Early Years Evaluation - Allocate educational resources

Effective Feedback is More Than Just Correcting Student Work: How to give better feedback to improve student learning

Teachers have never-ending opportunities to provide feedback to students. Amidst all the different sources of feedback students receive, neither marks or grades have the biggest impact on student learning. These matter, but they give students little information as to how they can increase their learning or demonstrate more accurately what they have learned. Written and in-person feedback that is specific to the task at hand has the greatest impact on improving learning outcomes.[1] Feedback, when done well, has a powerful influence on student learning.[2] In fact, research suggests that spending slightly less time teaching in order to provide more constructive feedback increases student learning.[3]

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The Learning Bar is an Award Winner

The Learning Bar is announced as the Large Business Award Winner as The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce Celebrates their Best and Brightest

The Business Excellence Awards acknowledges the accomplishments of businesses in the Fredericton area ‐ both members and non‐members of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. The Large Business Award recognizes a company with 51 or more employees that has been operational for at least five years and has demonstrated professional integrity, excellence in customer service, success through innovation and a commitment to the community.

The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce hosts the Business Excellence Awards gala annually to recognize and exemplify leadership in the city.


Blog - Dr Willms - Chamber of Commerce Awards 2019
Dr. J. Douglas Willms, Founder and President
of The Learning Bar
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Blog - Rick Hansen Foundation Logo

New collaboration aims to make learning inclusive and accessible for all students

The Learning Bar and the Rick Hansen Foundation have teamed up to help educators assess the level of inclusivity and accessibility within their school environment. Through the collaboration, the OurSCHOOL Student Survey, developed by The Learning Bar, now includes questions of students’ awareness of the barriers facing peers with physical disabilities, and their willingness to take action. The data will enable educators to monitor the success of programs aimed at increasing awareness, accessibility and inclusion. Click here to find out more.

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Blog - Using student data to reduce anxiety and enhance school climate

Using student data to reduce anxiety and enhance school climate at St. Dominic Fine Arts School, Calgary, AB.

Implementing the OurSCHOOL Student Survey at St. Dominic in 2015 allowed former Principal Kevin DeForge and Assistant Principal Joelle Marshall to learn that 32 per cent of students reported feeling medium to high levels of anxiety at school. Knowing it’s not just the data that matters, but what you do with it, Kevin and his team sought to understand what was driving this.

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Insights Manitoba: Developing literacy skills for vulnerable children

Educators in Manitoba and Saskatchewan came together at Insights Manitoba to address the literacy barriers for the most vulnerable early learners. Our guest speakers were joined by Dr. J. Douglas Willms who presented his framework outlining the factors that most strongly influence a child’s learning from conception through to adulthood.

Details of the day are outlined below.

9:00 – Overall welcome
Christine Hole, Product Director, The Learning Bar (MC)

9:10 – Introduction – Positive indicators of literacy development among vulnerable children
Gordon Martell, Superintendent, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools

9:30 – Educational prosperity in Manitoba’s schools
Dr. J. Douglas Willms, President, The Learning Bar

10:45 – Breakout Session

11:15 – Improving early elementary school experiences for vulnerable learners
Christian Michalik, Assistant Superintendent, Louis Riel School Division

1:00 – Engaging with data to empower action
Christine Hole, Product Director, The Learning Bar

1:30 – Using data to inform programming, build relationships, and engage the community
Deborah Burnside, Student Services Coordinator, Swan Valley

2:00 – Imagine: First Nations early learners as Nation Builders
Lori Whiteman, Executive Director, Treaty 4 Education Alliance

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Visit us at booth 47 at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, July 26 – July 28

We are proud to be supporting our partners Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute(KTEI) and Treaty 4 Education Alliance at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE), A Celebration of Resilience. The event, taking place in Toronto July 24 – 28, is the largest and most diverse Indigenous education event in the world and continues to lead the discussion on education that support Indigenous world views.


Join us at Ignite Session 63, July 28th – 10:00-10:45


Hear Lori Whiteman Executive Director, Treaty 4 Education Alliance and Debbie Debassige, Director of School Services, KTEI present on the subject of culturally responsive education and how they are using Confident Learners in their schools to identify and meet the literacy learning needs of their students. We will also be at booth 47 if you’d like to come by and ask any questions.

The event is an outstanding opportunity to learn about:

Health and Wellness
Indigenous Knowledge and Ways of Knowing
Innovations in Indigenous Education
Justice and Equity
Language and Culture
Partnerships in Education

We hope to see you there.

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Insights Alberta: Thanks to everyone that attended or joined us online

Building a Data Culture

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend or tune in to hear our presenters discuss how schools and districts are using their student data to make informed school improvement decisions. If you were unable to join us or if you wish to revisit the experience or share these strategies and interventions with colleagues, the videos of the individual presentations are now available online along with copies of the slides. 

Equality, equity, and educational prosperity – what does it mean to Alberta schools?
Dr. J. Douglas Willms, President and CEO, The Learning Bar

Duration: 1:01 mins

“Breathing life into data”: St. Dominic Fine Arts School Case Study
Kevin DeForge, Principal, St. Dominic Fine Arts School and Supervisor of Educational Technology, Calgary Catholic School District

Duration: 22 mins

Building skills and taking action: System supports for connecting student voice to quality instruction, collaborative practice and purposeful engagement
Joanne Pitman, Director of Administration and Learning, Grande Prairie School District

Duration: 38 mins

Student Engagement
Doug Stevens, Director of Distributed Learning, Foothills School Division

Duration: 9 mins

Data Analysis and Collaboration
Carra Aschenmeier, Lead Teacher of Assessment and Mentorship, Grande Yellowhead Public School Division

Duration: 29 mins

Using OurSCHOOL data to inform a focus on mental health and wellness in Fort McMurray Public Schools
Dr. Brenda Sautner, Associate Superintendent, Fort McMurray Public School District

Duration: 27 mins

Engaging students in district planning
Dr. Marianne Barrett, Associate Superintendent, St. Albert Public School Division

Duration: 10 mins

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Are your students ready for life after graduation?

The critical process of career planning starts in early childhood and intensifies during adolescence. Despite the emphasis placed on identifying a vocation before graduation, less than 20 percent of students make a stable career choice by age 17.

Do you have the complete picture?


The new Career Pathways module was developed by our in-house research team to help educators better understand and support their Grades 7-12 students’ transition from school to higher education and employment. 

The module, a part of the OurSCHOOL Secondary Survey, consists of 10 main question areas which capture:

student aspirations after graduation;
level of commitment to a particular job;
current exploration into career options;
students’ career knowledge;
perceived obstacles;
current use of school-level resources and opportunities; and,
perceived importance of specific skills.
How can you use the data to prepare your students for success?

A Thematic Report outlines student goals, vocational knowledge and career identity. Make informed decisions on the support and instruction students need to explore careers, guide them to relevant programs, and gain the vocational experience they need to succeed.

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