Literacy and numeracy

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Literacy and numeracy 

Some students enter tertiary study without strong reading, writing, speaking, listening and numeracy skills. This can impact on their success studying with us and transitioning smoothly to higher level programmes or employment. Even students who have good literacy and numeracy skills may never have had to read or write the type of texts, or had to do the particular calculations, your course requires.

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Important questions to ask yourself
  • What assumptions do you make about your learners' reading, writing and numeracy skills?
  • How will these skills affect learners' ability to manage the course material and tasks?
  • What can you do to help scaffold learners?

In most certificate programmes, learners come with a wide range of literacy and numeracy skills. There are a variety of approaches you can use to assess or get to know your learners early in the programme, so you know who may need additional support.

  • 1:1 interviews
  • Embedding some contextualised literacy and numeracy tasks and assessments early in the course that allow you to get a snapshot of students' literacy and numeracy skills
  • Using the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (In tertiary education in New Zealand, this is a requirement for students enrolled in programmes with courses at level 1-3)

Getting to know your learners' literacy and numeracy skills is part of a wider process of identifying students' needs and factors for success. An Ako Aotearoa project at Weltec illustrates this. Profiling your student

The main purpose of initial literacy and numeracy assessment should be to support learning

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In Moodle

(1) describe which approaches you use to get a snapshot of your learners' literacy and numeracy skills

(2) Share at least three things you have learned about your students from using these approaches.

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These resources contain some other suggestions for getting to know learners