Using the PIAAC Databases for Interdisciplinary Research

About these Workshops

The goal of the workshops is to build the capacity of US researchers to use the PIAAC database and related analysis tools for basic, policy, and applied research in the areas of education, gerontology, sociology, public health, economics, workforce development, and criminal justice and corrections education.

Training activities are designed for individual researchers or research teams with research interests that include the use of the PIAAC databases for policy-related research. Priority will be given to those with interdisciplinary agendas or teams, but all reasonable applications that show interest and potential in working with the PIAAC data will be considered. 

Researchers participating in these training activities will have access to additional online support throughout the duration of the grant, and will have the opportunity to participate in a culminating research conference that will take place December 2018.

The goals of the workshops are:

  1. Familiarize participants with the content and data structure of the PIAAC databases.
  2. Familiarize participants with the statistical complexities involved in working with and analyzing the PIAAC databases.
  3. Prepare participants to take into account the statistical complexities and complex data structure when using the databases with commercially available software.
  4. Familiarize participants with software currently available to take into account statistical and data complexities of these databases.

The workshops will provide an overview of the structure and contents of the PIAAC databases, as well as an overview of the main design features that are relevant for the analysis of these data.

The topics covered will be:

  • Overview of PIAAC and available data
  • Review of the background questionnaires and U.S. components
  • Sampling and design issues and implications for the analysis
    • Overview of sampling
    • Sampling variance estimation
    • Assessment design
    • Principles of item response theory
    • Principles of multiple imputations
    • Estimating sampling variance
  • Using the IDB Analyzer to analyze the PIAAC data
    • The Merge Module
    • The Analysis Module
  • Using the International Data Explorer to analyze the PIAAC data
  • Calculating standard errors with complex designs
    • Working with independent and dependent samples
    • Working with composite statistics
  • Combining variables, and creating and validating indices

The general day-to-day schedule will include both presentations and hands-on practical assignments. During the last day of the 3-day workshops, participants will be expected to make a presentation outlining a research project that makes use of one of the PIAAC databases, and preliminary results based on activities conducted during the training.

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