AFTER: Guidance for Supervisor or Verifier Comments

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Read this if

  • You are acting as supervisor or verifier for someone who is completing their NZCALNE (Voc) qualification.
  • You need to sign off on the final piece of work that one of your tutors is about to hand it before completing the NZCALNE (Voc).

Download the guidance for supervisors or verifiers

This is all contained in one PDF you can download here below. The download shows a copy of the actual template as well.

What does the supervisor or verifier need to do?

If you are the supervisor or verifier for someone completing the NZCALNE (Voc), you need to discuss the review questions with the candidate and record your comments. You can use the template on the following page or adapt to your own purposes as you need.

Collaboration between the candidate and you to review teaching delivery is one of the requirements of the NZCALNE (Voc). It’s also good teaching practice. We can’t sign off on the whole qualification unless we have some evidence of this.

For our purposes, a supervisor may include any of the following:

  • The tutor’s direct manager or programme leader.
  • A colleague that is acting as study support person.
  • Someone in management that has already acted as a supervisor or verifier for another part of this training and qualification.

What’s covered?

To sign off the final assessment task, we need evidence that tutor and supervisor have reviewed the teaching and facilitation in several areas. The best way to think of these is in regards to three reflective questions:

  • What are their strengths?
  • What are some potential improvements for future delivery?
  • How does any of this inform planning for the candidate’s professional development?

This review should be a friendly collaboration and two-way conversation. It could include teaching observation evidence, but it doesn’t have to. It’s not a performance review for internal promotional or salary review.

What do I have to do?

As their supervisor, we expect that you are already aware that the candidate is completing this qualification. You may have already verified your portfolio evidence for other parts of the course.

It’s the candidate’s job to:

  • Make the arrangements to meet with you.
  • Provide any evidence or assessment material you may wish to see in relation to this final assessment task or any part of the programme.
  • Provide you with an electronic copy of the Supervisor or Verifier Comments and Checklist template.
  • Negotiate how and when this template is completed by you.
  • Return the completed template to us as part of their supporting evidence for this final assessment task.

As supervisor or verifier, it’s your job to provide us with:

  • Your contact details including email and phone.
  • Details of when this review took place
  • Brief summary comments relating to the three reflective questions. As a guide, you might write one or two concise paragraphs totalling about 100 words for each of these. We won’t be counting words. Quality here is more important that quantity so feel free to keep it brief.
  • Your signature and date of signing at the end.

Download the guidance here for supervisors and verifiers including notes showing where and what to write for your candidate:


How do I enrol in TEACH BETTER NOW…? How do I enrol in the NZCALNE (Voc)…?

If you are teaching foundation education at any level, you need to be qualified and on a continuing professional development journey.

You need to start this journey through the Teach Better Now programme available on Pathways Awarua.

At the heart of this is the new New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) – the NZCALNE (Voc).

There is a cost for assessment and gaining the credential. But it’s free to register on the website and you’ll have access to all of the course content.

Here’s what you need to do to kickstart your foundation learning professional development journey for this year:


  1. Register on Pathways Awarua if you haven’t already.
  2. Join our virtual classroom.
  3. Enrol in the qualification.
  4. Get started on the coursework and first assessment.

FIRST: Register on Pathways Awarua

1. You need to register on as a tertiary educator. If you are already registered, then go to step 5 below and join our virtual classroom.

2. Enter your details in the form including a username and password.

3. If you start typing the name of your organisation or employer it should appear in the box. Then add a name for your class, accept the terms and conditions and click Register. If you are an independent contractor please use the code 8888.

4. Once registered you should see a screen like this below. Ignore the code on the right. This is for you to use with your own learners later. Right now you just need to click the link on the left for the new NZCALNE (Voc).

SECOND: Move yourself into our virtual classroom

5. Now you should see the main NZCALNE screen below. Next, you need to join our virtual class. Click the head icon to go to your account settings. If you’ve already done this you can go to step 8 and enrol.

