Just do it: Diagnostic Assessment
From here, our focus shifts from things you need to know to things you need to do. In other words, you’re going to start working with your learners on the next parts of this course.
This includes diagnostic assessment for this section of the course, teaching in the next, and then assessing progress in the last part.
If you’re already working with learners, then no problem. If anything, this part of the course might get easier. It certainly gets more practical as we seek to apply the things we’ve been discussing and get down to the business of embedding literacy and numeracy into your actual teaching.
Who are my learners?
For some people, this is an easy question to answer. For others, it’s a bit more complicated. If you only teach one thing, then your learners are the ones that you work with all the time. If you teach several classes, then you’ll need to make some decisions about which learners to choose. And if you do training or teaching inside a workplace, then your learners might be your co-workers or other employees of the business.
Let’s look at some different scenarios. These are just examples, but see if you find yourself in one of these:
- Full-time trades training. You teach a trades course in your subject or field at a local institute of technology or polytechnic. You’re an expert in your trade and you’ve worked in the industry for a while. You have the same learners four days a week across the whole of the year. Your learners are working towards a 120 credit New Zealand qualification. Some drop off through the year when they get jobs, and sometimes new ones start.
- Part-time trades training. You teach several groups of year 11 and 12 kids from the local high schools. Usually, you have them for one or two days a week. One group you have for the whole year, and others just for a term. Your learners are working on “hands on” projects that will give them unit standards and credits towards NCEA.
- ESOL literacy. You teach an evening course for new migrants and refugees who are working or looking for work. You see your learners once or twice a week and they are all low-level learners struggling with the demands of working or finding employment, but also with more basic survival English needs.
- Youth guarantee. You teach a second-chance education programme for young adults at a local training provider. Your learners are working on NCEA or other courses, but you have flexibility to include some different content. Your learners are enrolled full-time, but you only work with them in the mornings. They have a different tutor in the afternoons.
- Prison learners. You’re a prison tutor working with inmates. Some of your learners will go on to work inside the prison system in various trades programmes or workshops. It’s your job to make sure that they develop the literacy and numeracy skills they need to transition into trades or employment, either in the prison system or on release.
- Workplace literacy. You’re contracted by a business to work with their employees to improve literacy and numeracy. Sometimes it’s hard to retain your learners as they have to arrange time off the factory floor or workshop to attend your class. Management are committed to the training, but you suspect they don’t really understand the true literacy and numeracy needs of your learners.
The contexts are different for all of these scenarios. And yours might be different again. What’s important from here on though is that you figure out who your learners are for our purposes.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The three assessment tasks that you need to complete to finish this qualification require you to work with at least two learners.
This means that you need to track at least two learners through what we call the “project work” for this course. You can track more than two learners, but we need you to work with a minimum of two.