International Literacy Surveys: From IALS to PIAAC

PIAAC

Back to main International Literacy Surveys links page

These links lead to information on the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The first PIAAC survey, the International Survey of Adult Skills, was conducted in 2011 and 2012 in 24 countries, including Canada. Over 27,000 Canadians participated in the survey, which is also known under its field name, the International Study of Adults (ISA), and incorporates the Survey of Skills Used at Work. Data was released from PIAAC on October 8, 2013.

 

 

Results and Analysis

See also our page of analyses of reactions to PIAAC results

 

International

 

OECD Reports and Data

PIAAC Publications - OECD
http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/publications.htm

OECD publications from PIAAC, including the first international report (OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills), and other documentation.

 

Public Data & Analysis - OECD
http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/publicdataandanalysis.htm

Includes the International Data Explorer, which allows you to create statistical tables and charts to explore adults' (16-65 years of age) performance in literacy, numearcy, and problem solving in technology-rich enviroments. Data can be analysed by country as well as in relation to demographic characteristics, social and linguistic background, education, use of skills and employment status.

 

OECD Summaries and Presentations

Boosting skills essential for tackling joblessness and improving well-being - OECD
http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/boosting-skills-essential-for-tackling-joblessness-and-improving-well-being.htm

A summary of international PIAAC results by the OECD.

 

The Importance of PIAAC - PIAAC Conference 2013
https://vimeo.com/79372616

 

A Layperson's Guide to PIAAC- Brigid Hayes
http://brigidhayes.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/a-laypersons-guide-to-piaac/

In this address to Alberta practitioners in Edmonton in September 2014, Hayes provides an overview of the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) data, its importance and limitations, and the need for further research.

 

Skilled for Life? Key Findings from the Survey of Adult Skills [slide presentaion]
http://www.slideshare.net/OECDEDU/skilled-for-life-key-findings-from-the-survey-of-adult-skills-andreas-schleicher-special-advisor-to-the-secretarygeneral-on-education-policy-26968774

Slide presentation made by Andreas Schleicher,  Special advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Education Policy, on the day Survey of Adult Skills data was released

 

From Japan To Italy: Tour OECD's First-Ever National Rankings Of Adult Skills
http://www.worldcrunch.com/impact-education-innovation/from-japan-to-italy-tour-oecd-039-s-first-ever-national-rankings-of-adult-skills/oecd-education-literacy-adults-skills-/c14s13633/#.UlRtRlN-Kwd

Some notable findings from the Survey of Adult Skills

 

Shrinking Skills - OECD
http://www.oecd.org/education/shrinking-skills.htm

This short article notes the "significant challenges facing some major economies: In the United States, for instance, one in six adults has low literacy skills compared with just one in twenty in Japan", and that in the U.S. and England, "there’s evidence to suggest that, unlike in some other economies, young people are not developing higher levels of skills than their parents did. Unless education policies respond now, the U.S. and England face a shrinking talent pool in the decades to come."

 

Other International Reports

International evidence review of basic skills: learning from high-performing and improving countries- United Kingdom Department of Business Innovation & Skills
http://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv67016

"This research focused on countries that were high-performing in at least one of the three dimensions assessed by the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills, or rapidly improving in literacy. The research set out to explore whether high-performing and improving countries share common socio-demographic, economic or educational characteristics with each other and with England, to examine the characteristics behind high performance in these countries and to investigate basic skills delivery to adults including programmes aimed at younger people and initiatives that use learning technology. In so doing, the main aim of this study was to draw lessons that could inform future adult basic skills policy, its delivery and the application of skills by adults in England." (from Abstract)

 

Canadian

 

Access to Reports and Data

PIAAC in Canada - CMEC
http://www.piaac.ca/

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) PIAAC site including links to the international and pan-Canadian reports, a summary of key Canadian findings and additional tables presenting Canadian data.

 

Skills in Canada: First results from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, The Daily (October 8, 2013) - Statistics Canada
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/131008/dq131008b-eng.htm

A summary of the Canadian PIAAC results.

 

Summaries and Presentations

PIAAC Webcast
http://www.vvctv.ca/piaac/20131008/

This webcast features English and French presentations on the Canadian PIAAC results as well as initial reactions from people in the Canadian adult literacy field.

 

Information on PIAAC in Canada

PIAAC: Building Canada's Advantage
http://www.buildingcanadasskillsadvantage.ca/

An online "communications kit" on PIAAC for the literacy field in Canada.

