I’ve been turning this over in my mind for a while… I’m not sure whether there are so many opportunities for this, but having worked in such a narrow area of education since 2007 I feel that I’ve now got a fairly sharp lens through which to analyse certain kinds of training.
This is particularly for programmes that have (or are supposed to have) an embedded literacy and numeracy component. I was lucky enough to experiment with some of these ideas this week with one of my clients.
I think that I’ve got the basics of a framework that I could apply in a whole range of situations and parts of this draw from the specific NCALNE (Voc) work that I’ve been doing over the years (and will continue to do).
There are several dimensions to this framework and they go something like this:
This is the same idea behind the NZQA’s external evaluation and review (EER) approach, but my questions are much more specific to embedded literacy and numeracy. For example:
- Context: How are you contextualising this training to the needs of your learners? And how well are you contextualising it?
- Principles: What is the approach to embedded literacy and numeracy that underpins your design and delivery? What principles of adult teaching and learning underpin your training?
- Process: How are you embedding literacy and numeracy into all aspects of your design and delivery? What about with regards to needs analysis, diagnostic assessment, learning design, materials and resource design, training, assessment, and evaluation?
- Practices: What are the embedded literacy and numeracy practices that your trainers and tutors use and model? How explicit or visible are they? What are the embedded literacy and numeracy practices and observable behaviours that you expect to see in your learners? And what do you actually see and observe?
- Product: How do you measure the success of the final output? For example, when the programme is complete what are the critical success factors that allow you to compare this programme against another? This includes business related factors (e.g. was this repeat business with a previously satisfied customer) or educational factors (e.g. learners scores improved significantly on the assessments.
I think that an organisation could use this framework to benchmark programmes internally. Currently, the tertiary environment doesn’t support or reward organisations for benchmarking externally. However, this kind of framework could be a start, and at least companies could customise the different dimensions to suit their own culture and context.
There’s one other part to this though…
A register of credentialed embedded literacy and numeracy trainers
Here I’m thinking of an external quality mark which has nothing to do with NZQA. I’ve written about this idea before. Basically, my idea would be as follows:
- It’s voluntary.
- It’s free or cheap to join.
- You join as a trainer or tutor.
- You have to meet some minimum criteria including NCALNE (Voc) credentials.
- You have to be actively working to embed literacy and numeracy into some context.
- You could join on a number of different tiers (working towards meeting the criteria, attaining the minimum criteria to register, and then exceeding the criteria because of extra work or study that relates).
- You have to renew your membership yearly.
- Organisations could join too, but only on the basis that they have tutors or trainers who have met the criteria. For example, a company or organisation with a full cohort of staff that meets the ALEC “Good Tutor” profile could then apply to join under this criteria. Or if not a whole organisation, then perhaps a particular department within an organisation.
This would allow tutors and trainers to benchmark themselves against others and some kind of recognised standard. And it would allow organisations to benchmark themselves against others. E.g. Organisation A has 10 tutors who all meet the Good Tutor profile in a particular academic year versus Organisation B who have 5 tutors who are working towards this as a goal.
Having data on which tutors and trainers see themselves as active in the field of embedded literacy and numeracy could also help us drive more effective and ongoing professional development as we’d have a database of engaged users to survey in terms of what they need to stay engaged and keep developing.
Would you join?