Teach Better Now – Where’s the new content for Assessment 5 of the NZCALNE on literacy and numeracy diagnostic?


new1

Kia ora ano and welcome to the next exciting instalment

If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’re up to Assessment 5 in the new and improved NZCALNE (Voc). Well done you…!

Like the other content, it will be live on Pathways Awarua as soon as possible. But as always, you can find it on Graeme’s blog in the meantime.

If you do stop by the blog, make sure you leave a comment if you find something helpful. It’s a useful way of letting us know what’s working for you and what’s not. Your comments help us make the content better for everyone.

The new Assessment 5 has the best of what was in the old qualification as well as some new material. The focus is on diagnostic assessment and all the things that should be in place before you deliver your embedded literacy and numeracy teaching.

Here’s an overview of the four sections:

5.1 What are the tools and processes?

5.2 Just do it: Using diagnostic assessment?

5.3 What does it all mean?

5.4 Using learning plans

There’s a lot of content included in this Collection. And if you already know something or you’re already doing something that’s discussed, then feel free to skip ahead to the next relevant section. You can always come back to it later.

Also, we recommend that you download the assessment template early in the process. This is so that you know what the task involves. That way you can start working on the different sections as soon as you are ready.

What’s Assessment 5 all about?

The idea with this Collection and the assessment task is to make sure that you understand what assessment is and how you can use it in the context of adult literacy and numeracy education.

We need to make sure that you understand some of the different kinds of assessment, including diagnostic assessment. And you need to have a go at using some different tools and processes.

Once you’ve tried some of these different kinds of assessments with your learners, you’ll need to tells us what your results mean. And as part of that, we’ll also have a look at learning plans and how to use them for literacy and numeracy learning.

Follow the links below

Like we said before, it’s a good idea to start with the assessment template. You can always come back and dip into these resources as you need to. Email us if you don’t already have the template and checklist.

Otherwise, here’s the new and revised content for Assessment 5.

5.1 What are the tools and processes?

In this module, we look at the kinds of assessment tools and processes appropriate to your learners. This includes a look at different kinds of assessments including diagnostic. We also talk about how to how to create a more positive environment for assessing your learners.

A brief review of Collections 1 to 4 and an overview of Collection 5

What are our tools and processes?

How do I deal with learners’ stress and anxieties about assessment?

5.2 Just do it: Using diagnostic assessment?

This is where the rubber starts to hit the road. We’ll set you up for this, but you’ll need to conduct literacy and numeracy diagnostic assessment of your learners.

We’ll look at a range of different tools you can use and adapt. Chances are you’ll already know some of this. And you won’t need all of the examples. So just pick and choose the parts that are relevant to helping you complete the assessment.

Things you need to know

The Assessment Tool

Self Assessment

Developing your own contextualised literacy diagnostics

Examples of literacy diagnostic assessments

Developing your own contextualised numeracy assessments

Examples of numeracy diagnostics

5.3 What does it all mean?

In this module, we cover what you need to do to make sense of your learners’ literacy and numeracy diagnostic assessment results. This includes mapping your learners and working out any implications for teaching. You’ll also need to review some aspects of how you administered the assessments to your learners.

5.4 Using learning plans

You’ll learn how to write up learning plans showing goals, strengths, and needs.

If you’re stuck, please get in touch with us by email here: assess@alec.ac.nz or by texting or calling Graeme on 021-857-786.

What does a literacy and numeracy-focused learning plan look like?


BEFORE (38)

What does a good learning plan look like?

You’ll need to complete two learning plans for your NZCALNE (Voc). One for each of the two learners that you’re tracking through this project work.

Happily, we have an easy-to-use format for learning plans. And we’ve built this into the template for Assessment 5.

If you’re ready to write up the learning plans you can do this directly in the template for Assessment 5. If you’re not ready, you have a look at the format below. Or 5.4MASTERLearningPlanTemplate.

Individual Learning Plan

Name:

Tutor:  

Class or group:  

Date:

Literacy Focus

What specific literacy goal did you set?

  • The main literacy goal is to …

Which specific literacy progression are you focusing on?

  • We’re targeting the following literacy progression:

How will they know when they’ve achieved the goal?

  • We’ll both know when we’ve achieved this because …

What strategies are you going to use? How are they going to achieve the goal?

