Category Archives: GCTLT/ NCALE

Instruction videos on embedding Literacy & Numeracy

The embedded literacy and numeracy process 

The embedded literacy and numeracy process is designed to facilitate successful learning environments for learners who may otherwise have difficulty with the literacy or numeracy demands of their programme or target vocation. This workshop explored how the embedded literacy process is informed by learners’ results with the Assessment Tool. Through the careful mapping of demands, the Assessment Tool informs educators and learners as to specific areas that require development. This allows educators to scaffold demanding tasks to ensure positive learning experiences for learners and to priorities key areas of literacy or numeracy to develop. Link to video

Developing a teaching and learning sequence

Using Assessment Tool results to guide the development of a teaching and learning sequence Lynette Winter.

Link to video

Analysing  numeracy questions

Analysing the numeracy questions from the Assessment Tool provides rich information for knowing the learner -Lynette Winter. Link to Video

Monitoring progress for reading comprehension

Progress in decoding skills is relatively quick and is easily checked. Reading comprehension skills take longer but progress can be seen through increased engagement with the reading texts and also by learners transferring their reading skills to new texts -Dr Sue Dymock. Link to video

What information is immediately and easily accessible from Assessment Tool reports

The webinar includes a case study using a Youth Guarantees group of learners of what information is immediately and easily accessible from Assessment Tool reports, and what information can be gleaned from ‘digging deeper’. It looks at how the Assessment Tool results compare with a more contextualised formative numeracy assessment given to the same group of learners, and what it might mean for educators. Link to video



My response to a colleague’s blog posting.

These are my thoughts in response to the following blog post ‘starting out’ by Heather

Yes a splendid suite of apps, but what do they have to do with sustainability? I have grappled with this over the weekend and after initially thinking they have frack all to do with saving humanity, I now think that perhaps they do. It is not because they reduce the use of paper, as paper is a renewable resource and computers are not (that’s obvious) but it is because they are part of a “suit of things” we call technology. If you think of sustainability as the prevention of the extinction of the human species, then technology is going to be our only way out. The planet will be here long after we are not (well until the sun becomes a red giant anyway). And when you reaslise that 95% of all species having lived on Earth are already extinct then well perhaps that’s nature’s way too. No, there really is no notion of  “sustainability” on Earth and for humans to continue indefinitely we have to find a new planet and that will be done by the use of technology. So let’s embrace technology and live sustainably for as long as it takes to colonise another planet in the universe so that when the lights go out in our solar system we will be happilly (peacefully and sustainably) inhabiting a different rock in the sky.
If we don’t wake up to the perils of continued economic growth, peak oil and climate change VERY soon however, I don’t think our current rate of technological discovery will save us. Perhaps someone could ask the Arab states to start putting some of their oil money into space travel instead of luxury ocean going “yachts”.

Good video to explain ‘sustainability’

made by incubate pictures. (35 minutes long)

What sustainability means to me…

As a student of zoology I have a bias towards thinking about sustainability in ecological terms. It basically comes down to protecting the biodiversity on this planet. That of course includes all plants and animals as well as humans. It extends to their habitats, food , water and air supplies. I became aware of “climate change’, habitat destruction, and the existence of ‘threatened species’  early in my life and it has always been of concern to me.  It amazes me that these issues are only now becoming of concern to governments when we have been aware of the problems since at least the 1970’s (when I was an impressionable teenager)

It worries me a little that sustainability is now a mainstream word taken over by Governments and is now beginning to mean “how do we sustain our current system of economic growth knowing that we are running out of the resources which allow us to keep growing. Don’t they know Growth is not sustainable?

How can we possibly keep growing when we live on a finite planet? Maybe we will find a new energy source once oil runs out? maybe we will find a new mineral to replace the lithium for our batteries once we have mined all of that, maybe we can Geo-engineer the atmosphere once it gets too hot to support life? Isn’t this futile? Aren’t we missing the point here…The issue is growth!

