Clarifications that apply to all Literacy and Numeracy unit standards

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How the Literacy and Numeracy unit standards relate to the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions

The Literacy unit standards align to step/koru 4 of the Adult Literacy Learning Progressions, and the Numeracy unit standards align to step/koru 5 of the Adult Numeracy Learning Progressions.  This means that when assessing a learner’s portfolio against the requirements of a Literacy or Numeracy unit standard, it is necessary for the teacher or assessor to ensure the portfolio as a whole reflects (or exceeds) the required step/koru of the relevant learning progression. 

The Adult Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions can be accessed from the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults.

Explanatory note 2: Naturally occurring evidence versus evidence from specifically designed assessment events

It is required that these unit standards are assessed on the basis of evidence that has occurred naturally in real contexts.  Evidence from one-off assessment events that have been designed specifically for the purpose of assessing these unit standards is not acceptable.  Therefore, the activity or event the evidence is gathered from must be part of a larger learning programme/other context, and this programme/context needs to be detailed in the Assessed Work cover sheet before submission for national external moderation.

A distinction can be drawn between the activity that is naturally occurring, and the tool used to gather evidence from that activity for the purpose of assessment against the Literacy or Numeracy unit standard.  For example, to complete a science class activity, learners need to read a text.  In order to collect evidence of that reading to contribute to assessment for standard 26624 Read texts with understanding, it would be acceptable for the teacher to give learners a brief work sheet, which asks learners to jot down how useful they have found the text for enabling them to complete the class activity.

In educational settings, controlled assessment events (such as tests or exams that occur in other courses or as part of a larger literacy or numeracy teaching/learning programme) that learners have undertaken for reasons other than to produce evidence for these standards are also acceptable as evidence for these standards.

Explanatory note 3: Requirement for demonstration of competency over time 

Learners are required to demonstrate competence against the unit standards over a period of time.  This is to ensure learners awarded credit for these unit standards have demonstrated an ongoing literacy and numeracy capability, as opposed to short-term 'cramming'.  Learner evidence used to demonstrate competence against each Literacy or Numeracy unit standard should have been generated over a period of at least one month.  

This minimum time frame was reviewed in January 2012.  It was decided that it is too early to change this as the standards have only been in use for one year.  NZQA will continue to monitor sector feedback, and assessment practice through national external moderation, and will reconsider this requirement as part of the next scheduled review of the standards.

There may be a difference between when evidence was generated by the learner and when it was gathered and assessed for the Literacy/Numeracy unit standard.  Therefore, the date when each learner activity occurred should be recorded either on the Assessed Work cover sheet or on the work itself.

Submissions for moderation

Refer to National external moderation for Literacy and Numeracy unit standards for information.

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