  • One strategy that we will use is …
  • Another strategy we might try is …

What’s the timeframe for this?

  • We’re going to try and complete this by …

What changes do they need to make in order to succeed?

  • One change they will need to make is …
  • Another possible change is …

Numeracy Focus

What specific numeracy goal did you set?

  • The main literacy goal is to …

Which specific numeracy progression are you focusing on?

  • We’re targeting the following numeracy progression:

How will they know when they’ve achieved the goal?

  • We’ll both know when we’ve achieved this because …

What strategies are you going to use? How are they going to achieve the goal?

  • One strategy that we will use is …
  • Another strategy we might try is …

What’s the timeframe for this?

  • We’re going to try and complete this by …

What changes do they need to make in order to succeed?

  • One change they will need to make is …
  • Another possible change is …

 

BEFORE: How do you write learning plans with a focus on literacy and numeracy?


BEFORE (37)

Good work… One final short module and we will have covered everything that you need for Collection 5.

The last thing here is how to write learning plans that focus on literacy and numeracy. Specifically, we want you to use the data that you’re getting from your diagnostic assessments and use it in a constructive way.

Here’s what you need to do next:

  • Write up learning plans showing learner goals, strengths, and needs.
  • Discuss these with your learners as appropriate

You may already have learning plans in place for your learners that focus on the unit standards that they need to achieve or other milestones in your programme.

What we’re after now relates to the next steps for your learners in terms of their literacy and numeracy development.

Why do I have to make learning plans for my learners?

We think that it’s important to do something sensible with the rich information that you’re now getting from the diagnostic questions that you ask. One simple action here is to create literacy and numeracy-focused learning plans for your learners.

You may already have learning plans in place for your learners. If that’s the case, you might want to just add the relevant literacy and numeracy step that your learners need to focus on.

Using learning plans are good practice for any kind of teaching. Here are some guidelines for developing learning plans. You should

Do it together

Develop and negotiate them together with your learners if you can. Not all learners will have the capacity to think about their learning. But it’s a goal you should be working towards.

Set specific goals

These goals need to be SMART. This means that the goals need to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic; and have a sensible
  • Timeframe

Be explicit

We need you to be explicit about which particular progression (or progressions) you are focusing on. For example, “We’re targeting the vocabulary and reading comprehension progressions”.

Begin with the end in mind

Your learner needs to know when they’ve achieved the goal. If it’s too broad they’ll never achieve it. Likewise, if they can’t see a clear end or some way of knowing that they’ve achieved the goal they will lose motivation.

Describe the strategies you’ll use

You need strategies in place if you want to see real gains. You’ve had plenty of time to think about how you’re going to work on this. Say what the strategies are that you intend to use.

Set a clear time frame

This is part of SMART goal setting. Your goals should be specific enough that they are achievable within a relatively short timeframe. For example, three months or less.

The more pushed for time you are, the narrower, and more specific you should be about everything.

Identify changes needed

The specific gains that you want are not going to happen in the timeframe you’ve set without effort. Learning can be fun, but it does require effort from your learner. Identify the changes that your learner will need to make if they want to achieve the goal.

If you think back to the idea that our definitions for literacy and numeracy include observable behaviours then you can highlight some of the behaviours that you expect to see.

How do you really start using data from the TEC assessment tool to inform your teaching? Part 1


This is going to be a big deal… We are at the start of a more data-driven approach to education.

The TEC are several years down this track with their Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool. The tool generates massive amounts of data about learners’ literacy and numeracy achievement levels. The TEC already uses this data to make decisions about funding organisations.

The original intent of the tool, however, what that it was to help educators make decisions about how to teach their learners. This is data driven decision making in education which I wrote about here. This is part of a global trend towards data driven decision making in many aspects of business and life.

As computers become more embedded and probably invisible they will count and aggregate more and more different kinds of data. And we’ll have access to some of this in different contexts in our own lives.

So, we shouldn’t be surprised, regardless of whether you think this is for better or worse, to see this happening in education.

So the question is:

How do you really start using data from the TEC assessment tool to inform your teaching?