In our current system – Economic Growth has to continue, if the economy stops growing it shrinks and when the economy shrinks people lose their jobs, businesses go broke, more people lose their jobs, less money circulates, more businesses go broke eventually we all go broke and before you know it the supermarket shelves are empty…


Sustainability to me is now not only about the threatened Cromwell Chafer Beetle in Central Otago but also about  being able to survive once the supermarket shelves are empty. Ask the unemployed in Greece and Italy what sustainability is about, how are those austerity measures for size? Feel Good? How  did they end up this way? – Over consumption! – Consuming more than they could afford, getting into debt. Living beyond their means, putting it on the plastic. Borrowing more money to repay the interest on the debt, then borrowing more money to pay the interest on the interest on the debt..This sort of thing just isn’t sustainable is it? (of course for awhile having a monetary system based on debt made a lot of people rich – the 1% at least) Isn’t it interesting that the 99% are finally starting to say “Hey that’s not fair!”

Check out some of my other ramblings in this blog on the topic of sustainability by clicking on the sustainability tag on the right.

Evaluation Plan for Embedding Literacy and Numeracy Module

The following powerpoint presentation is a plan of how I intend to evaluate the success of the design of the module developed for the GCTLT.


Sustainability revisited

Sustainability of Course

* Can the module be run repeatedly without major alteration (for efficiency), for several years? – probably what do you need to consider for this to happen? This will depend on the results of an evaluation of the pilot and the first iteration after that wont it?  Yes,  some things might change over time as we get more experience with embedding l&n. For instance, we do not know yet whether the Assessment Tool is a good measure of gains in l&n, there may be more reliable ways to measure this.

* Is there going to be enough continuing student demand to cover the costs? – Depends on the costs . Also it depends on the needs of the tertiary sector – how can you ascertain this? needs analysis perhaps which can be part of your evaluation plan, and is best done prior to spending too much time developing the course. The costs involved for developing the course have so far been negligible as the course has partly fallen out of other work I have been doing anyway. PD that was being delivered anyway has been pulled into this more permanent course.
* Will the fees/income cover the costs of operation? – Depends on the numbers of participants. there may be a formula used by Finance regarding the number of paying students you need to break even, and to make a profit. It is worth finding this out so you are making decisions based on accurate estimations, and organisational policy. Heather Day should have this information. My role in the Learning Centre is to support staff with l&n issues in their courses, so once again, some of the costs of delivering this course will come out of “business as usual”.
* Do you know the real costs of operation? – Mainly the facilitators time (quantity still unknown). also overheads for the organisation. one would hope that the more sustainable the operation of delivering the course, the cheaper it is. :) If doing this course leads to better success and retention of students then the course will hopefully pay for itself.
* Is the teacher workload realistic? Does it rely on enthusiasm and commitment? If so, what happens when that runs out or people move on? (There should be a number of qualified literacy and numeracy specialists in the institution to take over the role.) this is where co-teaching is wonderful, because theoretically there is always someone in the know, and will prevent increases in workload having to train new facilitators all the time. It also helps with continuity. Collaboration in the development of resources is also important in keeping workloads manageable, and re-using resources which are already openly available. The use of OER where resources are readily available and able to be customised and adapted easily is more sustainable. You also have the advantage of a national community contributing to the literacy and numeracy initiative. Yes, this is a national initiative so there are external pressures which will support the continuance of this focus on l&n.
* Can the module be taught without the original author? (Probably if there is a good platform for content). Again this depends on the use of an open collaborative process, and co-teaching approaches. You are right if content is well designed for self-directed learning the learners can make use of it without a facilitator. Ideally embedding l&n will become “business as usual” and the concept of embedding l&n into vocational delivery will seem obvious to all.
* It is important to think about continued access to any linked learning resources and whether they are copyright cleared for the period. Is a continuing institutional subscription needed for any linked electronic materials? (Most national content is freely available and should be around for many years). what is the copyright licence on the materials – CC by attribution? This could impact on using it on platforms such as WikiEducator. Also how is the site where the material is housed maintained – governments change, and web sites are dismantled. :( Materials from TEC are copyright to the crown – does this mean they belong to the NZ tax payer? They are readily available and free now, so unless the focus changes (and perhaps in the future the need to address l&n in tertiary education will go) I imagine the resources will still be available.
* How self-contained is your course? Is it connected to other courses that might change? Can you design your course so that it has no dependencies? (Very self contained) Why and how is it self-contained? It does not have any pre-requisite for entry, it does require the participant to have learners.
* Where are the materials and supporting notes going to be stored? (Wikieducator, Moodle, national education websites) are these reliable sites, i.e., well-maintained by reputable organisations, well-funded etc? It might pay to back up some resources to DVD in case a website disappears.
* What arrangements do you have for course evaluation, and how does it feed back into the operation? (System of evaluation already in place for institution) you would probably want to add to this now following the presentation about evaluation and the ADDIE model of design. Formative evaluation through the phases of analysis, design and development is critical. I guess you will link to your evaluation plan? The organisation does summative evaluation well, including annual review, but this is like “the ambualnce at the bottom of the cliff” for a new course. Good point,  I will create a separate post for evaluation.