 

Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies / PIAAC – Copian
http://en.copian.ca/piaac

A page featuring key documents, emerging themes, analysis, and relevant websites on how PIAAC results are being interpreted and used, in Canada and beyond.

 

Dossier Spécial: PEICA - Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition féminine
http://cdeacf.ca/peica

De l’information pertinente et actualisée en lien avec l'enquête du PEICA.

 

Forum PEICA - RESDAC
http://resdac.net/forumpeica/

"L’objectif de ce microsite est de centraliser l’accès à de l’information en lien avec cette dernière enquête du PEICA et d’offrir aux visiteurs des mises à jour régulières sur le sujet, ainsi que des liens vers toutes les autres sources d’information pertinentes."

 

Analysis of the Results

First Reactions to the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Results - Brigid Hayes, October 8, 2013
http://www.literacy.ca/content/uploads/2013/10/First-Reactions-to-PIAAC-Brigid-Hayes-October-8-2013.pdf

Early analyses of response to PIAAC - The Centre for Literacy
http://www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/news/early-analyses-responses-piaac

Further Reactions to “First Reactions to the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Results”- Brigid Hayes http://www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/Hayes_PIAAC-Further_Reactions.pdf

 

 

Background

 

PIAAC Overview [presentation on video] - Educational Testing Service
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3P1MaaQ3vY

Irwin S. Kirsch, Director of the Center for Global Assessment at Educational Testing Service, gives an introduction to the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

 

PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) - OECD http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/

A description of PIAAC by the OECD. The OCED also has a page of PIAAC-related documentation. This page includes links to documents outlining conceptual frameworks for the skills measured by PIAAC: literacy, "reading components", numeracy, and "problem solving in a technology-rich environment".

 

OECD Survey of Adult Skills
http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/surveyofadultskills.htm

A description of the survey which is being “conducted in 33 countries as part of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The OECD explains that it “measures the key cognitive and workplace skills needed for individuals to participate in society and for economies to prosper. The evidence from this survey will help countries better understand how education and training systems can nurture these skills. Educators, policy makers and labour economists will use this information to develop economic, education and social policies that will continue to enhance the skills of adults.”

 

What can we expect from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) – in 2013 and in the years to come? - presented by William Thorn, OECD
http://www.slideshare.net/OECDEDU/what-can-we-expect-from-the-oecd-survey-of-adult-skills-piaac-in-2013-and-in-the-years-to-come

This presentation provides an overview of the OECD`s plans to analyze PIAAC data and of areas where PIAAC results may be of interest.

 

PIAAC's Place in an International Skills Strategy

The OECD International Adult Assessment Agenda – PIAAC and the broader skills strategy, presented by William Thorn, Education Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at Summer Institute 2013

In this presentation Mr. Thorn placed PIAAC in the context of the OECD Skills Strategy, which is a framework to help governments develop coherent policies for the development, activation, retention and effective use of skills or competencies in labour markets. He described how the OECD has attempted to broaden and improve its measures of "human capital" and looked at the new measures included in the PIAAC survey.

 

OECD Skills Stategy, presented by Andreas Schleicher on 20 February 2012
http://prezi.com/5vqk_-pdpvh4/oecd-skills-strategy/

Among other things, this presentation shows how the release of data from PIAAC in late 2013 will play a role in the unfolding of the OECD Skills Stategy.

 

Methodology

 

Cut-Offs and Levels on PIAAC – What do they mean for understanding results?, presented by William Thorn, Education Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at Summer Institute 2013

William Thorn provided an overview of the proficiency levels used to
report results from PIAAC, highlighting the similarities and differences between
PIAAC and previous adult literacy surveys. Mr. Thorn noted that there will be no PIAAC statement about a Level 3 threshold for an individual “to function in a modern society and economy” since the evidence does not support it.

 

Methodologies underlying OECD's educational surveys, presented by Andreas Schleicher, NIES, Beijing, 5 November 2012
http://prezi.com/x0gd7rr8neia/methodologies-underlying-oecds-educational-surveys/

This presentation focuses on the issues surrounding the methodology used in OECD educational surveys including PIAAC.

 

PIAAC Background Questionnaire  [presentation on video]- Educational Testing Service
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtybHoCcbGg

Matthias von Davier, Research Director in the Research & Development Division at Educational Testing Service, explains aspects of the PIAAC background questionnaire.

