Cashflow 101 Experiment – Part 2: Developing a vocabulary assessment

vocab profiler Cashflow

Feel free to skip this one… It’s a bit on the technical side. But I wanted to document how I developed a couple of targeted diagnostic assessments. These relate to my Cashflow 101 experiment that I’m running at the moment.

This one relates to the vocabulary used in the game. I’ll do a separate post on the numeracy diagnostic that I created.

Cashflow 101 is a board game that teaches financial literacy. As you play the game you learn how the concepts work. But there is a bit of jargon and technical lingo to learn as well.

You also have to do some maths as you play the game. But that’s for another post. Ultimately, I want to gamify the course and qualification that I teach.

What I wanted to do here was develop a couple of assessments that test what people know before learning the game. These needed to focus on context specific vocabulary and numeracy skills.

Below is my process for developing the diagnostic assessments. These are my pre and post tests for the experiment.

Vocabulary Word Bank

First of all, I needed to come up with a bank of words to work from. I found a PDF version of the instructions online and uploaded this to the online Vocab Profiler.

I’ve written about how I’ve used this tool before. It’s not perfect, but it acts like a kind of filter to help me focus.

Once I submitted the text, the Vocab Profiler sorted the words according to frequency (in other words how often they are used).

I printed out the frequency lists and then made my own selection for the word bank.

You can see my print out and working in the image at the top of this page.

I used the lists to develop a word bank of technical words. Here’s a shot of the first page of the word bank. I’ve added in the definitions.

Screenshot 2015-09-18 21.18.57

The key is as follows:

  • 1K = First thousand words of English
  • 2K = Second thousand words of English
  • AWL = Academic Word List
  • Off list = Words not in the 1K, 2K, or AWL

In terms of the Learning Progressions that we use in New Zealand, most of the vocabulary that’s interesting is probably Step 4, 5, and 6. Mainly step 6 or Off List according to the Vocab Profiler.

From the word bank I developed the vocabulary assessment. Here’s a screenshot of the first page:

Screenshot 2015-09-18 21.24.28

On retrospect I think I was a bit overzealous. There were 38 words in my vocabulary assessment. That’s too many. Feel free to revise it for me.

My preferred format for vocabulary assessments is what I call a partial cloze. I gap out part of the word in a sentence. It’s simple and easy to do.

The person taking the test should be able to get some of the meaning from context. And a bit of a hint from the first few letters.

If they know the word, but can’t spell it they might have a go at writing it. But if they don’t know the word, the context and letters aren’t enough to give the game away.

When I mark it, I mark it once for correct spelling and then a second time for word knowledge (i.e. if it’s clear they know the word but just can’t spell it).

If you’re interested, you can download and use any of the following. Let me know in the comments if you do.

  1. Cashflow Wordbank
  2. Cashflow Vocab Pretest

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:

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.