From the TEC: How to use the TEC literacy and numeracy assessment tools – Part 2

About the assessment tools

  1. The Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool   

The Assessment Tool provides tertiary educators, institutions and TEC with robust information on learners’ literacy and numeracy levels and evidence of their progress.  The Assessment Tool contains a number of different types of literacy and numeracy assessments as summarised in the following table.

Online Adaptive Snapshot Non-adaptive (including pen and paper)
Numeracy Yes Yes Yes
Reading Yes Yes Yes
Writing No No Yes
Vocabulary Yes No No
Step 2 Threshold (STA) No Yes Yes
Starting Points Available only in Starting Points hard copy assessment resource

Online adaptive assessments

The TEC encourages providers and educators to use the online adaptive assessments for reading and numeracy because the assessments are individualised and the results more robust and reliable.  As these are marked by the computer the administrative demand is reduced.  In 2013 TEC will release specifications for use of online options on a tablet or iPad device in addition to the current online capability.

Snapshot assessments

The Snapshot is a shorter version of the adaptive assessment that is particularly suitable for follow-up or progress assessments.  The Snapshot assessment is available in a paper based option. With the Snapshot assessment there is the ability to nominate a step threshold. This feature enables a specific step to be targeted and to see whether learners are below threshold, above threshold or somewhere in the middle (undecided). Note that learners still receive a scale score and a step level result.

A specific type of snapshot assessment has been identified as suitable for learners with very low reading skills.  This is the Step 2 Threshold Assessment for Reading (referred to as STA reading). The STA reading offers a means of meeting TEC’s data and assessment requirements while, at the same time, addressing feedback from the sector about learners with very low reading skills.

Non-adaptive assessments

The non-adaptive assessments are most appropriate when access to the online assessment tool is limited or highly impractical.

The vocabulary assessments

The vocabulary assessment provides further diagnostic information for learners with very low reading skills.  It provides one way to identify if a learner’s vocabulary is the limiting factor in their reading.


Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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