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Adaptation & Modification Workshop

Adaptation & Modification Workshop

Overall learning goal

By the end of the session, participants attending this design workshop will: 

  • improve their understanding of the basic certification rules and regulations regarding permitted adaptations for special needs students during examinations, 
  • gain an understanding of the different factors involved in the decision-making process,


  • appreciate the importance of documenting student needs in the Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • apply their new knowledge to make a judgement in complex cases.


Members of the Committee on Assessment Reporting and Evaluation (CARE) Come together a number of times over the year to further their knowledge and skills in order to support schools to improve outcomes through the use of data. The group also develop objectives and plan and implement specific strategic actions arising from the current priorities in education.

The Ministère de l’Education, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche (MEESR) recognises that it may be necessary to adapt certain evaluation conditions in order to allow students with special needs to demonstrate their learning. Adaptations are the changes in general and special education that are needed for the student to meet his/her goals and objectives. This includes accommodations or modifications to the general and special education programs, supplemental aids (including assistive technology) and/or supports from school personnel to meet the needs of the student. Adaptations do not change the rigor or expectations to the curriculum at the student’s grade. Modifications on the other hand, do change the rigor or expectations and should be made when the expectations are beyond the student’s level of ability. Modifications may be minimal or very complex.

CARE members work together to develop a workshop in collaboration with the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) project to support consultants and teachers’ understanding of the adaptation and modification process for uniform exams. A workshop on adaptations is delivered to educators annually. The day involves a mixture of presentations, activities and case studies.

Instructional design


The CARE team introduce themselves and welcome subject consultants and teachers to the workshop. The agenda for the day is set out and the three learning goals are reviewed.  These are:

  1. Acquiring knowledge of the basic sanctioned regulations regarding permitted adaptations to uniform/compulsory examinations

  2. Gaining an understanding of the different factors involved in the decision-making process

  3. Applying this understanding in making a collective judgement in complex cases

Goal 1

Goal 1: Participants build a knowledge base by learning about the basic sanctioned regulations regarding permitted adaptations to uniform examinations.

Activity 1 - Knowledge Activation

Activity 1 - Knowledge Activation: Participants are asked to describe the differences between adaptation and modification in groups. Following the 30 minute activity, participants are asked to feedback their findings and the group discuss altogether.

The facilitator presents information to the participants including a concept map  and a venn diagram of the differences and overlaps between adaptation and moderation.

Goal 2

Goal 2: Gaining and understanding of the different factors involved in the decision-making process.

The facilitators present information to the group on section 5.21 in the Guide de la sanction des études. The information shared covers:

  • criteria for adaptation

  • types of adaptations approved for which subjects

  • what kinds of adaptations are not accepted (e.g. performing the task for the student or changing what’s evaluated)

  • When requests need to be made to the DSE

Activity 2 - Q&A

Activity 2 - Q&A: In small groups, participants work through a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet and are asked to make a judgement about what they would do for each.

Goal 3

Goal 3: Participants learn to apply their newfound understanding of adaptation and modification guidelines in making a collective judgement in complex cases.

Activity 3 - knowledge application: Case studies

Activity 3 - knowledge application: Case studies. Participants are given a goal of making a decision in the interest of the student (support student to ensure graduation with certification or qualification) while respecting the rules.  Based on the information provided in the case and during the workshop, what decisions should be made concerning extending adaptations to exam situations? Following the task, done in small groups, each case study is reviewed and participants are asked to share their decisions and how they came to them with the whole group.


The learning outcomes for the day are summarized and participants are thanked for their active engagement in the workshop.


Participants are asked to complete feedback sheets for the workshop.