Credentialing lockdown learning to recognise prior learning

NZQA has developed new Evidence Gathering Templates to support schools to identify and collect evidence from learning and skills gained through student experiences during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. This evidence can be used as assessment evidence for a number of specific unit standards and will support these students to remain engaged in completing a qualification.

Why are we credentialing to recognise learning?

Some students were more affected than others by the disruption from COVID-19. During the disruption to classroom teaching and learning, some students who were not able to remain engaged with schooling because of their circumstances may have developed skills, competencies and knowledge through their experiences outside of school. For example this may include, such activities as paid or unpaid work experience or care responsibilities for family.

There are already existing mechanisms in NCEA to validly assess these, and some schools are already doing this. The additional guidance NZQA has prepared uses existing unit standards and assessment policies, and may be useful for schools that have identified some students who were not able to maintain their engagement with schooling but who have developed relevant skills, competencies and knowledge during the lockdown period.

The assessment of this learning should be targeted to those students who were less able to engage in school-provided learning and underpinned by rigour and evidence. Formal recognition of this learning undertaken during lockdown will support these students’ efforts to attain an NCEA in 2020. It may also provide motivation to re-engage in more formal learning programmes either within or beyond school.

What is credentialing to recognise learning?

Credentialing is collecting evidence to recognise learning. Evidence collected using Evidence Gathering Templates will allow teachers to provide valid, standard-specific, authentic and verifiable evidence of learning and skills acquired from some of the activities students may have engaged with during and after lockdown, such as those referred to in the following standards:

Standards Related skills, competencies and knowledge
  • Understanding employment rights and obligations
  • Understanding health and safety obligations
  • Having the ability to perform the calculations required to operate a supermarket checkout
  • Managing budgets for food and other essentials for a family
  • Identifying and managing stress
  • Planning and engaging with the community, working to timelines
  • Managing a budget and organising community volunteers for different tasks
  • Managing and enhancing one’s own learning

Where students are being assessed for these unit standards, this table shows which employability skills students have likely developed.

How will credentialing work?

Evidence Gathering Templates have been developed for existing unit standards that can be assessed using evidence from work and domestic activities, such as those described above. Most schools already have consent to assess against these standards. Where a school does not hold consent, they should contact their School Relationship Manager.

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