6. Enter the join code 1622DD to join our virtual class. Then tick the box to move to this class.

7. Save your settings and return to the main NZCALNE pathway.

Third: Enrol in the NZCALNE (Voc)

8. Now you can enrol in the programme. Make sure that the enrolment module is selected. Then click start. If you’ve already enrolled and you’ve also moved into our virtual classroom, you can go to the last step.

9. Read through the enrolment information.

10. Fill in the enrolment form with as many details as you can. Then save and move to the next screen.

11. If you can’t fill in everything, you’ll see a screen like this below. But you’ll still be able to move forward. Just click the arrow on the right. Or click Retry to add more info.

12. From here, you need to show that you understand some of the conditions of enrolment. And you need to let us know if you have access to learners of your own and whether you’ve done other study at level 4 or above.

13. Nearly done… Add your employer and supervisor’s details.

14. Complete the self-assessment. There are two pages.

15. If you are an experienced TESOL teacher please add details here. Likewise, if you are a very experienced trades or vocational trainer with existing evidence and you want us to consider this please add details here.

16. Add your timeframe

17. Review the summary of your enrolment and save

18. Drag the box ALEC1 Admin to submit for comment

19. You’re done…! Click the link for the new NZCALNE (Voc) to return to the main course pathway.

FOURTH: Get started on the course

20. Get started…!

Has the NCALNE (Voc) expired?

NCALNE Expired

Well, yes it has!

It’s expiring at the moment. It’ll take a few months to breathe its last gasp but it’s been replaced.

  • If you’re still working on the expiring NCALNE (Voc) you need to switch to the newer NZCALNE (Voc).

We can help with that. Call Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2 or email us on

In the meantime…

Out with the old and in with the new. There’s a new suite of very cool unit standards that we’ve integrated into an exciting new programme. The new stuff is lean and mean. And so much better than the old stuff (which was pretty darn good).

The new material will be available on Pathways Awarua shortly. Stay tuned here for when.

If you just can’t want and want to preview what I’ve been drafting, you can follow the links below to the first four collections. Each link will take you to a summary page for what we’re working on.

Let me know what you think. Your comments make this work better. Like our old course, it will continue to be a work in progress.

New content for the new NZCALNE (Voc)

    • Here we cover the New Zealand context for embedding literacy and numeracy including definitions, frameworks, and things that we associate with low levels of adult literacy and numeracy.
    • Here we cover concepts and approaches in adult education including from Te Ao Maori. There’s some good stuff here including short discussions about motivation, learner agency, ako, tuakana-teina and more.
    • This is our revamped introduction to the Learning Progressions and how to use them to map your big picture programme demands as well as the more specific demands of your teaching content.
    • This is new. We look at how to write big picture strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme. And we drill down into how to take a narrow slice of this big picture and write specific learning outcomes for your teaching and assessments.

More to follow soon. And please, if you’re stopping to have a look, please let me know what’s helpful and what’s not.



How do I write a learning outcome?

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For your project work for this course, you need to write at least two learning outcomes. Our suggestion is that you write one for literacy and another for numeracy.

These learning outcomes need to focus on a skill that you want to develop in a specific context.

For example, you might want to focus on developing specialised vocabulary in the context of reading a complicated recipe. If it was numeracy, you might need to look at developing learners understanding of area in the context of a farming or horticulture.

You can make changes as you go along, but the idea is that your learning outcomes should guide what you do over the next three assessments. This includes using diagnostic assessments, planning and teaching and then measuring your learners’ progress.

Writing a learning outcome for embedded literacy or numeracy is easy if you do it our way. Just like with writing your broad strategies, we have a process for you to work through.

If you already know how to write embedded learning outcomes, feel free to skip ahead to the assessment template and get underway.

Otherwise, stay here and we’ll walk you through the process. Following the overview, you can download the worksheets you need and record your ideas for learning outcomes as you work through the rest of this module.

If you want all of the worksheets now, they are also here:

  • Reading – Writing your own learning outcomes
  • Writing – Writing your own learning outcomes
  • Number – Writing your own learning outcomes
  • Measure – Writing your own learning outcomes

1. Think of a specific context where your learners need to apply these skills

If you were about to start a new course with new learners this might be something they need to learn in the first week of training. For example:

  • an introduction to health and safety in the engineering workshop.

