Why should I beta-test the new NZCALNE online with Pathways Awarua and ALEC…?

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What do I get out of it?

Well… it’s a fair question.

Here are some reasons why you might wanna have a look at the new NZCALNE online as a beta-tester. A beta-tester is someone who tries out a brand new product and provides feedback.

  1. One great reason might be that you are actually enrolled anyway and you’re working on one of the first three assessment tasks. We’ll have the rest of the content up and live soon.
  2. Or perhaps you are a manager and you’re looking at professional development options for your staff. Have a look and then get back to us with questions.
  3. Another reason might be because you didn’t like the old NCALNE or Unit Standard 21204 and you want to see if we’ve been able to fix any of the issues. We are locked into the new NZQA unit standards, but we’ve also been able to deal with a lot of what we didn’t like about the old system.
  4. Perhaps you just love either Pathways Awarua or ALEC. Great, we love you too…! Go on… have a play and tell us what you think.
  5. You dislike what others are doing. There is at least one other competitor product to the NZCALNE out there. We’d love to know if ours is better. We think it is.
  6. You want to learn something new. Good for you. This content includes a bunch of new stuff as well as our current thinking on everything else. We’re biased of course, but this is the best work we’ve ever done.
  7. You just love the literacy and numeracy space. Nice one. So do we. It’s great to stay current.

Now get amongst it.

Ring Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2 or email assess@alec.ac.nz for more information


What’s the big picture for embedding literacy and numeracy via the new NZCALNE (Voc)?

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What’s the big picture?

Here’s the big picture for embedding literacy and numeracy and an update on our work at ALEC.

This is the big picture for our revised embedding process and pipeline. And it’s the big picture for the new NZCALNE (Voc) training and qualification that we’re feverishly working on.

New content for Collections 1 to 4 are complete. We’ve also finished the Portfolio+ assessments for 5 to 7. We’re still working on the regular content for Collections 5 to 7.

What does that mean?

That means that you or your tutors should be working on the new version of this qualification now.

If you’re an experienced tutor, that means that we are now set up to work with you using a portfolio approach for the practical work. Get in touch if this is you – assess@alec.ac.nz

It also means that we’ll have this new content live on Pathways Awarua shortly. There’s a short video overview here on my blog in the meantime and all the new content is summarised here with links.

Also, stay tuned for new and revised content for Collections 5 to 7 covering diagnostic assessment, planning, facilitating, and assessing progress.

If you want to print out the new structure, just hit the link below for a PDF version:

How to write your own learning outcomes for embedding measurement

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For Measurement

You can do this yourself or download the worksheet here.


  1. Choose one item below then add your own context.
  2. Write out a final draft of the learning outcome.
  3. If you need to, make any changes to ensure your learning outcome is specific to the measurement skills you want to teach and assess.
Compare and order objects

Use repetition of a single unit to measure length, area, volume and capacity, weight, angle, temperature, time

Use sensible units to measure length, area, volume and capacity, weight, angle, temperature, time

Use common benchmarks to estimate measurements

Carry out simple unit conversions

Calculate the area and perimeter of rectangles, triangles and circles from measurements of length

Convert units within measurement systems

Use appropriate units, tools and formulas to measure the surface areas and volumes of shapes, including cylinders


in the context of…

What are some examples of learning outcomes for literacy and numeracy?

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Here are some more examples of learning outcomes for literacy and numeracy. Feel free to use, adapt or modify these to suit your own purposes. Or if you’re already sorted, skip ahead to the next module.

Don’t forget: You only need two learning outcomes in total for your project work – one for literacy and one for numeracy.


  • Explain technical vocabulary in the context of basic tool identification for carpentry.
  • Discuss academic vocabulary in the context of preparing for an examination
  • Use comprehension strategies in the context of identifying potential consequences of health and safety hazards in a commercial kitchen.
  • Use knowledge of language and text features in the context of recognising specialised text types such as standard operating procedures and instruction manuals.


  • Use spelling strategies in the context of writing everyday, Māori and scientific names for common trees.
  • Explain technical vocabulary in the context of writing a glossary of terms.
  • Use planning and composing tools and strategies in the context of writing a job application letter.
  • Use revising and editing tools and strategies in the context of writing a short report.

Speaking and listening

  • Use listening comprehension strategies in the context of following instructions on how to mix agricultural sprays
  • Discuss technical vocabulary in the context of an introduction to arc welding.
  • Explain specialised language used in the context of a tailgate meeting.
  • Use interactive listening and speaking skills in the context of an employment interview.


