Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool

Type:
Software tool

Contents

The Assessment Tool and what it does

The Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (Assessment Tool) is an online adaptive tool that provides robust and reliable information on the reading, writing and numeracy skills of adults.

The Assessment Tool informs the development of learning interventions that strengthen literacy and numeracy skills. It also allows learners to track their progress over time and lets educators and organisations report on the progress made by groups or cohorts of learners.

The Assessment Tool provides:

  • reading, writing, vocabulary, listening, speaking and numeracy assessments linked to the learning progressions
  • thousands of assessment questions, using New Zealand adult contexts
  • adaptive online assessments (where the computer alters the difficulty of questions in response to the learner’s answer) and non-adaptive printed assessments
  • reporting for learners, educators, organisations and the TEC
  • a reliable infrastructure built and tested to information technology industry standards.

Assessment Tool usage is a funding condition for tertiary education organisations (TEOs) receiving foundation-level education funding through the TEC.

To find out more about the Assessment Tool, and what your organisation needs to do to use it, see Assessment Tool Support on the literacy and numeracy for adults website.

 

The benefits of Assessment Tool usage

Usng the Assessment Tool is part of good learner literacy and numeracy skill assessment and development practice.

This means that the Assessment Tool’s diagnostic capabilities and data are used to improve educational outcomes for learners. This occurs when educators use the Assessment Tool to inform their teaching, and when TEOs use Assessment Tool data to embed good literacy and numeracy practice throughout their organisation.

You can read more about embedded literacy and numeracy practice on our Adult Literacy and Numeracy web page.

TEC-commissioned research shows that Assessment Tool data is increasingly being used by TEOs to inform teaching and organisational practice. The research also shows that the Tool supports good educational performance when used properly as a diagnostic tool to support teaching, rather than just for funding compliance purposes.

Quantitative modelling of Youth Guarantee data found statistically significant evidence that Assessment Tool use is positively associated with improved successful course completion rates.

For more information, watch or read Dr Ganesh Nana’s presentation at the 2015 National Centre Literacy and Numeracy Symposium.

Guidelines for using the Assessment Tool

Your Confirmation of Investment Plan funding letter sets out where Assessment Tool use is a funding condition. Please also read our guidelines which will help you understand how to use the Assessment Tool appropriately in line with your funding conditions.

Guidelines for using the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (PDF, 414 Kb) - Updated April 2016

Different funds require the Assessment Tool to be used in different ways.

 

Student Achievement Component and Youth Guarantee

The following requirements apply to learners enrolled in level 1 to 3 courses:

  • SAC-funded course(s) that lead to the award of a qualification at level 1 or 2 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (including NCEA) – except for any exempted te reo and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course, and/or
  • all Youth Guarantee funded course(s) that lead to award of a qualification at any level.

Learners must be assessed in at least reading and numeracy using the Assessment Tool:

  • at the start of their enrolment (unless they have been assessed already within 90 days before enrolment and/or have been previously assessed and presented at step 4 for reading and step 5 for numeracy), and again
  • at the end of their enrolment (unless they have been previously assessed and presented at step 4 for reading and step 5 for numeracy).

NOTE: Learners will only need to be re-assessed in the areas where they have not met the threshold. For example, if a learner presents at step 4 in reading and step 3 in numeracy at the start of their enrolment they will only need to be assessed again for numeracy.

As good practice for other SAC and/or Youth Guarantee funded delivery, we expect that TEOs similarly assess:

  • learners enrolled in levels 1 to 3 courses that lead to the award of a qualification at level 3 on the NZQF (including NCEA)
  • any learner, regardless of course or qualification level, where the TEO considers that the learner is likely to have reading and numeracy needs.

This approach will enable you to identify the literacy and numeracy support needs of your learners and implement the necessary support to enhance teaching and learning to meet those needs. 

Industry Training Fund

Industry trainees enrolled in a programme leading to the award of a qualification at levels 1 or 2 must be assessed using the Assessment Tool to identify their:

  • literacy and numeracy needs at the start of their enrolment (unless they have been assessed already within 90 days before enrolment and/or have been previously assessed and presented at step 4 for reading or step 5 for numeracy), and 
  • progress in gaining literacy and/or numeracy skills during or at completion of their enrolment (unless they have been previously assessed and presented at step 4 for reading or step 5 for numeracy).

NOTE: Learners will only need to be re-assessed in the areas where they have not met the threshold. For example, if a learner presents at step 4 in reading and step 3 in numeracy at the start of their enrolment they will only need to be assessed again for numeracy.

Intensive Literacy and Numeracy and Workplace Literacy and Numeracy

Learners enrolled in an Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN) or a Workplace Literacy and Numeracy (WLN) funded programme must be assessed using the Assessment Tool. This must be in at least reading and numeracy at the start of their enrolment and again at the end of their enrolment.

For these two funds, TEOs are expected to assess these learners using the Assessment Tool, unless the learner's ability is too low for them to be able to complete an assessment. In such cases, learners must be assessed using the Step Two Threshold Assessment or the Starting Points options in the Assessment Tool. 

 

Intensive Literacy and Numeracy ESOL

Learners enrolled in an ILN ESOL funded programme must be assessed using the Assessment Tool at the start of their enrolment and again at the end of their enrolment. This could include using the Starting Points options in the Assessment Tool, and/or the Step Two Threshold Assessment.

Starting Points options in the Assessment Tool

The Assessment Tool now has Starting Points options appropriate for learners at or below koru/step one of the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy. These include ESOL learners (particularly those new to New Zealand), and learners who are at the foundation stages of learning to read.

The Starting Points Listening and Starting Points Reading options have been developed to help educators work with these learners. The Starting Points options provide an easy way to assess these learners’ skill levels and are designed to be used in a supported, one-to-one situation, ideally using a tablet.

These options are particularly appropriate for these learners if they are in classes funded through the Intensive Literacy and Numeracy, Intensive Literacy and Numeracy ESOL, Workplace Literacy and Numeracy, Refugee English, Student Achievement Component, or Industry Training funds.

If you have questions about how to use Starting Points, please contact the Assessment Tool helpdesk at assessforadults@nzcer.org.nz or 04 381 4576.

 

Literacy and numeracy alignment chart

There is now an alignment of the Learning Progression Steps with the six NZQF level 1 literacy and numeracy unit standards (26622–26627). These unit standards (three literacy and three numeracy) provide one pathway for learners to meet the 10 credits level 1 literacy and 10 credits level 1 numeracy requirement for NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3. This alignment is illustrated in the Alignment Chart (see Aligning the measures of Adult Literacy and Numeracy below).

Learners, who present at step 4 reading or step 5 numeracy (and are therefore exempt from further assessment in that area), can use the Assessment Tool report as evidence towards achievement of some of the level 1 literacy and numeracy unit standards. See the NZQA website for further information.

 

Methodology for calculating Assessment Tool usage

Information on our methodology for calculating TEO's Assessment Tool usage for the Student Achievement Component, Intensive Literacy and Numeracy, Industry Training Fund, Workplace Literacy and Youth Guarantee funds is available below. The methodology will be used to calculate usage performance until further notice or publication of a new methodology.

 

 

 

  • Last changed: 12 May 2016
  • Last verified: 12 May 2016