* What arrangements do you have for course maintenance and redesign? – (Part of a programme of study) yes this is part of annual review, however maintenance evaluation is not done well by the organisation. When do you expect to review the currency of materials and conduct a “proper” maintenance evaluation to ensure quality of the materials and strategies, technologies and learner experience still prevails, that is, they are keeping up with trends in the tertiary sector? I would expect this to be ongoing. Also if one of the main methods of learning is action inquiry then methods will be continually evaluated.

Also think about the workloads for students, and the access to the materials once the learners leave the organisation. It is not a sustainable design if learners have to re-invent the wheel and re-develop materials if they go elsewhere to work and need to use them. That is why having open access to the materials within a collaborative community is so important – this also helps retain currency without too much extra work by individuals. Would you agree? Very much so, which makes me think more about the mix I will use between Moodle and wikieducator, I think I need to put more material into wikied, and less in Moodle.

Learning Outcomes, activities, strategies, content, assessment

Part of the process of developing a new course is to populate a ‘course outline’. Here is a table which contains the requirements for a course outline (Learning outcomes, content and assessment) as well as columns outlining learning activities and teaching strategies.

Learning outcomes Learning activities Teaching strategies Content and assessment
1. Determine the numeracy and literacy demands of learners in the context of the learners’ course of study and workplace. 


Mapping model answers and texts from literacy and numeracy tasks in vocational course. Read “Background to the Adult Learning Progressions” Workshops using the progressions to map tasks, exemplars on Moodle and wikieducator, Elluminate sessions and recordings of how to map. Using the Adult Learning Progressions to map the literacy and numeracy demands of a course.
2. Use a key assessment tool and develop strategies to assess a learner’s literacy and numeracy skills in relation to the Learning Progressions Create literacy and numeracy assessments using the ALNAT. Interpret reports. Use another assessment method for some students to confirm results. Workshops/tutorials on using and interpreting the ALNAT and other assessment methods (backed up with voice over PPT and Elluminate). Assess the literacy and numeracy skills of a learner using the ALNAT. Use a diagnostic questionnaire or other L&N contextualised diagnostic for selected students based on reports from the ALNAT.
3. Demonstrate the use of appropriate methods for assessing literacy progress within a programme Use the ALNAT to reassess students to measure progress. Use other L&N tools to assess progress (e.g investigations, formative tasks, ILP’s) ILP exemplars and other L&N assessment tools on Moodle, Discussion forums. F2F mentoring, group sessions, team teaching and collaboration with L&N specialists. Using a variety of assessment tools to measure progress. Use of the ALNAT to show gains for TEC monitoring and funding purposes.
4. Plan and deliver activities that will enhance literacy and/or numeracy skill development. 


Writing and delivering session plans to include DATs for L&N. Evaluating sessions. Team teaching, observations, Methods and strategies (teaching suggestions) in Moodle. These may be PDFs, movies, wikis, websites, lesson plans, exe packages etc. 

Demonstrations of DATs offered in lunchtimes. Joint planning sessions with L&N specialist. Mentoring, sharing teaching methods, resources, materials, ideas

Developing teaching methods and strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy skill development into course content and delivery 

Writing session plans to include embedded literacy and numeracy. Monitoring student progress in gains in literacy and numeracy and managing individual learning plans.

5. Reflect on the effectiveness of planning and delivering embedded literacy and numeracy skill development within a vocational course. Written evaluation of each session after delivered. Some may choose to use action research methods. Writing frames for reflective practice. Collaboration with staff developers and L&N specialists using Ako principles of tuakana/teina 

Resources available on Moodle to support the Action Research process.

Critiquing own teaching practice and looking for additional opportunities to embed literacy and numeracy skill development. Written reflection of process of embedding L&N.

This is the above table as a PDF:  CCEL table