  • Use strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems in the context of calculating hours worked in a week.
  • Discuss strategies to solve multiplication and division problems in the context of calculating a 25% discount off a retail price.
  • Use strategies to solve problems involving simple fractions in the context of breaking up a paddock.
  • Demonstrate number facts knowledge in the context of fraction, decimal and percentage conversions used in hairdressing.


  • Use common benchmarks to estimate measurements in the context of working out how long the side of a building is.
  • Use sensible units, tools and formulas to measure the side lengths and areas of rectangles in the context of working out how much compost is needed for a home garden.
  • Use sensible units, tools and formulas to measure the side lengths and areas of triangles and rectangles in the context of working out how the amount of paint needed for a wall.
  • Carry out simple conversions between grams and kilograms in the context of baking a sponge cake.

What are learning outcomes?

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Now we need to shift our gaze from the broad, high-level strategies you’ve been working on for your whole programme. Your broad strategies for embedding are the “big picture”.

Now, imagine you’re switching from wide angle lens to zoom on a camera. Your next three assessments require you to do some assessing and some teaching. To do this well, we need to zoom in much closer.

You’re going to zoom in by developing some very specific learning outcomes to guide your planning, assessing and teaching.

But before we launch into writing learning outcomes, here’s a quick heads up of what’s left to finish your training.

After this assessment, you’ll learn to do the following:

  1. BEFORE you teach: Use diagnostic assessment including the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool
  2. TEACHING: Plan and facilitate the kind of embedded activities that your learners need for your training.
  3. AFTER you teach: Measure learner progress

Each of these stages in the embedding process needs to be highly focused. The way we focus here is through writing very specific learning outcomes.

Each stage, whether it’s a diagnostic assessment, your teaching activities, or some kind of progress assessment is guided by your learning outcomes. These are your road map. They keep you on track and ensure that you focus on the things that you’ve identified as important.

But first:

  • What is a learning outcome?

The term learning outcome is shortened from intended learning outcome. A learning outcome is a short statement that says:

  • What you expect learners to be able to do at the end of the learning.

You already wrote a short statement that summed up your broad strategy for embedding literacy and numeracy. With your strategies, you’re looking at the whole of your programme.

With learning outcomes, you’re looking at teaching and assessing some specific aspect of literacy and numeracy.

Strategies: How do I make my strategies more learner centred?

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To finish off writing your strategies and this assessment, there are some questions that you need to answer. These questions apply to your literacy and numeracy strategies.

As always, you can skip ahead to the assessment template, or download a worksheet if you want to take notes now.

How are you going to address the opportunities or constraints you identified earlier?

Earlier, you identified different opportunities and constraints. Some of these may be outside of what you can influence. While others may be partially or fully within your influence. You need to say how you will deal with these.

For example, you might say something like this:

  • One constraint I mentioned earlier relates to the fact that my learners seem disengaged. I think I can deal with this by including them in some parts of my planning. For example, I think I can negotiate some of the learning goals with them and put this in a learning plan that they agree to.
  • One opportunity relates to how I can contextualise the learning. For example, I have to teach a new module next month on small motors. There will be lots of “hands on” workshop teaching, but my students will have lots of new vocabulary to learn.
  • Another opportunity could be developing a new practical project that we decide together. I can still make sure that we cover the content I need, but we might be able to focus the whole group on a new project so that they feel more ownership over the direction.

How are you going to make your programme more learner centred?

In the first and second assessments, we talked about different approaches, concepts and frameworks that all contribute to a more learner-centred approach to teaching. What are you going to do to make your teaching more learner-centred? We’d like to encourage you to try things that might be new to you.

You need to say how this relates to what you’re planning in your literacy strategy. For example:

  • I think I can make my programme more learner centred by adopting a more holistic approach. I already do this, but I think I can be more explicit when it comes to using a buddy system, or some kind of peer learning with my group. This should also free me up to work with others who really need my help as well. Hopefully, that means me talking less, and, as long as they’re on task, my learners talking more.

How will you encourage learner independence?

Developing independent learners is one of the goals of adult education. It’s part of our learner-centred approach. What are you going to do to encourage your learners to be more independent?

Here’s an example of what you might write:

  • One idea I’ve got for increasing learner independence with regards to these skills is to try and shift my role from being at the front of the room to setting up more group work with fewer interruptions. I need to think about how to structure this properly though as some will still want to work alone as well.
  • Another idea I’d like to implement through the programme is to build in more learner evaluation of what we’re working on. I need to do this at the end of the course anyway, but I might build in some smaller opportunities for them to evaluate some of the new material that I’m working on.

