The development and validation of testing materials for literacy, numeracy and digital skills in a Dutch context

M.H.G. de Greef*, M.S.R. Segers, J.F.H. Nijhuis, J. Fond Lam, M.H. van Groenestijn, F. van Hoek, A. van Deursen, E. Bohnenn, M. Tubbing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Besides work-oriented training, most Dutch adult learning courses of formal and non-formal education focus on three basic skills: literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science recently initiated the development of a new adult education framework concerning literacy, numeracy and digital skills. In order to monitor the progress of literacy, numeracy and digital competencies, it is necessary to develop and validate testing materials for specific competencies. This study validates the testing materials which were developed to assess learners’ proficiency in literacy (reading and writing), numeracy and digital skills based on the new Dutch framework. The outcome is that the materials proved valid and can be used in different courses referring to basic skills and adult learning, though there are still some limitations. Besides adult education professionals (such teachers and trainers), policy makers can also use the results of these tests in order to describe and monitor the impact of adult education on the lives of adult learners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-671
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Review of Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Basic skills
  • Adult learning
  • Testing materials
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Digital skills

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