 

Domains Assessed by PIAAC

Summary of assessment domains in the Survey of Adult Skills - OECD
http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/Summary%20of%20assessment%20domains%20in%20the%20Survey%20of%20Adult%20Skills.pdf

 

Problem-Solving in Technology Rich Environments

PIAAC PS-TRE - Anne Britt [presentation on video], Educational Testing Service
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulqirbv9Q5g

Anne Britt, Professor in the Psychology Department at Northern Illinois University, explains aspects of the PIAAC problem solving in technology-rich environments domain.

 

PIAAC: Problem-Solving in Technology-Rich Environments and the Survey of Skills Used at Work- Essential Skills Bulletin 2013, Issue 2, Essential Skills Ontario http://www.essentialskillsontario.ca/sites/www.essentialskillsontario.ca/files/Essential%20Skills%20Bulletin%202_2013%20PIAAC.pdf

This bulletin explains two new elements of PIAAC: the "problem-solving in technology-rich environments" (PS-TRE) competency, and the Survey of Skills Used at Work.

PIAAC Expert Group on Problem-Solving in Technology-Rich Environments. (2009). PIAAC Problem-Solving in Technology-Rich Environments: A Conceptual Framework. OECD Education Working Paper No. 36. Retrieved May 14, 2013, from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/piaac-problem-solving-in-technology-rich-environments-a-conceptual-framework_220262483674

 This paper describes the growing importance of information technologies in society. It defines PS-TRE as involving the use of “digital technology, communication tools and networks to acquire and evaluate information, communicate with others and perform practical tasks.”

 

Levy, Frank. (2010). How Technology Changes Demand for Human Skills. OECD Education Working Paper No. 45.  Retrieved May 14, 2013, from http://www.oecd.org/edu/skills-beyond-school/45052661.pdf

This paper argues that PIAAC’s focus on the literacy, numeracy, reading, and “problem-solving in technology-rich environments” (PS-TRE) competencies is important because of changes in workplace demand for skills that are being driven by computer-based technology.

 

 

Literacy

PIAAC Literacy Framework [presentation on video] - Educational Testing Service
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCNk9Y9cl6w

John Sabatini, Principal Research Scientist in the Research & Development Division at Educational Testing Service, explains aspects of the PIAAC literacy domain.

 

Numeracy

PIAAC Numeracy [presentation on video] - Educational Testing Service
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFeNln9e10g

Kentaro Yamamoto, Deputy Director of the Center for Global Assessment at the Education Testing Service, explains aspects of the PIAAC numeracy domain.

 

Online Data Tools

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will make international adult literacy data available to users with an interactive online data analysis tool called the PIAAC Data Explorer. It will use  the model of the International Data Explorer (IDE), housed on the web site of the National Center for Education Statistics, that currently allows comparisons across PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study), PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) and TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study).  Data from the Program for Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) will be available in October 2013.

The IDE lets users create their own tables and charts, and perform statistical tests, with data from the international assessments in which the United States participates.  As a participating country in these assessments, Canadian data is included.

 

 

Survey of Skills Used at Work

PIAAC: Problem-Solving in Technology-Rich Environments and the Survey of Skills Used at Work- Essential Skills Bulletin 2013, Issue 2, Essential Skills Ontario http://www.essentialskillsontario.ca/sites/www.essentialskillsontario.ca/files/Essential%20Skills%20Bulletin%202_2013%20PIAAC.pdf

This bulletin explores two new elements of PIAAC: the "problem-solving in technology-rich environments" (PS-TRE) competency, and the Survey of Skills Used at Work.

 

Personal assessments based on PIAAC

Education and Skills Online Assessment
http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/ENGLISH_Brochure%20Education%20and%20Skills%20Online.pdf

The Education and Skills Online Assessment, a joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, is an online assessment tool designed to provide individual assessments that are linked to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). No URL is provided although the brochure provides contact information for those interested.

 

National Perspectives

 

Canada

PIAAC was administered in Canada from November 1, 2011, until June 30, 2012. Please note that the field name for PIAAC in Canada is the International Study of Adults (ISA). Half of the sample for the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) was drawn from the ISA sample. LISA will allow comparable data on adult skills to be gathered on a longitudinal basis.

