Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Conference


  • Dallas, TX

At COABE 2016, a PIAAC strand which included an overview of PIAAC, several sessions featuring research papers and projects based on the PIAAC data, and a full session on the cross-cutting implications of the research papers’ results for policy, programs, and future research, was presented. Click here to learn more about the conference check out the presentations that were part of the PIAAC strand.


Why Adult Education Matters: New PIAAC Data About the Skills of Adults 16-74 in the United States
Presenters: Jaleh Soroui and Katie Landeros, AIR
An introduction to key features of PIAAC with an emphasis on recently release results from the National Supplement, an administration of PIAAC to oversampled groups including unemployed, young adults (16-34), and older adults (66-74), and the Prison Study, which focused on a sample of incarcerated adults.


Exploring How Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments Can Be Used to Design Responsive Programming
Presenters: Jill Castek and Amy Honisett, Portland State University and Multnomah County Library
This session explored a project that assesses community members’ digital skills using Education and Skills Online (ESO) – a valid and reliable assessment tool based on PIAAC that addresses Literacy, Numeracy, and Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments (PS-TRE). The project will use these data to determine how the abilities of patrons map to the common library tasks that libraries assume patrons are able to access and use in a meaningful way.


Literacy, Numeracy, and Health among Immigrants and U.S.-Born Adults: Evidence from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)
Presenters: Esther Prins (Associate Professor, Adult Education Program) Pennsylvania State University
This presentation used PIAAC data to discuss how health status is related to literacy and numeracy among immigrants and U.S.-born adults, including Hispanic versus Asian immigrants. The presentation highlighted findings, practical implications, and participant discussion.


Adult Non-Participation in Education: Detouring from the Pathway
Presenter: Margaret Patterson, PhD; Senior Researcher, Research Allies for Lifelong Learning
In the era of new WIOA legislation, the need for adults to be prepared for family-sustaining careers is acute. Yet millions of Americans have stopped their educational experiences, detouring from potential career pathways without completing high school or further education. PIAAC-USA data provide numerous explanations for the detour. This session shared characteristics, assessed skill levels, and other findings on adult non-participants in education. Session participants had the opportunity to discuss important implications for recruiting non-participants. 


PIAAC’s Implications for Policy and Practice
Presenter: Katie Landeros, Margaret Patterson, Jill Castek, and Heidi Silver-Pacuilla
The PIAAC strand concluded with a session dedicated to discussing the issues raised during the previous sessions, implications of these findings for policy and practice, and next steps for future research.