The Gateway

Facilitating access to international large-scale assessments (ILSAs)

The ILSA Gateway is an online platform that will be launched in spring (northern hemisphere) 2017. The gateway will provide easy access not only to IEA studies but also to major ILSAs conducted by other organizations, including, but not limited to, the Conference of the Ministers of Education of French-Speaking Countries (CONFEMEN), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ), and the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).

The new gateway will not replicate other efforts but will be organized as an overarching service that provides links to content available on the respective study websites. It will also offer various search tools to make locating the vast array of information, documentation, and data across different ILSAs and dimensions of interest easier and faster. The platform will furthermore facilitate communication within the ILSA community. Dynamic tools, such as the news section, the events calendar, and especially the forum, will enhance the exchange of knowledge, data, and resources, encourage discussions about secondary analyses of data and future research, and help to strengthen international collaboration.

The main target audiences of the gateway include researchers, policymakers, and decision-makers, as well as officials and staff members from intergovernmental, international nongovernmental, and civil society organizations. The ILSAs will be selected for inclusion on the gateway according to clear, measurable criteria that will be outlined on the website and enable site users to evaluate the quality of each ILSA and its data. Within the IEA, the Research and Analysis Unit has overall responsibility for the development, maintenance, and promotion of the gateway.

XTXS: An international cross-time, cross-system database for educational researchers

XTXS is a database that offers free access to education-related data sets, complementing the IEA Data Repository and databases maintained by other research organizations. Its main goal is to help researchers overcome the challenges they face when working with cross-national data, especially in terms of facilitating the download of aggregated and merged data files.

The database compiles information from a large number of sources, including major international large-scale assessments such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), and the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL) survey. Other sources include databases such as UNESCO’s Data Centre and the World Bank’s EdStats, and compilations such as The Condition of Education and the Digest of Education Statistics, both disseminated by NCES, and Education at a Glance, published by the OECD.

XTXS offers data on a wide array of topic areas, including, but not limited to, outcomes of education, school contexts, characteristics of students and education systems, as well as economic, social, geographic, and political indicators relevant to teaching and learning. It provides information across time (from 1970 up to the present), across space (from 232 education systems worldwide), and at various levels (e.g., country-level).

Data files are available in two formats so as to meet the specific needs of the individual user. The first format is wide (years nested in columns/variables), and the second format is long (years nested in rows/countries). The available files can be used in conjunction with common statistical software packages such as SAS, Stata, and SPSS.

Click here to get access to XTXS database.