Alternatively, you might know that your existing class was about to start a practical project where they had to cut pieces of timber to build a picnic table, the context might look like this:

  • building a picnic table according to a plan.

It’s important to define a very specific context for your learning outcome. The reason is that these outcomes will guide everything we do from here.

When you wrote your big picture strategies you contextualised them to your programme as a whole. This time, when you write your learning outcomes you’re narrowing your focus and contextualising them to some very specific aspects of the content that you teach.

Often, the more specific and narrow you can be about this the better.

2. Target a specific skill that you want them to learn or practice

You should have already identified specific literacy and numeracy skills. These are the progressions and steps from your mapping in the last assessment. And you might have also built these into your strategies in the previous module.

Now, just identify what the skill or knowledge is that you want to focus on.

For example, in a new course students may have to read or view content online that contains a lot of unfamiliar and highly specialised words. The specific skill literacy area that you might want to focus on could be this:

  • Technical vocabulary

Then add your context from the last step, like this:

  • Technical vocabulary in the context of an introduction to health and safety in the engineering workshop.

If it was something else, using a metric tape accurately measure and then cut pieces of timber for a picnic table, you might write something like this:

  • How to use millimeters and metres to measure and cut length

Again, we can add the context from the previous step:

  • How to use millimeters and metres to measure and cut length in the context of building a picnic table according to a plan.

3. Frame the learning

Here we’re talking about what kind of learning you want to see. You can frame the learning in different ways. It depends on the level of your learners and whether you want to make it easier or more challenging.

Here are some words you can use to frame the learning. These words sit on a poutama or staircase. At the lower levels are words that describe learning that is less demanding. As you go up the stairs, the learning gets harder. Each level assumes that they can do the one below.










Choose one of the words and add it to the front of your statement. For example:

  • Understand technical vocabulary in the context of an introduction to health and safety in the engineering workshop.
  • Demonstrate how to use millimeters and metres to measure and cut length in the context of building a picnic table according to a plan.

What we’re suggesting here is a guide. You know your programme and your content. If you can think of ways of tweaking, improving, or simplifying your learning outcomes you should do it. It’s normal to go through several drafts before you come up with something that really works well.

For example, the second example above could be simplified like this:

  • Use millimeters and metres to measure and cut length in the context of building a picnic table according to a plan.

Literacy and numeracy definitions: What’s the difference?


Similarities and differences

We’ve looked a few different meanings for literacy and numeracy. Now we need to look at how these definitions are the same or different. This is so that you can see how they apply to your teaching or to your learners.

Knowing the similarities and differences is going to help you decide what aspects of each you want to absorb into your own approach. That’s one of the things that is going to help you teach better. So while it’s the application that counts, for starters you need to think about some of the differences.

Just like you need to figure out what’s relevant for your context, you need to figure out what you think the similarities and differences are.

Here are some questions to keep in mind as you work through this process.


  • Is the focus just on literacy?
  • People who have good literacy skills behave in certain ways. What does this behaviour look like?


  • Is the focus just on numeracy?
  • People who have good numeracy skills also behave differently to people who don’t. What does this behaviour look like?

Literacy and Numeracy

  • Is there a focus on both literacy and numeracy?
  • We’re most interested in the definition for embedded literacy and numeracy. There are reasons for that. What do you think they are?


  • Is there a more holistic approach? Where does this come from?
  • How can a more holistic definition of literacy, such as from Māori and Pasifika help us in our teaching?


  • Definitions that come from government funding agencies are likely to have economic drivers. This means that under the surface there are likely to be economic incentives behind the drive to encourage and strengthen literacy and numeracy in the population.
  • Let’s assume that this is a good thing. What’s the motivation?


  • Are there social consequences?
  • In other words, if we adopt a particular focus to literacy and numeracy, how can this make our communities better or worse?


  • When leaders talk about literacy and numeracy in a national context – even if they don’t say so – which definition(s) are they likely to be referring to?
  • What kind of political action do you think is associated with this?


