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Guest Blog by Géraldine Fauville: International ocean literacy survey expands to 16 languages

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, September 1, 2016

In a blog post last May, we introduced the first steps toward creating an International Ocean Literacy Survey. In this post, we will provide an update, and once again invite you join this 16 language, collaborative effort to measure our progress in building global ocean literacy. If you have access to 16-18 year old students, you can play a critical role in Round 2 of this spirited and entirely volunteer effort. Here is the link to provide to your students > 

Some Background: At the 2015 European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA)  Conference in Crete many of us discussed the urgent need to measure progress in the development of ocean literacy in our respective countries, regions, and even programs. We agreed to work together as a community to develop a common, widely accepted instrument to measure ocean literacy. The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Gothenburg; and members of the EMSEA community took the lead on this unfunded, grassroots project by contributing survey items and gathering many others from marine educators throughout Europe and the U.S. who generously shared their intellectual property for this community effort. We edited and assembled the items into a comprehensive survey of ocean literacy, which was administered to 415 students last June in our first field test. Now we are ready for Round 2 of testing!

The National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) and Asian Marine Educators Association (AMEA), and Canadian Network of Ocean Educators (CaNOE) are now officially supporting and involved in the development of the project. Partners around the world volunteered to contribute additional items and to translate the survey into 16 languages. This version of the survey, which includes items measuring ocean knowledge and marine environmental attitudes, is now being disseminated through the networks of AMEA, CaNOE, EMSEA, NMEA and Scientix. It takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Now we need your help. We need as many 16-18 year olds as possible, all around the world, to take the survey to help us test and improve it.

Here is what you can do:

If you are a high school teacher (any subject) or if you have access to any children ages 16-18, please give this survey to your students to complete online as soon as possible. Here is the link >

We need as many responses as possible before September 15, 2016. If your students respond by then, the data will be analyzed and used in a presentation at the 2016 EMSEA conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in October. Responses after September 15 will still be used, and we need as many responses as possible, regardless of the date.

If you are not a high school teacher, please contact the teachers you know and ask them to give this survey to their students. Feel free to use or link to this post when you ask teachers for their help.

Please be sure to send us an email telling us that you are helping so that we can acknowledge you in all future publications.

What happens with the data? Data from this second field test will be analyzed centrally at Lawrence Hall of Science, and partners will be able to access their own data. Once the data are analyzed we will eliminate some questions that do not test well, and add in (and translate) new ones contributed by the community. We will continue testing the survey until we are satisfied that we have a truly valid and reliable, open-source, comprehensive international ocean literacy survey that can be freely used by educators in around the world.

Here is the inspiring list of languages that are being used to administer the International Ocean Literacy Survey:

  • Catalan
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Croatian
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Arabic and Romanian will be added in the next round of testing. If you do not find your native language in the list above, please contact us if you are interested in helping us with additional translations.

Thanks so much for your help! Please contact us with comments or suggestions.

Mac Cannady, Lawrence Hall of Science
Géraldine Fauville, University of Gothenburg and EMSEA Board of Directors, NMEA Board of Directors
Craig Strang, Lawrence Hall of Science and Chair, NMEA Ocean Literacy Committee

Tags:  international  Ocean Literacy  survey 

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Craig Strang says...
Posted Monday, September 12, 2016
News Flash! Things are moving fast with this International Ocean Literacy Survey! Since Géraldine posted on September 1, the Marine Conservation Society and the European Commission itself are both now supporting and participating in the development of the Survey and distributing it through their robust networks. We have also added Polish to the list of Survey languages. Version 2 of the Survey has been live for 12 days, and we already have over 2,000 responses from students in 26 countries! Thanks to so many of you for your support for this community effort. Keep that support coming. We promise to make your time and effort worthwhile by returning to you all the data and lessons learned, and ultimately a finished, free, open source, common instrument for measuring ocean literacy!
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