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Advanced Data Analysis Workshop - Provincial Ministerial exams

Advanced Data Analysis Workshop - Provincial Ministerial exams

Overall learning goal

By engaging in the outlined activities during the data analysis workshops, participants will:

  • gain proficiency in the four competencies: data literacy and collaborative inquiry, content and pedagogical knowledge, cultural proficiency and leadership and facilitation strategies,

  • establish a common portrait of the provincial ministerial exam results,
  • produce a summary report of the ministerial exam results to share with the English community.


The overall purpose of the provincial ministerial uniform examination data analysis workshop is to establish a common portrait and understanding of the provincial ministerial exam results for the five sanctioned subjects in Quebec’s English sector. The arising report details the global success rates and final average marks for each subject. The uniform subjects are:

Francais Langue Seconde (Base & Enrichi)

English Language Arts

Mathematics (CST, T&S, Science)

Science and Technology (General & Applied)

History and Citizenship

Using a collaborative inquiry approach, CARE members work together throughout the one day task driven workshop, in the fall of each year, to analyse and report the ministerial results from June of that year. Representing each of the nine English School Boards of Quebec, members gather the results of all the boards to create a provincial overview. The resulting report is submitted to and published by DEEN.

Instructional design


The EBP facilitator introduces the day’s proceedings. The day will be a hands-on collaboration, using the Collaborative Inquiry (CI) process and will rely heavily on the processes detailed in The Data Coach’s Guide to Improving Learning for All Students. The day is broken down into four parts including data analysis, write up & communication, student learning problems & transfer/action plan.

Central to the Using Data Process is the Data Driven Dialogue, which offers a structured process to help data teams explore predictions and observations of data before attempting to explain it. This process includes four phases: predict; Go visual; observe; and infer/question.

Members continue to acquire new knowledge by learning about the concepts involved in the CI process, including the pyramid of data and the different types of data, trend data and high/low capacity data use.

The four competencies gained through this process, for CARE members, are data literacy and CI, content and pedagogical knowledge, cultural proficiency and leadership and facilitation strategies.

CARE members spend the first couple of hours analysing the sanctioned subject results data in three passes:
  • Pass 1 focuses on overall success rates,
  • Pass 2 on strand analysis (average marks and trends)
  • Pass 3 targets item analysis.
The overall outcome of part one is to highlight the success rates and average marks for the whole province and the nine individual school boards.
Members begin to write a descriptive report of the results from the above analysis in order to begin drafting the provincial portrait of how students are doing in the ministerial exams overall and across each school board.
Participants record which subjects student are most successful in and whether they have identified any trends in the results.  Following a discussion about common strengths and weaknesses observed through the data analysis, any patterns noted are detailed in the report. The arising report is distributed to DEEN, subject sub-committees and to each of the represented school boards.
Using the outcomes of the data analysis again, CARE members draft student learning problems that would be worth exploring further with DEEN and the sub-committee.  These problems are used to make recommendations on which areas require a deeper focus.
The facilitator reviews with the members the possible causes of student learning problems (as detailed in Verifying Causes Tree diagram), with a view to identify the causes of each before putting in measures to rectify the problem and improve student results.
Together and with the data collected and analysed to date, CARE members draft a plan of action to take the results to DEEN and the sub-committees. Recommendations may be provided as to how the results should be discussed and analysed in respective groups. The action plan should include:
  • Further data analysis
  • Proposed roles and tasks
  • A timeline of tasks
  • A portrait of the rules
  • Details of identified student problems (and possible causes)
  • A strategy, including instructional design, for data analysis to be used with different audiences
  • Information gathering protocols for sub-committees
The learning problems, which were identified, are reviewed as a group in order to plan the next steps of digging deeper and finding solutions.
Looking ahead: Following analysis of the ministerial exams to provide a global provincial portrait of student success, the two subsequent data analysis workshops will focus on item analysis of the exam results and student perceptions. The item analysis workshop focuses on student performance on individual subject exams, digging into test items to analyse percentage of items answered correctly, distractor patterns, and details about frequently missed items. These results are recorded and a report is submitted to DEEN and other sub-committees for information and further action.

At the end of each workshop, members are asked to complete and hand in either exit cards or evaluation sheets, commenting on what was good and what they would change about the day, what they will take away with them and apply and what they hope to cover next time.