Teach Better Now – Assessment 6 of the NZCALNE (Voc)

Teach Better Now – Assessment 5 of the NZCALNE (Voc)

Teach Better Now – Assessment 4 of the NZCALNE (Voc)

Teach better now – Where’s the new content for Assessment 7 of the NZCALNE (Voc)?

Kia ora and welcome to Collection 7

If you’re reading this then you are up to Assessment 7 in the new and improved NZCALNE (Voc).

That means you are up to the final assessment task in the programme…! This next part is about assessing learner progress, reviewing your teaching and working out the next steps.

As always, you can find this content on Graeme’s blog first. It will be live on Pathways Awarua shortly.

If you do stop by Graeme’s Blog, please comment. Let us know what’s useful and what’s not. Our model is a dynamic one and we’re always tinkering with programme content and assessment tasks where we can. You can help us continue to improve the experience.

There are four sections in Collection 7:

  • 7.1 Just do it: Progress assessment
  • 7.2 What does it mean?
  • 7.3 Collecting some final information
  • 7.4 Reviewing your teaching and next steps

If you find that you already know what you’re doing for a particular part of this collection, then feel free to skip ahead to the next relevant section.

Or start with the assessment template and dip into this material as you need to. Email us if you don’t already have the template and checklist.

Otherwise, work your way through as usual. Here are the links you need to different parts of this collection.

Follow the links below

Here’s the overview for the final collection.

7.1 Just do it: Progress assessment

7.2 What does it mean?

7.3 Collecting some final information

7.4 Reviewing your teaching and next steps

If you’re stuck, please get in touch with us by email here: assess@alec.ac.nz or by texting or calling Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2.

Literacy & Numeracy Jobs Wanted: Setting Up LN Job Board


Are you looking for staff with literacy and numeracy expertise and credentials?

If you have a literacy and numeracy related job to advertise, I will post it here for free. The same thing applies if you are looking for a contractor or consulting expertise relating to adult literacy and numeracy.

At the moment, I am only interested in jobs offered, not jobs wanted.

This is an experiment… And I’m happy to give it some time and energy thanks to the responses I got the other day (check out the comment section if you’re interested).

For the present time, I’m happy to post any literacy and numeracy related positions, jobs or contract work. I will post positions for literacy and numeracy related work in New Zealand, Australia, for online or remote work, and internationally if I get them.

This includes work where the job is for someone who is a dual professional, e.g. a specialist in some content area other than numeracy and literacy, but who has the skills to embed literacy and numeracy into that content. NCALNE qualified trades trainers and vocational tutors fall into this category.

And of course, I’ll post jobs that are for literacy and numeracy specialists.

Terms and conditions are whatever I feel like at the time and I reserve the right not to publish your company’s job or position if I think it’s dodgy or breaches my sense of ethics or any other rules I make up at any later stage.

Possible ideas for job postings could include any or all of these:

  • Vocational and trade-related training at levels 1 and 2 where literacy and numeracy are embedded.
  • Workplace Literacy (WPL) and numeracy education.
  • Intensive literacy and numeracy (ILN).
  • Adult literacy and numeracy education including professional development and related employment or contract work.
  • Any other foundation learning focused training where literacy and numeracy are required or desired.
  • Any management, support, coordination, or consulting positions where the focus is on supporting tutors or trainers in any of the roles above.

How do I do I get a job posted here?

For the present time, if you want to post a job here you can leave a message in the comment section of this blog post (or any post on my blog), and we’ll work out how to exchange the info.

I’ll probably ask you for the following:

  1. An relevant image that I can upload, e.g. your company logo or branding.
  2. The text for the job advertisement.
  3. An expiry date for the post.
  4. A commitment to answer any questions that people leave on the site regarding the job.
  5. A commitment to come back and comment when or if the position is filled.

I’ll probably just post your text “as is” but I also reserve the right to edit it or make comments as well.

If you think this is useful to someone, particularly someone in management who might not regularly see my blog, please consider sharing this post with them via one of the sharing buttons below. Or just message them with the short link to this page: http://wp.me/p1JmwP-LP

If I get any traction with this I may revisit my idea for some kind of voluntary “opt in” register of LN credentialed professionals who are currently active. Thanks for the support so far.

