Assessment is a continuous, systematic process that utilizes tools and approaches to gather information in order to make decisions about the provision of programs, instruction, training, and services for literacy, upgrading and adult basic education students. Adult basic educators who work in programs offered by colleges, school boards, workplaces, and community-based agencies use a variety of assessments that are distinguished by the theories on which they are based; the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values they purport to measure and provide; and the manner in which they inform placement and instruction. Although assessment is an integral part of the learning process, there is a paucity of information about the assessment tools and practices that are being used by adult educators across Canada. In addition, the research on the supports and constraints that affect educators' ability to engage in effective assessment practices is sparse.
Since the turn of the 21st century, the face of literacy provision and assessment has changed, in response to changing views about the nature of literacy and numeracy learning. In order to ensure that existing assessment tools reflect our changing views and meet the needs of educators and the diverse range of students, a national survey on student assessment was conducted with 400 educators in 2005. This report unfolds with a brief description of the methodology used to conduct the national survey. This report documents the findings from the survey, with the intent that the findings be used to inform policy and practice.