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Assessment Barriers in LLN Testing

Assessment Barriers in LLN Testing image

We all know how important LLN testing is in the VET environment as it is a critical factor in understanding your learner’s needs during the training process. Some learners will have a low score on their ACSF spikey profile but does this simply mean that they have lower skill levels in relations to language, literacy or numeracy?

With such a broad range of factors to consider, how can you make sure you have identified the real reason behind a learner’s poor LLN performance? In most cases when a person is having difficulty correctly answering questions on a proper LLN test the main problem is undeveloped LLN skills, but sometimes a result can catch us by surprise and we need to investigate a little further.

Consider how the following factors could impact the results:

  • The learner’s overall experience in the lead up to and during the assessment.
  • The characteristics, conditions and format of the assessment.

Furthermore, when looking at the LLN skills of a person it is important to ascertain whether or not they are from an English speaking or non-English speaking background. This factor can have a significant impact on using and understanding spoken language.

Non-LLN Factors That Could Impact on the Results of an LLN Assessment

A person’s low literacy score could be the result of something entirely outside of their actual LLN abilities, such as:

  • Digital literacy issues.
  • Technology issues.
  • Nerves or anxiety affecting performance.
  • Misinterpretation of assessment content.
  • Incorrect marking of assessment.
  • Assessment was not properly attempted.
  • Variance in manual marking (lack of clear criteria to make a decision).

By identifying whether or not any of the above factors could have played a part in the end result you can take appropriate action to remedy the situation.

Strategies for Addressing Inconsistent or Unexpected LLN Results

If the learner was extremely nervous you can take some time to speak with them and explain the purpose of the assessment (to support, not exclude them).

If the assessment was not properly attempted (the learner skipped over it without trying) you can again explain, for compliance reasons, why they need to complete the assessment, or find an alternative type of evidence that will demonstrate a sufficient level of LLN ability.

Incorrect or inconsistent marking can be managed through staff training and the implementation of a more rigorous testing and marking process.

Misinterpretation, digital literacy or technology issues can be overcome with some guidance to explain how to interact with the assessment interface (if using an online tool) without giving away the answers.

All of these issues can be overcome with some vigilance and awareness on the part of enrolment and support staff.

The Learning Resources Group are the developers of the LLN Robot, the complete system for ACSF testing, analysis and support, including an approved VET Student Loans tool. Want to know more? Sign up for the free 3-week trial now.

Date posted Feb 6, 2020

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