And here’s how I would do it:

  1. Print out an appropriate Learner Assessment Report. I’m working with a Reading report in my examples below.
  2. Colour code the progressions on the learner report scatter graph.
    AT1
  3. Use the same colours to code the learners incorrect answers in the list of Assessment Questions below the graph.
    AT2
  4. Tick any highlighted items that you think contain similar skills required by your learners or that relate to what you know about the demands of your training or work. Look at the question intent and look for patterns. Don’t be distracted by the text the TEC used. You can expand this coding system to include a question mark (?) or cross (x) if you want.
    AT3
  5. Rank the top three items from 1 – 3. Where you see common patterns running through several items, then rank them with the same number. I think you can be a bit liberal here when it comes to grouping things together and I’ve expanded my screenshot below to show both pages that I marked up.
    AT6
    AT5
  6. Summarise the information in a useful format. Put it in your own words for example. Here’s my summary of my top three priorities above. My learner needs to learn how to:
    1. Priority 1: Find similar sounding information in a paragraph, set of short descriptions, or larger text.
    2. Priority 2: Say which of several situations or scenarios are supported by a text.
    3. Priority 3: Identify the kind of information provided in a text.
  7. Now you can do something with this information.
    1. You can use this information to inform the development of individual or group learning plans; and/or
    2. You can use this information to develop embedded LN learning outcomes that you contextualise for your own content area, e.g. trades or vocational training.
  8. However you use the data, you should have something specific and useful to help you design some focused teaching and learning activities that you can then go and deliver.

Revisiting Literacy and Numeracy Focused Individual learning Plans (ILPs): Part 2 – New Format You can Download


ILP ALEC

I’ve been revising the learning plan template that we use with tutors in our NCALNE (Voc) training…

Due to the process involved in getting our course online via Pathways Awarua, I’ve made changes to the process and the information that we want tutors to collect.

My first attempt at revising this is here along with a bit more brief background information.

Anyway… I’ve updated the format again slightly, this time adding some basic instructions and sentence starters for tutors to either use or ignore.

The screenshot at the top of this post shows page 1 of 3 pages.

You can see the structure below or simply download the template as a word document here: IndividualLearningPlanTemplate3.0

Individual Learning Plan – Tutor Records

  • Name: Learner A
  • Tutor: Graeme Smith
  • Class or group: SMART
  • Date: 11 Aug 2015

Tutor Instructions

  • Discuss each question with your learner as appropriate.
    Record the answers.
    Use the sentence starters, or make up your own.

Literacy Focus

  1. What specific literacy goal did you set for this learner? In other words, what do they want to achieve?
    • The main literacy goal is to
  2. Which specific literacy progression are you targeting. Just focus on one. Delete the others in this list:
    • Vocabulary
    • Language & text
    • Comprehension
    • Listening critically
    • Interactive listening & speaking
    • Using strategies to communicate
    • Decoding
    • Reading critically
    • Purpose & audience
    • Spelling
    • Planning & composing
    • Revising & editing
  3. How will they know when they’ve achieved the goal? What’s the standard, in other words?
    • We’ll know when we’ve achieved this because
  4. What strategies are you going to use? In other words, how are they going to achieve the goal?
    • One strategy that we will use is
    • Another strategy we might try is
  5. What’s the timeframe for this? How will you monitor progress, in other words?
    • We’re going to try and complete this by
  6. What changes do they need to make in order to succeed?
    • One change he/she will need to make is
    • Another possible change is

Numeracy Focus

  1. What specific numeracy goal did you set for this learner? In other words, what do they want to achieve?
    1. The main numeracy goal is to
  2. Which specific numeracy progression are you targeting. Just focus on one. Delete the others in this list.
    • Additive strategies
    • Multiplicative strategies
    • Proportional reasoning
    • Number sequence
    • Place value
    • Number facts
    • Measurement
    • Location
    • Shapes & transformations
    • Preparing data for analysis
    • Analysing data for interpretation
    • Interpreting data
    • Probability
  3. How will they know when they’ve achieved the goal? What’s the standard, in other words?
    • We’ll know when we’ve achieved this because
  4. What strategies are you going to use? In other words, how are they going to achieve the goal?
    • One strategy that we will use is
    • Another strategy we might try is
  5. What’s the timeframe for this? How will you monitor progress, in other words?
    • We’re going to try and complete this by
  6. What changes do they need to make in order to succeed?
    • One change he/she will need to make is
    • Another possible change is

Revisiting Literacy and Numeracy Focused Individual Learning Plans (ILPs): Part 1 – Tweaking the Format


The_Thinker_Musee_Rodin

I’ve been revising my ideas for individual learning plans (ILPs) based on several things:

  1. The work I’ve done recently on the online version of our NCALNE (Voc) in Pathways Awarua which updates older templates that I had created; and
  2. The need to more closely align learning plans with the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy; plus
  3. Some great ideas Damon Whitten has on learning plans which he’s talked about during training, but possibly hasn’t written up anywhere (Damon: If you have, let me know and I’ll link to it. If you haven’t… then you should!).

