Literacy and Numeracy unit standards – online assessment

ASHS MAY2014 001

NZQA is running a pilot to explore the effectiveness of gathering evidence for standards via an online assessment tool. The standards being piloted are:

  • 26624 Read texts with understanding and
  • 26623 Use number to solve problems.

Pilot (to be held 23 March – 13 April 2017)

Organisations who are registered for the pilot have been asked to confirm their participation to NZQA and nominate an administrator who will be responsible for accessing the NZCER Marking service.

Note: If an organisation already uses this service, they still must confirm with NZQA, in order to gain access to the tool.

By mid-March 2017, in preparation for the pilot, NZQA will send the nominated administrator detailed guides for administrators, assessors, and learners.

Results from the pilot can be used as evidence towards award of credit of the unit standards.

The unit standards are being reviewed and amendments will include a condition to recognise assessment evidence collected online.

Project background

In May 2016, NZQA contracted the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) to support the trial and pilot of online assessment towards unit standards 26623 Use number to solve problems; and 26624 Read texts with understanding.

This will enable learners to undertake online assessment towards these standards; and if successful, gain credits towards the unit standards option for meeting the Literacy and Numeracy requirement of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

In August 2016, NZQA sought expressions of interest from education organisations with Consent to Assess in being involved in a trial and pilot of the online assessment. The online assessment tool was trialled 10 – 24 October 2016.  The trial tested and calibrated items in the tool. The evidence generated from the trial could not be used to award the unit standards.

Results of trial

The trial generated sufficient data to calibrate the tool items.

We can report the following data:

  • Unit standard 26623: 760 learners participated, 70% (533) completed. The average time taken to finish by learners who completed was 33.37 minutes.
  • Unit standard 26624: 522 learners participated, 90% (469) completed. The average time taken to finish by learners who completed was 26.13 minutes.

Overall, the response to the trial from learners, teachers, and tutors was very positive. In addition, the feedback provided helped us to refine the tool and user experience for the pilot in 2017.

Key issues raised and being addressed for the pilot in 2017:

  • technical issues with pop-up boxes and scrolling;
  • usability of the calculator for standard 26623;
  • clarity of the wording of some questions;
  • visibility of progress through the assessment.

Technical requirements

Participating education organisations will need to have a reliable internet connection with the capacity to manage the number of learners taking part.

Device specifications

Learners can sit the online assessment on a range of devices including desktops, laptops, ipad and android devices (but excluding phones). The tool is optimised for a minimum screen size of 8 inches.

Contact information

If you would like more information please email

Page last updated 17 February 2017

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