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How was the assessment designed?

NZCER developed the Te Reo Māori Assessment using an iterative research process. This began by looking at what was known about achievement in te reo Māori.

The Te Reo Māori Curriculum Guidelines Te Aho Arataki Marau mō Te Ako i Te Reo Māori indicate that students at Years 1-6 are expected to be working at curriculum levels 1-3 and students in Years 7-8 are expected to be working at levels 2-3. A study carried out as part of the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) in 2016, however, indicated that most Year 4-8 students in English-medium schools were achieving at Level 1 of the guidelines.  

NZCER decided to  use a single adaptive assessment for all students in Years 4-9 in English-medium. Around half of the questions to be developed were to be focused on level 1 and the remainder evenly divided between level 2 and level 3 based on the Te Reo Māori Curriculum Guidelines.


The assessment design included two trial phases

Researchers  brought together an expert te reo group to help develop the thinking around the content, form, and item types that would form the item bank. This led to the development of a framework document that described the intended content of the assessment and provided a blueprint for item development. A range of items were developed on the basis of the blueprint and reviewed by personnel at NZCER, with item development expertise and expertise in te reo Māori.  

The first batch of items were trialled at the beginning of 2018. One thousand students at a range of year levels took part in the trial.  Results from the trial were put through a psychometric analysis. Following this analysis changes were made to some items and new items were added to the bank in preparation for a second item trial. A second trial was offered to schools with Year 9 and 10 students. Nearly 500 students took part in Phase 2. This trial focused on some of the more difficult items that had not yet had a great deal of exposure in Phase 1. The psychometric analysis of the second trial led to the development and construction of the TRM scale.



Te Aho Arataki Marau

Learning Languages area of NZC