Here’s what I’m thinking currently for a format:

Individual Learning Plan

  • Name: Firstname Lastname
  • Tutor: Graeme Smith
  • Class or group: SMART
  • Date: 11 Aug 2015

Literacy Focus

  1. What specific literacy goal did you set for this learner? In other words, what do they want to achieve?
  2. Which specific literacy progression are you targeting. Just focus on one.
    • Vocabulary
    • Language & text
    • Comprehension
    • Listening critically
    • Interactive listening & speaking
    • Using strategies to communicate
    • Decoding
    • Reading critically
    • Purpose & audience
    • Spelling
    • Planning & composing
    • Revising & editing
  3. How will they know when they’ve achieved the goal? What’s the standard, in other words?
  4. What strategies are you going to use? In other words, how are they going to achieve the goal?
  5. What’s the timeframe for this? How will you monitor progress, in other words?
  6. What changes do they need to make in order to succeed?

Numeracy Focus

  1. What specific numeracy goal did you set for this learner? In other words, what do they want to achieve?
  2. Which specific literacy progression are you targeting. Just focus on one.
    • Additive strategies
    • Multiplicative strategies
    • Proportional reasoning
    • Number sequence
    • Place value
    • Number facts
    • Measurement
    • Location
    • Shapes & transformations
    • Preparing data for analysis
    • Analysing data for interpretation
    • Interpreting data
    • Probablility
  3. How will they know when they’ve achieved the goal? What’s the standard, in other words?
  4. What strategies are you going to use? In other words, how are they going to achieve the goal?
  5. What’s the timeframe for this? How will you monitor progress, in other words?
  6. What changes do they need to make in order to succeed?

I’ll turn this into a downloadable template as well and post it shortly. If this is useful, let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

What makes a good Learning Plan?


Learning plans are part of best practice teaching and training. Our NCALNE (Voc) candidates need to produce individual learning plans for their learners following the diagnostic assessment that they do in one of our assessment tasks.

MyLearningPlan

It makes sense to use very specific literacy and numeracy-focused information from diagnostic and formative assessment to inform learning plans. Learning plans can work great for groups too.

But all of this begs the question: What are the features of great learning plans? I think there are several features that you should include to make a great learning plan. My context is literacy and numeracy skills development, but these would work in any context. Here they are:

  1. Negotiated: Good learning plans are the result of a negotiation between learner and teacher. This isn’t always possible I realise. Time pressures and other factors sometimes get in the way. But if you can work these out together you get buy in from the learner.
  2. A clear learning goal: In my mind I separate out learning outcomes that I set as the tutor from learning goals that I might negotiate with my learner. The learning outcomes might relate to a particular assessment or standard that I am assessing against. A clear learning goal for a learner (or group of learners) might relate to a much smaller aspect of an assessment or course component however. A learning goal might also relate to something in the learner’s world that doesn’t connect directly with my larger outcomes. However, it could be connected in the learner’s mind. E.g. “Get my driver’s licence” might be critical to the qualification outcome for the learner.
  3. Actionable steps: I think it’s a great idea to take one specific learning goal and break it down into a series of smaller actionable steps.
  4. Timeframe: For each of the action steps I think you need to set a timeframe. These can be long or short-term depending on what you are trying to achieve. The main idea is to give people a sense of progression or movement towards achievement of the goal.
  5. Resources: Some action steps need specific resources. These can include people as well as other resources such as specific training resources, reference materials, or other resources. It’s good to identify these at the point you set the learning goal.
  6. Evaluation: Somewhere in the process you and your learner need to review and evaluate the learning and progress. Having clear milestones and timeframes can help with this.

You know what I’d really like? For the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to enable the Literacy and Numeracy Assessment for Adults Tool (LNAAT) to generate learning plans. That would just make my year.

What else? Anything I’ve missed…? Let me know in the comments.