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Scale scores and Progression steps


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Last updated 09 September 2013 10:08 by NZTecAdmin

This section discusses the relationship between the learners' scale score and the Learning Progression steps and how to interpret the learner's placement on the Assessment Tool scale.

If you haven't already done so from the previous section you can download the sample numeracy report:

Numeracy individual learner report (PDF, 321KB)

Learner placement on the scales

Note in the Learner Assessment Report that along-side the progression step scale (koru), there is an equal interval numerical scale from 0 to 1000. The number of questions the learner gets correct, (their raw score) is weighted against the questions’ difficulty and converted by the Tool to a scale score.

So, as well as the assessment questions being located on the scale, the learner is located on the scale based on the questions answered correctly.

The scale score for this numeracy learner report shown is 478 with a margin of error of 28 points, either side of 478. This means that, based on this ‘sample’ of the learner’s knowledge, we are reasonably confident that the learners ‘true’ level of achievement is between 450 and 506. This achievement level range is displayed as the grey band on the learner report.

Learners are expected to get about 70% of the questions located at their achievement level correct. They are expected to get much less than 70% of the questions located above their achievement level correct, and much more than 70% of the questions located below their level correct.

A detailed explanation of the in placement of the learner in relation to the questions answered is in the pdf

Understanding the Dots

Interpreting learner achievement score

As an educator planning how to address a learner’s literacy and numeracy needs, the most important thing about the scale score is how it aligns with the Adult Learning Progressions. It is the Progression step descriptions that tell us what the learner is likely to be able to do at each step so we can compare their likely capabilities with course and vocational demands.

For details about how the scale scores align with the Progression steps read

Assessment Tool - Boundary Points (PDF, 625KB)

This learner's achievement level range aligns with step 3 of the Numeracy Progressions, indicated by the koru fronds.

Knowing the learner’s achievement level in relation to the Progressions means we have a general idea of their capabilities. By comparing learners’ achievement levels to vocational and course literacy and numeracy demands, you can start to plan embedded teaching strategies to help learners meet the demands.

Planning 'what to do'

  • Are there calculations with decimal numbers in your course? A step 3 learner is likely to struggle to do these with understanding. So perhaps you plan some activities to build learners estimation strategies for multiplying decimals like 1.8 x 2.1. Or perhaps an activity that compares the area of a 2 m x 1 m space with a 2 m x 0.5 m space to develop a sense of what happens when we multiply by decimals less than 1. The desired outcome is that learners can decide whether a calculated answer using decimal numbers looks reasonable.
  • Are there specialised words with more than one syllable in your course? A step 3 learner is going to struggle to read these with understanding. Perhaps you plan a Pair definition activity or get learners to predict and define new words in a text to get them using strategies for building vocabulary.

Use the the Progression Strand Charts and the Learner step and capability profiles to get a general idea about learners’ capabilities at each step

The next section explores how to get more specific information about a particular learner’s reading or numeracy capabilities, from the Assessment Question Details section of the Learner Report.

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Knowing the Demands Knowing the Learner Knowing the What to Do

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