times, you'll see "no new messages."

To read a message in your in-box, click on the text link (blue line) of the message. Unless the message is automated (like a teacher receives when a learner asks to join a virtual class) you can Reply. You can also Save, Delete, or Close the message by clicking on the appropriate button or graphic.

Click on the Refresh button after deleting messages. Click on the Saved icon to access your saved messages and the Trash icon to view your deleted messages.

Use the Recheck button to check for new mail.

When a learner opens his or her portfolio to a teacher for review, a message will appear in the teacher's mailbox with the learner's name and request to be added to that virtual class. If the learner is accepted, an acceptance message from the teacher is sent to the learner's mailbox.

Sending Messages
Please note that before you will be allowed to send a message or reply to an incoming message for the first time, you will be prompted to read and agree to a user policy. If you do not agree to the user policy, you cannot send messages.

Teachers can Write a Message to one learner or to everyone in his or her virtual class. To e-mail individual learners, click on the Manage My Virtual Classroom button in your Home Space, access your class roster, and then click on the Happy Face icon next to the learner's name.

Teachers can send messages to the entire class or to individual students. Click on the Manage My Virtual Classroom button in your Home Space, access your class roster, and then click on the box next to the name of each learner you want to send to. To keep a copy of standard messages you want to be able to send again, copy and paste the message into a word-processor document and copy it each time. To keep a record of your communication with learners, copy yourself.

To return to your Home Space use the little house graphic at the top of your screen.

Use the Back and Forward buttons in your Browser to go back and forth between pages. Students MUST use the back button to go back to their portfolio after visiting the Website featured in an Internet activity.

The learner can ONLY communicate with his or her teacher, and LiteracyLink customer service for technical assistance.

To check your message center from your Home Space, click on the little envelope graphic under the title graphic header. If there are no messages, the envelope graphic won't appear.

Portfolio: Reading your teacher's comments about your work

Your online work is stored in your portfolio, where you will see a list of the activities you have completed. From this page, you can access past units or activities; you can see your work and your teacher's responses. This page also displays the date that you saved a particular activity to your portfolio - and the date that your teacher reviewed your work.

To read your teacher's comments from your Home Space, click on the Portfolio button. A summary of all the work you have saved will be listed in your portfolio. A gold star next to an activity means your teacher has reviewed that work. To read the teacher's comments and also the answers you wrote, click on the activity under the Title.

If the teacher has marked your assignment as Attempted, read the comments and do any additional work that is suggested. If your teacher has marked your entry as Completed, no more work is needed. If you want to review the actual activity to see what was asked and what you wrote, click on the activity title.

To make changes to your work, highlight the part of the text you want to change and type your new answer over it, or delete it and write your new answer.

If your teacher had commented on this lesson before and you want to review the comments, click on the History button. Any comments about the Practice Tests and quiz results will be sent to you through the message center. If you have questions about what the teacher has written, use the message center or write a note inside the Activity.


Please fill in your e-mail address (for teachers this step is mandatory), so that we can contact you if necessary. We do not give out or sell e-mail addresses.

We hope you'll also take time to provide some biographical information, which will be helpful for your teacher, if you're a learner, or helpful for your administrator, if you're a teacher. The biographical information you provide may help LiteracyLink receive additional funding. We appreciate your help.

Virtual Classroom

The Online Management System's Virtual Classroom provides an interface for teachers to track enrollment, respond to student portfolio work via e-messaging, and generate reports of learners' progress and demographics. LiteracyLink offers customized training for virtual classroom instructors using the Online Management System.

For Adult education programs: The fee to use the system is $500 per virtual classroom per year; cost-effective state licenses are available. Contact KET at 800-354-9067, or via e-mail to find out more

Virtual Classroom page allows you to see the portfolios of your students.

This page lists all of the students in your Virtual Classroom. To enter your Virtual Classroom, students must choose you as their teacher, and you must approve their request to join your Virtual Classroom. When that happens, they are listed here.

Click a student's name to access his/her portfolio. The date of their last work is shown, along with the date of your most recent feedback. A yellow star indicates that a learner has done more work since your most recent feedback.

How to Open and Close Your Classroom to Learners
The Activate My Virtual Classroom button in your Home Space enables you to open and close your classroom to a new learner's view. You will be asked to choose whether to immediately open your classroom or to keep it closed to enrollment until a later date. In order for your learners to be able to choose you as their teacher, you must have your classroom open for enrollment. Click Activate to open. Click on the Update button.

If you keep your classroom closed, you can open it later using the Activate My Virtual Classroom icon at your Home Space. You can close the classroom at any time and still serve the learners you have already accepted.

Teachers: How to Comment on Your Learners' Online Work
Click the Manage My Virtual Classroom button at your Home Space to see a list of the learners you have accepted into your classroom. When you click on a learner's name, you will be brought to a page that summarizes the learner's saved portfolio work to-date. A star next to a name indicates the learner has entered work, has added to their portfolio, and/or changed an existing entry since you last checked it. Click on the Happy Face icon to see the learners' profile.

To view a learner's portfolio entry, click on that student's name. Then click on the starred Area for WES activities, and under Title for GED Tests, modules and activities. You will see the questions that were to be answered in the activity, read the learner's response, and find a text box to enter your comments. You will also see boxes where you can mark the assignment as Attempted (more work is needed) or Completed (no more work is needed). When you type your comments into the text box, be sure to click the Save button to record your remarks into the portfolio. To see earlier versions of your comments and/or the learner's portfolio entries, click on the History button.

Additional Help for Distance Learners:
If your student needs more instruction than you can provide online, he or she can find a local pre-GED, ESL, or literacy program at America's Literacy Directory ( using his or her zip code.

Virtual Classroom: How to request a teacher if you are part of a continuing virtual classroom.

Please note: The instructions below only apply to learner enrolled in a class or program that has a LiteracyLink Online Management System virtual classroom.

LiteracyLink Online is free to students who are working independently, as well as learners who are enrolled in a class. If you are working independently, click the link for a list of volunteer teachers. Choose a teacher whose classroom is open for enrollment, and the teacher will receive a message from you requesting to be added to his/her class. You'll get a message in return, after the teacher has had a chance to log in and consider your request, accepting you or advising you to request a different teacher.

Follow the directions below to choose your own teacher:

From your personal Home Space, click the Teacher icon

Click in the textbox to get a list of states. Scroll through the list and click on your state. Click on the List Programs button. Find your program name and click the "Choose" dot next to your program. Find your teacher's name and click the "Choose" dot . Click Submit. This sends an e-mail request to the teacher. Check the mailbox in your Home Space daily to see if your teacher responds.

If you are accepted into a virtual classroom by that teacher, your portfolio will be open for review and comment.


If you need general answers about the LiteracyLink website, you’ll probably find them on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you’re new to the Internet and need help getting comfortable with this website, see the Internet Basics page.

If you still have questions or problems to do with this website, you can e-mail your question to

Thank you for using LiteracyLink!