One of the ultimate goals of policy makers is to enable citizens to take advantage of a globalised world economy. This is leading them to focus on the improvement of education policies, ensuring the quality and sustainability of service provision, a more equitable distribution of learning opportunities and stronger incentives for greater efficiency in schooling.
PISA defines reading literacy as understanding, using, reflecting on and engaging with written texts in order to achieve one’s goals, develop one’s knowledge and potential, and participate in society. This definition applies to both print and digital reading.
Introduction to PISA
Are students well prepared to meet the challenges of the future? Can they analyse, reason and communicate their ideas effectively? Have they found the kinds of interests they can pursue throughout their lives as productive members of the economy and society? The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) seeks to answer these questions through its triennial surveys of key competencies of 15-year-old students in OECD member countries and partner countries/economies. Together, the group of countries participating in PISA represents nearly 90% of the world economy.
Context of the PISA Digital Reading Assessment
Computer use has grown exponentially since the invention of the microcomputer three decades ago; as of mid-2010, almost one-third of the world’s population uses the Internet. Digital technologies have changed the ways texts are produced and displayed; and those changes have had an impact on how students read. This chapter focuses on how new kinds of texts have transformed reading.
Student Performance in Digital and Print Reading
This chapter examines the particular features of digital texts and analyses how well students can read those texts. It also discusses the similarities and differences between print and digital reading, and compares the results of the two reading assessments by merging them into a single scale. Results presented throughout the chapter are also analysed by gender.
Navigation in the PISA 2009 Digital Reading Assessment
Navigation is a key feature of digital reading. Tracking and analysing the sequences of pages students visit to complete a task can help to identify which navigation behaviours are associated with greater digital reading proficiency. In addition to examining this relationship, the chapter presents a series of case studies showing how students respond to certain digital reading tasks.
Relationships between Digital Reading Performance and Student Background, Engagement and Reading Strategies
This chapter examines the extent to which proficiency in both print and digital reading is associated with certain variables, including students’ socio-economic background, immigrant status, the degree of students’ engagement in reading, and students’ awareness of effective learning strategies.
Students' Familiarity with Information and Communication Technologies
Which students benefit from information and communication technologies (ICT) and which are being left behind on the analogue side of the digital divide? This chapter examines students’ access to and use of ICT and explores their attitudes towards and selfconfidence in using computers. Findings are also discussed in relation to students’ gender and socio-economic background. Trends in access to ICT and in students’ self-confidence in using computers over the past decade are also examined.
Students' Use of Information and Communication Technologies and their Performance in Digital Reading
This chapter focuses on the relationship between students’ familiarity with ICT and their performance in digital reading. It discusses students’ access to and use of computers, both at home and at school, and analyses how the frequency of ICT use for various purposes – both leisure- and schoolwork-related – is associated with digital reading proficiency. The chapter also examines the relationship between students’ self-confidence in using computers and their mastery of digital texts.
Some Aspects Related to Digital Reading Proficiency
Education systems are increasingly incorporating information and communication technologies into their teaching practices. This chapter examines the student- and school-related factors that are most strongly associated with digital reading proficiency, including the use of a computer at home and at school, students’ engagement in online reading activities, students’ learning strategies, students’ attitudes towards reading, the socio-economic background of the school and the student, and gender.
Being able to read proficiently is fundamental for success in life. Reading well enables people to learn new skills and acquire information and knowledge that improve the quality of their lives. In an increasingly digitised world, being a proficient reader also means being able to navigate among diverse and conflicting pieces of information and across pages of non-linear texts, using hyperlinks and other tools that the digital technologies found in laptops and smart phones provide. Individuals who develop the skills needed to use these texts efficiently and effectively will be at an increasing advantage in accessing higher education, finding and succeeding in a well-paid job, and participating fully in society.
Annex A - Technical background
Annex B - Tables of results
Annex C - The development and implementation of pisa – a collaborative effort
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