From education to employment

Numeracy and literacy qualifications for adults available online

Adults wishing to gain basic literacy and numeracy qualifications are now being offered more opportunities to do so through the launch of online Entry Level 3 Literacy and Numeracy tests by awarding body Education Development International Adults around the UK will be able to sit their assessments online in a specifically designed adult and interactive environment, rather than feel they are back at school.

Following a successful pilot project in 2007 of selected online entry level skills tests, EDI is now working with the National Assessment Agency to explore the feasibility of offering all Entry Level 3 Literacy and Numeracy tests online, transforming existing traditional paper based tests into engaging online environments and creating new assessments that will both appeal and be accessible to all adult learners. A pilot will be held with four training providers from the beginning of February 2008.

The online assessments are a huge step forward in motivating unskilled adults to improve their qualifications and in helping them to develop, both on a personal level and in their career. The test scenarios have been designed so that they link into adults” own life experiences, not only assessing their skills but also giving them confidence when facing day to day tasks. Using relevant concepts such as “buy one get one free” offers, learners” understanding of different pricing structures and their ability to work out how much money they are spending and saving can be assessed in a way that is neither daunting nor irrelevant to their lives. Working with topics such as public transport and holiday accommodation helps adults apply their learning to the real world and see the tangible benefits of the assessment they are undertaking.

Nigel Snook, Chief Executive, Education Development International, commented; “We are delighted that our proposal for online Entry Level 3 Literacy and Numeracy Tests was accepted by the National Assessment Agency. Our first pilot showed us that learners using our online assessments experienced far fewer feelings of anxiety than when facing paper based tests and we look forward to introducing our new and enhanced tests to adults nationwide. Through facilitating the examination process for both candidates and training providers and by making the qualifications more applicable to their daily lives, we hope to enable more adults to gain not only official qualifications but also greater confidence in their own learning.

Nigel Snook continued: “Initially the assessments will be rolled out across training providers but with the flexibility that the online assessment system offers, we see no reason why the tests cannot be run by adult learning centres and through community initiatives, encouraging wider participation and more qualifications for UK adults.”

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