Numeracy Research: Recommendations – Complexity levels - Interview with Katherine Clarke-Nolan, Policy analyst, OLES [Audio – 3:05]

This audio file is part of a podcast series developed by Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), describing a research project that will help to update the numeracy element of the Essential Skills framework.

In this segment, OLES policy analyst Katherine Clarke-Nolan discusses one of the most challenging parts of establishing a methodology for the research project: undertaking a comparative analysis of the complexity levels in international assessment frameworks for numeracy.

After comparing and analyzing the complexity ratings used in the international assessments, three complexity scales were proposed to be included in the Essential Skills Research Project methodology.

The first one, the declarative knowledge complexity rating scale, includes two dimensions: the complexity of mathematical concepts involved in the task, ranging from simple concrete to more complex abstract concepts; and the context familiarity, ranging from familiar to novel situations.

The second one consists of a procedural knowledge complexity rating scale, which assesses the complexity of the procedures required to complete a numeracy task effectively.

The third is a mathematical representation complexity rating scale, which evaluates the complexity of the information and the variety of representations of mathematical information in a task.


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