Saskatchewan AALAT Provincial Results
The Aboriginal Adult Literacy Assessment Tool (AALAT) project was developed in response to the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS), which reported that more than 63 per cent of Aboriginal adults did not possess the literacy skills required to be contributing members of Canadian society.
The project team argued that the IALSS does not accurately portray the literacy skills of Aboriginal adults because it is based in Eurocentric, non-Aboriginal ways of assessment, using materials that have little relevance to Aboriginal peoples or communities.
The AALAT was designed to be administered in a one-to-one setting by a trained tester. It includes a general information section that allows the individual to explain ideas and personal insights about literacy. The second section includes test questions that determine the participant’s strength in such areas as literacy, numeracy and problem solving.
In this document, the authors present the findings of the pilot project in graphs and charts.
Keyera Energy provides services and products to oil and gas producers in western Canada, and markets related products throughout North America.
To ensure a safe and healthy work environment, Keyera developed the online Competency Management and Development System (CMDS), which ensures that workers understand their job requirements and maintain reliable records of achieved skills. While the primary focus of the CMDS is industrial training, it also addresses such essential skills as reading, writing, computer literacy and interpersonal relations.
The system has not only met Keyera’s specific needs but has also received industry-wide recognition and is currently used by 38 energy companies, which together form the CMDS user consortium.
For more information on The Conference Board of Canada, please visit: http://www.conferenceboard.ca.
Authors: Janine Eldred
This discussion paper explores the idea of confidence as an indicator of success in learning, and introduces a tool designed to enable literacy practitioners to help adult learners record changes in their confidence during the process of learning.
The author, a researcher at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) in the United Kingdom, points out that traditional tests used as a means of assessing success may not tell the full story for adult learners. When asked about how they measure success, both learners and teachers overwhelmingly point to gains in confidence.
The NIACE undertook a small study to try to understand more about the nature of confidence, its significance in learning situations, and how changes in confidence could be assessed so that learning gains could be recorded. Those findings led to the development of the Catching Confidence pack, which is intended to be used in conjunction with other ways of recognizing and recording learning in a wide number of settings and contexts.
The paper was presented during The Centre for Literacy Summer Institute 2010, held in Montreal, Quebec in June of that year. The centre supports best practices and informed policy development in literacy and essential skills by building links between research, policy, and practice.
Series: SCALES Project
Authors: CONNECT Strategic Alliances
During the summer of 2010, researchers with the Supporting the Canadian Advancement of Literacy and Essential Skills (SCALES) project surveyed practitioners who work with unemployed and low-skilled workers to find out what resources they needed in order to incorporate a Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) approach into their work.
After reviewing this environmental scan, researchers concluded that trying to reach large numbers of practitioners at once was far too challenging, and a more focussed and strategic approach for data collection was required.
The revised research strategy addressed three key areas: what is and isn’t known about current approaches to LES in the context of active employment service provision; the needs of career development practitioners; and the opportunities available to develop and test tools.
Information collected through the revised research strategy has been used by the SCALES project team to develop tools that will be tested through pilot projects.
Series: SCALES Project
Authors: CONNECT Strategic Alliances
This document summarizes the key findings of research conducted between June and September 2010 as part of a project aimed at improving the employability of unemployed or underemployed Canadians by providing tools to identify their Literacy and Essential Skills (LES).
CONNECT Strategic Alliances, representing Ontario’s 24 publicly funded colleges, has undertaken the project in partnership with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and Douglas College in British Columbia.
Through telephone interviews and online surveys, the researchers looked at the LES resources currently used by career practitioners and other professionals working with unemployed and low-skilled workers, and asked what resources are needed to help practitioners incorporate an LES approach into their work.
The authors note that while this environmental scan provided valuable data, low response rates in certain areas make it difficult to draw clear conclusions and point to the need for further study.
A Methodological Report and Time Series Analysis
This paper outlines both the methodology used by the authors to develop a statistical measure to estimate how ready for school Canadian preschoolers are, and the information gained through the analysis of relevant statistics from the provinces for the years 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.
Based on information from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), the authors developed a measure based on verbal ability combined with social and emotional development.
Further analysis showed differences in school readiness both within a particular year and over time, with several provinces being at the national average in one year, then either moving above or falling below that average at other points in the longitudinal study.
The authors say that their methodology offers a solid basis for developing national indexes from survey data. A crucial next step will be to address gaps in the information about school readiness by exploring other nationwide longitudinal sets of data that contain a broader range of variables and school outcomes for a given cohort of students.
Authors: Sarah V. Wayland
The author of this document looks at the value of implementing independent, common assessment services in the literacy field, with a specific focus on the Educational Essential Skills Assessment (EESA), a tool developed by the Adult Basic Education Association of Hamilton-Wentworth (ABEA) in Ontario.
The research outlined in the document included three components: a general literature review using select key words; interviews with executive directors of the regional literacy networks; and interviews with community partners already using the EESA process in Hamilton.
From CASAS to Work Keys Assessments
The goal of the CASAS' Work Keys study was to form a comprehensive assessment system that can be utilized by a variety of agencies, educational institutions, business and industry, and workforce development centers. By analyzing the data they obtained from reading and mathematical assessments, researchers involved in the project were able to investigate the relationship and provide linkages between the two assessment systems.
The study brings together two large-scale assessment systems, each of which provides important information about people: the assessment component of CASAS' Workforce Learning Systems which is designed to measure basic literacy skills within an employment context, and the assessment component of the Work Keys system which is designed to assess employability skills.
Authors: Goforth Consulting
Learner Skill Attainment (LSA) was a large-scale research initiative, spearheaded by Ontario's College Sector Committee, designed to assist Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) learners in Ontario move more easily among the programs that serve their educational and training needs. The initiative identified five pathways that LBS learners take to transition to greater independence, employment or further education and training. Assessment approaches and instruments based on essential skills were explored for each pathway. In January 2007, the LSA initiative was funded to develop a long-term plan for the development of a valid framework for measuring learner skill attainment in three key areas of essential skills (reading text, document use and numeracy).
This report explains why the Learner Skill Attainment Framework was needed, what the development process looked like, how well the process worked, what was accomplished and what needs to be done next. In addition to an overview of the LSA initiative, this report includes a summary, background information, recommendations and references.
Series: Best Practice and Innovations
Authors: Patricia Hatt
This document deals with adults who have learning disabilities. Different aspects of the concept of learning disabilities are presented in this manual in simple terms. True stories of adults with learning difficulties contribute to the different parts of the manual. There are also many references to books, videos and websites that people can have access to for more information.
The goal of this series is to provide important information on three topics of high priority to the literacy community and to highlight new, innovative, and successful practice relevant to LBS-funded agencies across Ontario.