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#WeAreNMEA Guest Blog - International Ocean Literacy Survey Version 4

Posted By Craig Strang, Sunday, January 13, 2019

Craig Strang

Associate Director

Lawrence Hall of Science
Berkeley, CA

A bunch of us Ocean Literacy-types launched the International Ocean Literacy Survey Version 4 last week! Now we need your help to get as many 15-17 year old students as possible to take the survey! We are so excited that this huge volunteer, international effort is moving forward to the next level.

Three years ago, one of my Lawrence Hall of Science psychometrician colleagues, Mac Cannady, gave a presentation at the EMSEA Conference in Crete about some incomplete work we had done several years before through COSEE California to begin development of an evaluation instrument that might measure levels of Ocean Literacy. We were surprised that poor Mac was deluged with questions, and then had people approaching him throughout the conference, saying how much they needed such an instrument, and how they would gladly contribute to its development if an organization like the Hall would lead the effort. They all agreed that the Survey should be based on "Ocean Literacy: The essential principles of ocean sciences for learners of all ages" and "The Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K-12." Amazing that our work here in the US to define Ocean Literacy is finding value in countries like Bangladesh, Taiwan, Sweden, Japan...

We didn't have a penny in the bank for the project, but we got swept up and inspired by the enthusiasm of our colleagues and decided to give it a try. Three years later, we think we are very close having a finished survey instrument that will be community developed, open-source and freely available to any organization, practitioner or researcher. Version 2 was translated into 17 languages and tested in 24 countries. Almost 7,000 students participated. It was the largest survey of Ocean Literacy ever conducted! Version 4 has been translated into 12 languages—we'll see how many countries and how many students we can recruit to use it!

Having a common instrument that can be used anywhere in the world is a huge benefit to our entire community, and will allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of various programs, establish baselines of Ocean Literacy in various communities and measure growth in Ocean Literacy over time. We hope that the International Ocean Literacy Survey will become an essential component of the Ocean Literacy Framework along with the Principles and Concepts, the Scope and Sequence, and the Ocean Literacy/NGSS Alignment document.

NMEA has been a leader in the Ocean Literacy Campaign in US and on other continents. We can all be proud of that. When you pay your membership dues, you get a newsletter and a journal, but you're also supporting the spread of Ocean Literacy around the world.

You should have seen information on Scuttlebutt and other list serves about the International Ocean Literacy Survey V4 field test. If you haven't, you can find everything you need to know at Please give the survey to students 15-17 years old and distribute the information to other educators who have access to students. Thanks in advance for your help!

Connect with Craig:

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Tags:  Ocean Literacy  WeAreNMEA 

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Craig Strang says...
Posted Thursday, January 24, 2019
Just a reminder, everyone! Please help get the word out about giving the IOLS V4 to students 15-17 years old! Here's all you need to know:
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