Empowerment Concepts

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Empowerment Concepts, LLC was created to provide Self-Directed Learning Systems that empower. In self-directed learning, the individual takes the initiative and the responsibility for what occurs by selecting, managing, and assessing their own learning activities. The system provides the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of self-directed learning.

The first of these systems is the Digital Information Driver's License (DIDL) which empowers students with a foundational understanding of the way digital information works. Because students in web-based learning environments are largely dependent on technology as a delivery system, they must be able to traverse the technology before they can begin to learn the specific curriculum through that delivery system.

An Empowerment Self-directed Learning System is uniquely designed with an Empowerment Rationale for Curriculum Design (Hadley 2009). Using this rationale as a basis for designing curricula ensures a focus on mastering critical concepts and developing confidence in the student’s ability to create solutions instead of categorizing a level of performance with a grade.

The Empowerment Rationale assumes that certain skills can be broken down, practiced, mastered, and certified. The design is a mastery design, providing the individual with multiple opportunities to show competency, and utilizes authentic assessment, which reflects learning that can be immediately applied in real situations. It also produces a certification of mastery upon completion.


Nancy J. Hadley has a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.Ed. from Angelo State University and a Ed.D. from the University of North Texas with a specialization in Instructional Technology. After fifteen years of service, she retired from a tenured position in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas where she taught a variety of instructional design and technology courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Dr. Hadley spent fifteen years at the university refining the curriculum for the Digital Information Driver's License, determining which experiences, terminology, and skills should be included in the basic computer skills curriculum. The goal was to define only the essential skills that give control to the user, so that a manageable, but sleek set of skills emerged. In the process, she researched the basis for creating an empowering methodology.

In October of 2007, the DIDL was presented to the E-Learn 2007 – World Conference on E-learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education in Quebec City Canada. The presentation was entitled “Empowerment Model for E-Learning.” In the spring of 2009, the DIDL was published in the Handbook of Research on New Media Literacy at the K-12 Level: Issues and Challenges in a chapter entitled “Empowerment Rationale for New Media Literacy.”

Dr. Hadley served as a computer programmer/analyst, a technology consultant/instructor as well as a secondary mathematics teacher before joining the Angelo State University faculty. Her other research interests include prerequisites for digital learning, empowering curriculum development, and technology integration. Dr. Hadley is also active in writing articles, books, and presenting seminars.