How are your strategies informed by other key frameworks?

In the first part of this course, we looked several key frameworks that should underpin your teaching. You’ve already said in detail now how you will use the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Next, you need to say how each of these other frameworks below will influence or inform your overall teaching approach as you implement your strategies. Skip back to Collection 1 and 2 if you need to refresh your memory.

Māori frameworks and approaches

Is there some aspect of Te Whare Tapawhā that you could implement? For example:

  • I’d like to have a look at my teaching using Te Whare Tapawhā and see where I’ve attended to all four domains and where I haven’t. I feel that we have provided the resources (Taha tinana), but perhaps some students are really lacking a strong belief that they can succeed in our programme (Taha wairua). I can work on building relationships with the group and allowing time at the beginning of this semester for people to feel comfortable to say who they are, where they are from, and where they stand.

Are there one or two particular approaches or concepts from Te Ao Māori that you could implement more explicitly? For example:

  • I’d like to be more explicit about how I use ako and tuakana-teina with my group. I know this happens naturally at times, but I think I can set up the conditions for it in a better way. I’d like to experiment with pairing up learners in different ways to see what works best for this group.

Fonofale Pasifika

Is there some aspect of the Fonofale Pasifika approach that you could implement? For example:

  • I don’t always have Pasifika learners, but I think I can incorporate aspects of the Fonofale approach. I can be more mindful of what my learners’ longer-term goals are. I might need to connect more with family members to learn this. I can make time for my Pasifika (and other learners) to work out how my training can connect with their cultural values and beliefs. On my side, I’ll need to do some learning here to find out more about what their cultural beliefs and values are.

ESOL Starting Points

This one is optional. Not everyone has ESOL learners who need support to learn the basics of how to read and write words. If you are a trades or vocational tutor, feel free to skip ahead if this does not apply to you.

If you teach a workplace literacy course, though, it might be very relevant. For example:

  • I teach refugees and migrants in a workplace literacy course. This means all of my learners are ESOL learners. I haven’t used the Starting Points framework before, but I’ve been working with this content for a long time. My challenge is to have a look at the framework and see how it can add structure to what I already do. Out of the seven knowledge areas, we already have a good focus on listening vocabulary, phonological awareness, and high-interest areas. I have to use the TEC Starting Points assessment now so it would make sense to see how I can apply the framework

What’s your timeline for your strategies?

Your timeline will depend on the length of your programme. Here are some examples. An appropriate timeline might be:

  • One academic year for a 120 Credit, New Zealand Certificate course.
  • One semester for a programme that you teach at a local private training establishment.
  • 10 weeks for a trades-related taster course.
  • 40 hours of small group training in a workplace literacy course.

What’s your approach to evaluation for your strategies?

Success means different things for different people. Also, the timeframe for your strategy is going to have an impact as well. Here are some examples of how you could measure the success of your strategies over the longer term:

  • I intend to look at the gains my learners make using the TEC Assessment Tool – the LNAAT.
  • Another way that I’ll be evaluating this strategy is by observing any changes in learner behaviour in the short term. I’ll be looking for different kinds of literate and numerate behaviour. Specifically, for literacy, I want to see my students using different kinds of reading comprehension strategies successfully and demonstrating that they know and understand how to use much of the new vocabulary that we’ll be covering.
  • I’m also going to add some questions to our end of year evaluation to ask learners if they think they have improved in areas that connect with my strategy. For example, for numeracy, I’ll get them to rate their confidence in using some of the literacy and numeracy skills in practical ways.

Up next: We’ll change gears and shift our focus from big picture strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy at the level of your programme, to learning outcomes.

And it’s the more narrowly focused learning outcomes that will help you embed literacy and numeracy into your teaching sessions.

Strategies: What are some examples of numeracy strategies?

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Here are some more examples of numeracy strategies developed by tutors for embedding numeracy into their programmes.

These are the kind of concise summaries that you’ll also need to write for your assessment.

Don’t forget, for assessment purposes for this course, you only need to write two – one for each of literacy and numeracy.

Below are some examples of numeracy strategies:

  • Teach my learners how to use number to solve problems with a focus on additive strategies and place value in the context of my Introduction to Farming course for highschool students.
  • Teach my learners how to measure with a focus on estimation and using a tape for metric measurement in my New Zealand Certificate in Building and Construction programme.
  • Teach my learners how to measure with a focus on calculating the area of rectangles from measurements of length in the module I’m planning this semester for the course I teach on Level 3 Horticulture and sustainable development.