Using Data to Enhance Skills for Learning, Living and Working in the 21st Century An Australian Perspective Ralph Saubern Director, Professional Resources Ralph.Saubern@acer.edu.au Outline Introduction to the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Brief Background to the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector Part 1: Using Data to Enhance Skills for Learning, Living and Working in the 21st Century Part 2: Measuring Student Achievement (if time and interest!) or demo of the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) ACER was established in 1930 with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to promote 'the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding'. ACER’s mission is to create and promote research-based knowledge, products and services that can be used to Improve Learning across the life span. As a not-for-profit organisation, independent of government, ACER receives no direct financial support and generates its entire income through contracted research and development projects and through products and services that it develops and distributes. ACER has experienced significant growth in recent years and now has more than 300 staff located in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Dubai and New Delhi . ACER Role Data Gathering: A major aspect of ACER’s work is to assist educational decision makers at all levels in their collection, analysis, interpretation and use of reliable data. Our purpose is to assist in the development of clearer pictures and understandings of educational challenges, opportunities and progress over time. Action Planning: A second major aspect of ACER’s work is to assist educational decision makers at all levels in their identification and implementation of evidence-based policies and practices. Our purpose is to promote better outcomes for all learners through the use of approaches that have been demonstrated to be effective in practice. Delivery: A growing part of ACER’s work is to work directly in providing services such as specialised professional learning, quality assurance and monitoring of educational providers and certification and accreditation of professionals and learners. ACER Research ACER has two research divisions, each with a number of programs. Assessment and Psychometric Research Division Assessment and Reporting Psychometrics & Methodology Systemwide Testing Educational Monitoring and Research Division National Surveys International Surveys Higher Education Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation Teaching, Learning & Transitions Examples of Major Research Projects Program for International Student Achievement (PISA) Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) Australian National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Australian National ICT Literacy Assessment UAE National Assessment Program Financing TVET in the Pacific ACER Services ACER’s services division is called Professional Resources Division. It includes six business units: ACER Institute (professional learning) ACER Press (publications and resources) Cunningham Library School Assessment Services Higher Education Assessment Services Vocational and Workforce Assessment Services Through its Professional Resources Division, ACER seeks to support and influence the work of professional practitioners and educational organisations by providing research based tools which support practitioners to analyse and understand the situations they confront (e.g., through data collection, analysis and reporting) and products and services to address identified needs (e.g., professional resources and professional learning). Examples of Major ACER Services Professional learning, conferences and seminars for educators and educational leaders Publications and resources for educators and educational leaders Monitoring and certification of student achievement in literacy, numeracy and science Admissions testing for schools and university Quality assurance and monitoring services for education and training organisations Vocational, Adult and Workforce Education ACER works with governments, industry, educational providers, trainers and learners on a wide range of vocational, adult and workforce education research and assessment services. ACER expertise includes: language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) testing youth and adult literacy and numeracy assessment and surveys careers and vocational interest assessments curriculum and standards development quality and benchmarking services teaching and learning consultancies policy and program evaluation surveys on pathways and transitions psychometric and statistical analysis selection testing. Vocational Research ACER undertakes a broad range of research and program consultancies in youth and adult education, vocational and workforce education contexts in Australia and globally for institutions, industry, governments and a wide range of stakeholders: Apprentice Retention Evaluation Australasian Survey of Student Engagement Deployment of AQTF Quality Indicators Education and training and the avoidance of financial disadvantage Equity in VET Expectations, Transitions and destinations of NSW Youth Funding for Tertiary Education and Training Indigenous Youth Transitions Investigations of Outcomes-based Auditing Leadership Capabilities for Australian Vocational Education and Training On Track Annual Student Surveys NZ Tertiary Education Commission Adult Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Providing support for disadvantaged learners in Australian VET Youth Career Transitions Vocational Services ACER’s Vocational and Workforce Assessment Services specialises in the design, development and operation of testing programs and quality benchmarking services for VET providers, government and industry. This includes: large scale assessment programs; secure, high stakes selection testing services; and computer assisted, diagnostic and workforce planning assessments. AQTF Quality Indicator Support Services Core Skills Profile for Adults National Foundation Skills Assessment Tool Vocational Selection Test Background to the Australian VET sector The vocational education and training (VET) sector is the sector in Australia responsible for education and training for work. VET in Australia provides people with the skills and knowledge they require to: • enter the workforce for the first time • train or re-train for a new job • upgrade their skills • move into further study in VET or University. The key elements of the Australian VET system that are designed to ensure quality and national consistency in relation to qualifications and the delivery of training are: • Australian Qualifications