  • Does it incorporate English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)?
  • If this is not already relevant for you, how could it be important in the future?

Time to do some work

Let’s pause for a few moments. Here’s your task:

  • Download the PDF worksheet, or use the chart below to make notes on how the six definitions we’ve discussed are similar or different.
  • Make sure you think about the questions above.

This task is not assessed, but it will help you with your assessment.


Teach Better… the NZCALNE (Voc) Qualification


So even as the name of this qualification gets longer, my goal is to make it feel like the whole package just got more straightforward.

With that in mind, I’m looking at a couple of things. Here’s the first. I can’t change the long-winded qualification name, but I can rename and rebrand the course work.

I might change my mind, but for now, I’m calling this course by the following name:

  • You Can Teach Better

I’ll probably just abbreviate this to Teach Better. It’s still a focus on embedding literacy and numeracy. It’s still supportive of the same infrastructure. Still all the same good stuff from ALEC and lots of new content as well.

Try it out:

Have you signed up to Teach Better this year?

You should really register to Teach Better on Pathways Awarua?

Enrol with ALEC to Teach Better in 2017

It’s still the NZCALNE (Voc) which replaces the current NCALNE (Voc) – that replaced the original NCALE (Voc).

I just wanted a better way to talk about it since the trend is towards longer and longer acronyms. IRHA (I Really Hate Acronyms).

This change means three syllables instead of about 18 + syllables. Count them out. You know you want to (I don’t know whether to count the syllables when I say “bracket” or “slash” out loud). Happy to stand corrected…

The other thing is a simplified structure for course delivery and assessment tasks. Here’s the beta version.

  1. Context
  2. Approaches
  3. Demands
  4. Strategies
  5. Before
  6. Teaching
  7. After

I’m not saying there ain’t some complexity wrapped up in there somewhere. But I’m committed to a simplified approach this year for my learners – the tutors.

Let me know what you think. I’ll be posting a breakdown of these seven areas to follow shortly plus new Assessment tasks. After that

I’ll be posting a breakdown of these seven areas to follow shortly plus new Assessment tasks. After that, I’ll be working on all new content.

Feel free to chime in at any time and tell me what I should or shouldn’t be working on. This is a collaborative venture and I’d love you to be involved.


NZCALNE (Voc) Course Approval Granted By NZQA


Good news…! It’s taken longer than we expected, but following the release of the new standards for Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education the other day, NZQA has now granted our course approval.

This means that we can now start on the course development work for the latest update to the most popular qualification for literacy and numeracy professional development.

This will include new content for the online version of our training on Pathways Awarua.

Please note the name change

  • From: National Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) or NCALNE (Voc).
  • To: New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) or NZCALNE (Voc).

Also, the current version of the qualification – the NCALNE (Voc) – is still fit for purpose for the next two years. By this, I mean that it’s still fine for providers to deliver training and assess against the existing qualification and standards for the next two years.

By this, I mean that it’s still fine for providers to deliver training and assess against the existing qualification and standards for the next two years. After this time, the existing qualification (like the version before it), will be deleted, and providers will no longer be able to award it.

If you already hold the existing version of the qualification or an older one, you will still meet the TEC compliance requirements. You won’t need to do it again.

However, we are creating new knowledge in the sector all the time. It’s up to you to stay current with what’s happening in the sector.

The design of our new programme will reflect the latest thinking and research. Even if you’ve already finished the NCALNE (Voc), you may want to have a look at the content modules to make sure that you are current.

As they are now for the NCALNE (Voc), the content modules for the NZCALNE (Voc) will be freely available on Pathways Awarua. TEC funding and the top-up fees for participants won’t kick in until you official enrol and complete the first couple of assessments.

Lots of things are not changing:

  • 40 credits
  • Level 5
  • Required TEC compliance for SAC 1 and 2 as well as WPL and ILN funded training.
  • Online via

There are a few subtle differences, though, and I’ll post a breakdown of how we’re going to structure the new version of the course programme shortly.

If you’re in the middle of the current version of the qualification, your best course of action is to continue with it and complete it before the end of the year.

More to follow soon. Any questions, please let me know in the comments.