 

About the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)- The Essential Skills Bulletin 2013, Issue 1- Essential Skills Ontario http://www.essentialskillsontario.ca/sites/www.essentialskillsontario.ca/files/Essential%20Skills%20Bulletin%201_2012%20PIAAC_0.pdf

An overview of PIAAC and its significance for Canada (and for Ontario in particular). It outlines what the survey measures and traces its evolution from previous international surveys. It also describes the Survey of Skills Used at Work which is incorporated into PIAAC.

 

Getting Ready for PIAAC Results - CLLN News
http://www.literacy.ca/news/general/getting-ready-for-piaac-results/

This September 2012 news item provides a brief overview of PIAAC, how it differs from previous international adult literacy surveys and includes an option to sign up for updates on PIAAC.

 

OECD Programme for the International Asessment of Adult Competencies: PIAAC in Canada - Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)
http://www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/PIAAC_101_EN.pdf

This presentation provides an overview of PIAAC, how it is related to previous international surveys, and the sorts of data we can expect from it.

Version française

 

PIAAC in Canada: A brief overview - Patrick Bussière, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/PatirickBussiere_PIAACinCanada.pdf

An explanation of what PIAAC will look like in Canada
 

Programme for the International Asessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) - Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
http://www.cmec.ca/325/Programs-and-Initiatives/Assessment/Programme-for-the-International-Assessment-of-Adult-Competencies-%28PIAAC%29/index.html

Information on PIAAC and its expected benefits to Canada.

 

Programme for the International Asessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) - Statistics Canada
http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&SDDS=4406&lang=en&db=imdb&adm=8&dis=2

Information on the PIAAC as carried out in Canada.

 
The Value of PIAAC for Canada - Patrick Bussière, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/PatrickBussiere_valueofPIAACforCanada.pdf

An overview of what PIAAC will look like in Canada, which domains are evaluated by PIAAC, what kind of contextual information is being collected and future plans for the longitudinal component of PIAAC in Canada.

 

 

United States

In the field, the current PIAAC survey is known as the International Survey of Adult Skills (ISAS)

 

PIAAC Results - National Center for Educational Statistics
http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/piaac/results/summary.aspx

Includes links to the PIAAC First Look Report and the standard error tables that accompany the report.

PIAAC Gateway
http://piaacgateway.com/

Information about PIAAC in the United States and around the world.

PIAAC Fact Sheets
http://www.caalusa.org/PIAACFactSheets5-13.pdf

General information on PIAAC, on the U.S. PIAAC National Supplement and Prison Study, anc on upcoming publications and data tools scheduled to be released on October 8, 2013.

 

PIAAC 2012 Publications and Data Tools– National Center for Educational Statistics. From PIAAC Fact Sheets from American Institutes for Research, May 2013, from http://www.caalusa.org/PIAACFactSheets5-13.pdf

The National Center for Education Statistics has announced that they will release the PIAAC First Look and Web portal on October 8, 2013. On the same day, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will release an initial international report, which will be followed later by a “series of in-depth reports”. Also on the same day, the OECD will unveil the PIAAC Data Explorer, a “dynamic interactive online tool that will allow users to produce customized reports using PIAAC data”.

 

PIAAC: Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, presented by Cameron Hatcher on 20 September 2011
http://prezi.com/iiqylctyaul9/piaac/

 

Programme for the International Asessment of Adult Competencies - National Center for Education Statistics
http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/piaac/

Includes overview and information on methodology, assessment tools and a history of international literacy assessments.

 

The U.S. PIAAC National Supplement and Prison Study (2013) – National Center for Educational Statistics. From PIAAC Fact Sheets from American Institutes for Research, May 2013, from http://www.caalusa.org/PIAACFactSheets5-13.pdf

The original PIAAC survey was administered in 2011. The PIAAC National Supplement will administer the same survey in late 2013 to a newsample of 3,600 U.S. adults, increasing the sample size of key U.S. subgroups of interest including unemployed adults, young adults, and elderly adults. The PIAAC Prison Study will conduct PIAAC in U.S .prisons in early 2014, drawing from a sample of 1,200 inmates aged 16 to 74 in state, federal, or private prisons.

 

United Kingdom

International Survey of Adult Skills – Uk Department for Business Education and Skills

http://www.mybmrbsurvey.co.uk/isas/

                Information on the survey for British households selected to participate
 

Australia

Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies - Australian Bureau of Statistics
http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/4a256353001af3ed4b2562bb00121564/09ebad537fb5969bca257707001aaf0f!opendocument

 

Ireland

PIAAC - Central Statistics Office
http://www.cso.ie/en/surveysandmethodology/education/piaac/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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