This section summarises the functions and use of the Assessment Tool from the perspective of an Educator.
The role of the Educator in the tool is used to refer to any person involved in creating and setting assessments for the Learner with the primary purpose of informing teaching and learning. Depending upon the type of organisation, the Educator may be a tutor, teacher, lecturer, workplace trainer, assessor or manager.
The Educator has an important role to play in the effective use of the Assessment Tool and the information obtained from it. In addition to appropriately creating an assessment, Educators have a role in ensuring that Learners understand why they are completing the assessment and how the assessment information will be used to strengthen their literacy and or numeracy.
To read a more complete version of information relating to Educators, please download the accompanying power point (with notes pages) or view movie clips of the tool further below.
The organisation must first be set up to use the Assessment Tool before an Educator will be able to access the tool. Once the organisation is set up, their Organisation Administrator manages the process of creating Educators within the tool. Educators will need to process an ESAA application to have their identified role for the Assessment Tool added to or created in their ESAA profile. The new ESAA forms can be downloaded here. Completed forms are sent to the Sector Service Desk (details on the ESAA form).
The Educator always logs on via ESAA.
The homepage summarises the assessments that the Educator has created. The assessments are summarised in two lists:
Online assessments (these are marked by the computer)
Ready to mark assessments.
The summary tells how many Learners have completed the assessment out of the total number of Learners assigned to the assessment, the content area of the assessment and the type of assessment. The Educator can link to reports of the assessments from this page.
Creating an assessment
There are three general types of assessment in the tool: reading, numeracy and writing. If you select numeracy you have three options for the content of the assessment: number knowledge, number strategies and measurement or general numeracy.
Although there is not a large amount of flexibility in the assessments generated by the tool, the Educator can make some choices so that the assessment is a better fit to their Learners and to the purpose of the assessment.
Reading and numeracy assessments can be taken online as adaptive, non-adaptive or as printed non-adaptive assessments. The writing assessments can only taken off-line. Examples of printed non-adaptive reading and numeracy assessments are included in the Related Downloads below. Please note that the practice questions in these assessments are "placeholders". The assessments are designed to be printed as A3 booklets.
The Assessment Tool contains a range of question types. The variety of question types is intended to make the assessment more interesting and interactive for Learners.
All questions in the tool have been trialed by a large number of Learners to make sure that they work well, are interesting and relevant to New Zealand adults.
The questions are of two main types: selected response questions and open questions. Approximately 90% of the questions are selected response.
Assigning assessments to Learners
The Organisation’s Administrator has the role of importing or creating Learners in the tool and assigning them to groups.
The Educator can select which Learners within a group or between groups will sit the assessment and can also assign the same assessment to several groups. An assessment can be created for a single Learner, or a new Learner can be added to an assessment that has already been assigned to a group.
If the assessment is online, the Learners are issued with an assessment code that links them to the assessment that they have been set.
The Educator homepage lists the assessments that are ready to be marked by the Educator. All assessments that have been printed for completion (reading, numeracy or writing) need to be marked by the Educator.
All assessments taken online are marked by the computer.
Learner Assessment report
The Learner Assessment report gives an estimate of the Learner’s competence or skill level across the progressions included in the assessment. The estimate is given as a scale score and as a learning progression step.
The Learner Assessment report also contains detail on the performance of the Learner on the questions included in the assessment. Each question in the assessment is recorded as a dot on the graph. The position of the dot indicates the learning progression and step for the question. The dots are coded to indicate whether the Learner answered the questions correctly, incorrectly or did not attempt an answer. The pattern of incorrect and correct responses within each learning progression provides diagnostic information on the relative strengths and weaknesses of Learners. It is important however not to generalise about the knowledge or skills of a Learner from a single question. Examples of Learner Assessment reports for reading and numeracy are included in the Related Downloads below. Please note that these reports are fictitious and intended only to illustrate the features of an assessment report.
The Learner Assessment report helps answer the following questions:
What is this Learner’s overall reading (or writing or numeracy) skill level?
Does the Learner seem to have any unusual strengths or weaknesses?
How does the Learner’s reading (or writing or numeracy) ability compare with the reading (or writing or numeracy) “demand” of the course or workplace?
What is this Learner’s next learning step?
Group Assessment report
The Group Assessment report uses a bar chart to summarise the performance of the Learners that completed the assessment. Listed below the chart are the learners, their scale scores, their estimated progression step, the date completed and a link to their individual assessment reports.
The Group Assessment report allows the Educator to see at a glance the distribution of achievement across the group. It also helps answer the following questions:
How many Learners are going to need further learning to meet the numeracy (or reading or writing) demands of the course/qualification/workplace?
Which Learners are “well-below” the numeracy (or reading or writing) demand?
Are there any “surprising” results for Learners suggesting the need to probe further?
Learner Progress report
The individual progress report displays an individual’s achievement on comparable assessments taken over multiple time points. A table below the graph lists the name of the assessment, the date of the assessment, the scale score and a link to the Learner Assessment report for each assessment.
The Learner Progress Report can help answer the following questions:
Has the Learner reached the numeracy (or reading or writing) level required for the course/qualification/workplace?
Has the Learner made progress in numeracy (or reading or writing)?
Has there been sufficient deliberate numeracy (or reading or writing) teaching between assessments to enable progress?
Group Progress report
The Group Progress reports track the distribution of achievement for a group on comparable assessments over one or more time points. Box and whisker plots are used to show the distribution of achievement. The table below the graph gives the median score for the group.
The Group Progress report helps answer the following questions:
Overall has the group of Learners made progress in numeracy (or writing or reading)?
How effective has the teaching intervention been between time points? Has there been sufficient deliberate teaching to enable progress? Has the intervention been more effective for some Learners than others? Are there key skills or knowledge that need to be taught again?