Are you battling low literacy and numeracy on the front lines of foundation education?


This metaphor always makes me slightly nervous. I don’t like to paint education as a war, with teachers as soldiers.

However, this is what it seems like for many tutors and trainers… an uphill battle against enemies seen and unseen.

Let’s get things clear though. While some days you might feel that your learners are the enemy. They’re not.

The struggle and resistance we often feel is real. But the enemy is something else.

It’s the fight against whatever swampy quagmire of events and forces shaped the sum total of past learning experiences that your learners (and you) drag in the door with them every day.

And you have to connect with them, motivate them, and teach them.

What they want is not to be on your side. What they want is for you to be on their side.

How do you feel about data-driven decision making in education?

data-overload-2Our education system is built around outcomes. This is a good thing. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

You work out what kind of outcome you want to see, hopefully check to see what your learners already know and can do, you might find or develop some resources, then you do some teaching, your learners do some learning and practising, and then you check again to see if what they know and can do lines up with what your intended outcome was.

If it doesn’t line up then you know you need to make some adjustments and you carry on. This is how innovation in business works as well. It’s also roughly how the scientific method works. It’s a kind of hypothesis testing model – to put it in fancy terms. It’s also how research works.

Here’s the next thing: All around us, in all parts of our lives technologies exist that measure and record what we do. Computers love counting stuff and they just keep getting better and better at doing it.

This generates data. Sometimes massive amounts of data.

On it’s own this data is meaningless. And if the data is crappy in the first place then it’s not much use. Garbage in = garbage out. However, if you have good data and you can make sensible statements about what it means (or might mean), then you are better placed to make decisions about current and future actions.

Decisions based on reliable data tend to be better than decisions based on what feels good, what we’ve done in the past, or some idea others have put into our heads.

For example, if you watch sports you will have noticed that massive amounts of sports-related data are now available to commentators, critics, coaches and others. A clever coach can use this data to make strategic decisions about how to train a team.

This is data-driven or data-informed decision making. And this is not to diminish the role of intuition and experience. But having good data should help us make better decisions.

You’ve probably figured out where I’m going with this.

Take a look a what’s happening in education. More and more data is being collected by different organisations and agencies about everything to do with learning and teaching. Some of this data is quantitative like assessment scores. Other data is more qualitative, like from provider evaluation and audits.

For better or worse, the data collection and the data is unlikely to go away. In fact, funding organisations are already using data to make decisions about how they allocate limited resources in education. If anything, this data-influenced decision making is going to get more finely grained as the data collection becomes smarter.

So what are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about?

One way forward is to get ready to feel threatened by the data, to embrace the suck, and to start thinking about how we can use whatever data we already have access to ourselves in order to take some ownership over the process.

As a tutor or trainer, you may not have access to massive databases or be a number crunching ninja, but if you work with foundations-focused learners in NZ you do have access to the following tools for your data-informed decision making toolbox:

  • The TEC’s Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool: This tool is a broad brush diagnostic, but it can give you some finely grained data to use to inform your teaching if you dig into it.
  • Your own contextualised literacy and numeracy diagnostic and other assessments: If you teach in trades or any kind of vocational training area you should also have your own foundations focused diagnostic assessments that attempt to drill down into what your learners know and can do. You can use this data to inform how you are working week to week with your learners.
  • Making your outcomes explicit: It’s hard to measure your own stuff if you haven’t first figured out what it is that you’re trying to do. The more explicit you can be with your outcomes (whether for course content or underpinning literacy and numeracy) the better.
  • Your own ability to map the literacy, numeracy and other demands of your training: The Learning Progressions for adult literacy and numeracy are a free tool for mapping literacy and numeracy demands. It’s easy to get started and it’s built into the professional development work that we do with tutors.
  • Learning plans: Using learning plans with your learners is another way of gathering data over time.
  • Self evaluation data: All NZQA accredited training providers are required to conduct ongoing internal self assessment and internal evaluation, as well as take part in external evaluation. This means, that as a trainer or tutor, you should be looking reflectively and critically at what you do on a regular basis and allowing this thinking process to influence your decisions. Probably you do this anyway, but make sure you are leaving some kind of evidence trail that you and others can go back to.