Research Reports

Through research and evaluation, PTP strives to provide the most effective, accessible, integrated and flexible workplace supports to those with literacy and language barriers to employment. To accomplish this, PTP seeks out research opportunities that contribute to the betterment, availability and accessibility of adult literacy programming and workforce training.

Negotiating the Digital Maze of Information Literacy: A Review of Literature

Since there is a significant overlap between information literacy and computer literacy, information literacy has not often been viewed as a distinct type of literacy in many educational environments. This could be partly because there has not been a cohesive understanding of information literacy. Kamran Ahmadpour, a PTP staff member, in cooperation with Robin Kay, the graduate program director of UOIT, conducted an extensive review of literature to develop a comprehensive framework for understanding information literacy.

Read this paper in the Journal of Educational Informatics. 

Food for Thought: Piloting an Integrated Workforce Literacy and Essential Skills Pre-culinary Program

PTP, in partnership with MTML, applied for funding through The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to develop and deliver an integrated workforce literacy and essential skills pre-culinary program for marginalized adults.

Read the report for a description of the pilot project and its outcomes as experienced by students and frontline staff.


Voices Speak to the Data: Feedback from Participants in the PIAAC on-line Field Trial

From June to July 2013, the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) On-line Field Trial was undertaken by the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) and the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) in Ontario. In September 2013, PTP joined AlphaPlus to conduct a survey to explore the experiences PTP learners had with PIAAC. The overarching questions in this study were:

  • Is the PIAAC online assessment appropriate for the learners' level at the program?
  • Is the assessment relevant to what they are learning at the program?
  • Is the assessment difficult, unclear, or too long?
  • What do learners think the purpose of the assessment is?

 Read the Report.


The Workforce Essential Skills across Canada project

WESCan (Workforce Essential Skills across Canada) was an Office of Literacy and Essential Skills funded project that saw PTP working closely with communities across Canada to build meaningful programming for low-skilled individuals. The project used the CAMERA System as its foundation, combined with the knowledge gained through years of research and analysis on effective ways to transition low-skilled adults to work.

Read the report.

Filling The Gap: Building communities to support the aspiring apprentice

Can Ontario’s community-based literacy programs prepare adult learners for apprenticeships that lead to employment in the skilled trades?

Read our research report Filling the Gap to:

  • find out about the innovative work being done in programs that are already successfully linking learners to apprenticeship opportunities,
  • gain insight into the apprenticeship system in Ontario, and
  •  learn about how any community-based literacy agency can implement programming and build partnerships to make apprenticeship accessible to their literacy learners.


Read the report.

Workforce Literacy and Essential Skills: Increasing student success through contextualized learning

This report offers practical information to programs that are considering initiating or extending workforce literacy programming with a focus on hands-on and authentic learning as an approach for developing literacy, numeracy and employment skills. The report provides an overview and exploration of effective and best practices from PTP’s Teamwork program and other adult literacy programs in Ontario as seen from the perspective of instructors and students.

Read the report.


CAMERA Test Development Report

An outline of the development and refinement of the Communications and Math Employment Readiness Assessment (CAMERA). Following an overview of the assessment and a brief summary of the original development process, the bulk of the report is devoted to a discussion of recent improvements, with an emphasis on task and item design, pilot testing procedures, data analysis, and composition of operational forms.

Read the report.

Who is Learning What: Measuring Participant Gains in Contextualized & Academic Education Programs

This study examines the amount of transfer from literacy skills learned in an academic setting to workplace reading and writing tasks as well as the transferability of literacy skills learned in a contextualized program (document reading, forms, etc.) towards more academic skills.

Read the report.

Economic Impact Study

What’s an education worth? Through longitudinal research, this project analyzes the economic impacts of PTP’s literacy training on participants’ earnings after program completion. Report results are available online.

Towards an Employable Future

PTP’s educators have developed literacy training curriculum that is contextualized for employment. A how-to manual was published in September 1999.

Learning Disabilities

Does testing participants for learning disabilities increase the effectiveness of literacy training? PTP studied the impact of LD diagnostic testing on learners in the program. Report results were released in August, 1999.

Making the Connection

A report evaluating the effectiveness of our pre-GED training was released in October 1999.

Trading for Experience – Women into Non-Traditional Jobs

This project encouraged PTP’s women participants to consider a full range of training and re-employment options. Through speakers, site tours, and workshops, the participants were furnished with information about non-traditional jobs including jobs in the higher paying blue-collar and trade sectors. Local women working in these areas volunteered as speakers and role models for the project.

Read the report.

More Walls than Doors

Norm Rowen’s groundbreaking research on literacy and upgrading programs across Ontario documents the structural difficulties that adult learners face in trying to “move on” in their learning. His recommendations seek to enhance articulation among literacy, upgrading, and adult basic education programs and between community, school board, and college training. A must-read for educators and administrators who want a seamless system.  

Read the report.