Framework • Australian Quality Training Framework • Industry skills councils • Registered training organisations. Background to the Australian VET sector - by numbers • There were 1.9 million students enrolled in the public vocational education and training (VET) system in 2011. • • • • 12.0% of people aged 15 to 64 years participated in the publicly funded VET system 32.1% of Australians aged between 15 and 19 years participated in VET (25.4% of all students were aged between 15 and 19 years.) The number of qualifications completed in 2010 was 443 500 Total expenditure on VET in Australia in 2011 was $4.8 billion ($4.4 billion in 2010) Background to the Australian VET sector – training organisations VET in Australia is offered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). The largest number of these are private, for profit organisations but the largest providers are public providers (usually called TAFEs) owned and operated by state governments. Many government and independent schools are also RTOs. Part 1: Using Data to Enhance Skills for Learning, Living and Working in the 21st Century From Inputs to Outcomes How can notions of system quality in VET be refocused to drive outcomes crucial to addressing the needs of individuals, employers and society in the 21st Century? Inputs Outputs Outcomes Enrolments Module completion rates Broader student learning Funding levels Certificates/qualifications Staffing Skills for Learning, Living and Working in the 21st Century What are the skills that have been identified as key to success in the 21st century workplace and society? Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skills are now recognised as fundamental to improved workforce participation, productivity and social inclusion… International research shows that a one per cent increase in a country’s literacy score leads to a 2.5 per cent increase in labour productivity. Skills Australia, 2010 The importance of strong foundation skills in a modern, knowledge-based society is well established. These skills underpin workforce participation, productivity and social inclusion. People with higher LLN skills are more likely to be employed, participate in their community, experience better health and engage in further training… [F]oundation skills are increasingly important for effective participation in modern workplaces and contemporary life. Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, 2012 Skills for Learning, Living and Working in the 21st Century What are the skills that have been identified as key to success in the 21st century workplace and society? Australian Core Skills Framework • • • • • Learning Reading Writing Oral Communication Numeracy Core Skills for Work Framework • Cluster 1 - Navigate the world of work • Manage career and work life • Work with roles, rights and protocols • Cluster 2 - Interact with others • Communicate for work • Connect and work with others • Recognise and utilise diverse perspectives • Cluster 3 - Get the work done • Plan and organise • Make decisions • Identify and solve problems • Create and innovate • Work in a digital world Skills for Learning, Living and Working in the 21st Century What are the skills that have been identified as key to success in the 21st century workplace and society? Australia’s Core Skills Gap What do we know about current levels of core skills in the Australian workforce and general population? How does this compare with other countries? ALL Scale (2006) Number of adults with skill levels 1 and 2 Percentage of adults with skill levels 1 and 2 Prose literacy 7.0 million 46% Document literacy 7.1 million 47% Numeracy 7.9 million 53% PIAAC Scale (2011-12)* # adults with skill levels 1 and 2 % adult population with skill levels 1 and 2 Literacy 7.3 million 44% Numeracy 8.9 million 55% PIAAC Scale (2011-12)* Employed with skill levels 1 and 2 Unemployed, with skill levels 1 and 2 Literacy 38% 46% Numeracy 48% 57% * Preliminary results Australia’s Core Skills Gap What do we know about current levels of core skills in the Australian workforce and general population? How does this compare with other countries? Literacy Satherley, P. et al (2008) The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: Overview and International Comparisons, NZMoE Australia’s Core Skills Gap What do we know about current levels of core skills in the Australian workforce and general population? How does this compare with other countries? Numeracy Satherley, P. et al (2008) The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: Overview and International Comparisons, NZMoE Implications and Impacts What do we know about current levels of core skills in the Australian workforce and general population? How does this compare with other countries? What is the impact? • In Australia, those with a skill level of 1 had a median income of $205 less per week than those with a skill level of 2. This gap in income potential remained fairly steady as people moved up the skill levels. (ABS, 2007) In the UK, individuals who increase their literacy and numeracy levels: • • • • • • improve their chances in the labour market (better jobs, better security) suffer less from poor physical and mental health more active citizens more liberal and less discriminatory. (Bynner, et al, 2001) If the UK met its literacy and numeracy targets it would generate nearly £3 billion per annum (in 2001 prices) to the taxpayer (Bynner, et al, 2001) Using data to improve learning outcomes How can data be used to enhance 21st century skill development in VET? • How can evidence of broader student learning outcomes be collected? • How can evidence of broader learning outcomes be used to improve teaching and learning outcomes for individual students? • How can evidence of broader learning outcomes be used to monitor progress and evaluate program effectiveness at an instruction and system level? Using data to improve learning outcomes How can evidence of broader student learning outcomes be collected? Using data to improve learning outcomes How can evidence of broader learning outcomes be used to improve teaching and learning individual students? * Preliminary results Using data to improve learning outcomes How can evidence of broader learning outcomes be used to monitor progress and evaluate program effectiveness at an instruction and system level? • Provider level: • • • • Planning, resourcing and delivery Monitoring outcomes of learning programs Monitoring the impact of specific strategies System level: • • Assessing the success of policies and initiatives Monitoring goals Questions? Comments? What would a VET system look like that addressed broader learning and social outcomes at the centre of its policy and practice?