In November, 2004, an 11-member national advisory committee met to design the survey framework and questions. A draft survey was developed and forwarded to the advisory committee and statisticians at Statistics Canada and the Centre for Research and Applied Measurement and Evaluation (CRAME) at the University of Alberta for feedback. The survey was revised, based on this feedback. An on-line version of the survey was programmed and piloted with eight adult literacy educators. The findings from the pilot study were used to revise the survey, and the final version was completed in March 2005 (see Appendix A).
Governments and coalitions from the 13 jurisdictions provided contact information for English-language literacy and adult basic education programs offered by three kinds of delivery agencies: college, school board, and community. If a delivery agency in a given jurisdiction had less than 30 programs, all of them were asked to participate in the survey. For example, in the territories and the Atlantic Provinces, every program was contacted, since fewer than 30 programs were offered by each type of delivery agency. In order to ensure a representative sample, 50 percent of the programs were randomly sampled whenever a delivery agency in a given jurisdiction had more than 30 programs. For example, in Ontario, only 50 percent of the programs offered by colleges, school boards, and community-based programs were contacted, as each type of delivery agency had more than 30 programs.
The survey was conducted between March and August 2005. The goal was to achieve a 75 percent response rate. The director's initial contact with the potential survey respondent was made by phone. In many instances, the initial contact person redirected the director to another educator in the program who held more responsibility for assessment.