Videos, Interviews and Presentations from PIAAC Conference on the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills Available Online

PRINCETON, N.J., July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Videos of interviews and presentations from some of the world's leading experts in large-scale international assessment and research are now available online from Educational Testing Service (ETS). The featured videos were recorded during the PIAAC Invitational Research Conference.

The conference took place in Washington, D.C., last November, and attracted over 200 participants from 30 countries.

The focus of the conference was the Survey of Adult Skills, which is part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), the largest and most innovative international comparative assessment of adults ever undertaken.

The first round of PIAAC involved more than 160,000 adults, ages 16–65, and was administered in 24 countries and in more than 30 languages. It targeted skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

"From the start, our goal was to disseminate information from this conference in both print and digital formats," says Irwin Kirsch, Director of the ETS Center for Global Assessment and ETS's Ralph W. Tyler Chair in Large-Scale Assessment. "Toward that end, I am pleased that the edited videos of the conference presentations are now available."

The Survey of Adult Skills measures the key cognitive and workplace skills needed for individuals to participate in society and for economies to prosper. The first results from the survey were released on October 8, 2013. The evidence from this survey helps countries better understand how education and training systems can nurture these skills. Educators, policymakers and labor economists can use this information to develop economic, education and social policies designed to enhance the skills of adults.

The ETS Research & Development division's Center for Global Assessment led the design, development and implementation of the survey. Survey results generated media attention around the world, including an editorial in The NewYork Times.

The PIAAC Invitational Research Conference on "The Importance of Skills and How to Assess Them" was organized by ETS with support from the OECD and held shortly after the release of the results. ETS has also made international data from the survey available to the public via the ETS-developed International Data Explorer and a set of public-use data files that can be downloaded from OECD's website.

The opening video — The Importance of PIAAC — features interviews with Kirsch; Thomas Friedman, author and New York Times columnist; Alison Wolf,  economist and professor of public sector management at King's College in London; Tom Brokaw, broadcast journalist and author; Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General; and Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills, OECD.  

The site offers an additional 38 videos of presentations, discussions and interviews with the presenters, who included policy and measurement researchers from around the world. Papers from the conference are expected to be published in early 2015.

About ETS
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC ® tests, the GRE ® tests and The Praxis Series ® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

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