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Student Engagement Using Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Results Workshop

Student Engagement Using Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Results Workshop

Overall learning goal

The overall learning goals of the Student Engagement workshop are that participants will have:

  • improved their knowledge of the three measures of student engagement (intellectual, social and institutional),

  • gained a critical understanding of using perception surveys in schools,

  • taken part in an in-depth analysis of student engagement in a school using Tell Them From Me results,

  • begun to use data to make connections to a school’s strategic planning and the use of Tell Them From Me (linking research with practice).

  • produced a report highlighting the findings of their analysis, with recommendations for moving forward.


Every year, members of CARE and the EBP Project gather together for three professional development workshops on topics of Advanced Data Analysis. The first session focuses on analysis of the provincial ministerial uniform exams. In the second, Item Analysis workshop, participants dig deeper into individual exam results. The third and final workshop covers issues of Student Engagement.

The purpose of the Student Engagement workshop is to support CARE members in a deeper analysis of student perception data. With increased knowledge and skills, CARE members can then support educators’ understanding, use and analysis of perception data, in order to improve outcomes for students. Using a measurement tool called OurSCHOOL (formerly Tell Them From Me), a link is made between achievement and perception data. The day is spent gaining a better understanding of Student Engagement and how is can be analysed and used to impact overall student success.  

The task based workshop ends with a report produced by the group to highlight the findings of the day’s analysis as well as recommendations for moving forward. The report includes a table of results and is distributed to school boards and individual schools.

Instructional design


The EBP facilitator introduces the day’s proceedings and connects the current task to the previous workshops on using the data analysis process to create a provincial portrait of the ministry's five uniform exam results, disaggregated data and results of individual exam items.

The overall learning intention of the Student Engagement workshop is to develop a deeper understanding of student engagement by exploring various indicators and by carrying out an advanced data analysis of the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) survey results.

The facilitator introduces the day’s approach, which will be to build understanding together. As a group, participants will gain a collective concept of student engagement in schools by brainstorming, working together in teams and synthesising (group thinking process).

The day is split up into four Learning Outcomes (LO), which are covered in turn.

Learning Outcome 1

LO 1: Participants gain an understanding of the three measures of student engagement: intellectual, social and institutional, as presented in the TTFM survey.

The facilitator introduces the three steps in Lipton and Wellman’s Collaborative Learning Cycle to provide a framework for and support the day’s learning objectives.

The three measures of student engagement are reviewed before looking at what the research says about engagement and the connection with student success. Willms work on identifying trends and early signs of disengagement are explored.

The driving questions for the morning’s session are:

  • What do we know about engagement?

  • How do we know about engagement (Mode of inquiry)?

  • Why is engagement important?

Activity 1 - Knowledge Activation: What do you know about engagement? Participants are asked to individually brainstorm all they know about engagement, compare and contrast definitions of engagement, and pick three ideas to share with the whole group.

TTFM’s social engagement model is presented to participants and each of the three domains are broken down into various measures. Intellectual and institutional engagement are also explored in more detail.

Learning Outcome 2

LO 2: Data analysis: Participants take part in an in-depth analysis of student engagement in a school using TTFM results by applying Wellman and Lipton’s reflective and iterative collaborative inquiry process.

In addition to participants gaining practical experience of using a collaborative inquiry process to structure the dialogue and conducting their own analysis of the TTFM results, participants are asked to reflect on the usefulness of Victoria Bernhardt’s multiple measures of data model, and consider what type of data is collected in TTFM and how different types of data interact. Participants are also asked to reflect on how we can improve our collaborative inquiry process?


Activity 2 - TTFM results: Participants Pick a school and highlight information about that school pertaining to engagement. They then identify strengths and weaknesses in relation to that school. The facilitator asks participants to write down any perceptions they might have about the schools they have chosen.  She asked why they had these perceptions and what assumptions they have made about the schools. Participants are then asked to examine the types of data collected by the TTFM tool.

Various engagement theories are explored in more detail, as well as their implications for teaching. These theories include the work of Marzano & Pickering, Rumberger and Wehlage et al.

Learning Outcome 3

LO 3: Participants gain a critical understanding of using perception surveys in schools. They also receive an overview of the research methods and information gathering implied in the development of a questionnaire to gather information about student engagement. The two main questions being asked in this session are:

  1. What are the objections that schools might have with regards to the use of a questionnaire such as TTFM ?

  2. How do you build a questionnaire – consider issues of validity and reliability,  sampling etc.

Activity 3 - data types: Participants are invited to spend time surveying all the items in TTFM and feeding back what type of data is collected and how are items categorised. Participants also spend time considering issues regarding perception questionnaires in general.

Learning Outcome 4

LO 4: Using Data: CARE members begin to make connections to each (or a chosen) school’s strategic planning and the use of TTFM (linking research with practice).

Through a group discussion, participants consider whether the results gathered on student engagement are included in the MESA or the annual report of the school? This may give an indication of how  the results of the TTFM survey are used in the schools. What are they telling the school about their ethos and how is that linked to student achievement?


Group synthesis: as a conclusion to the day’s activities, the facilitator asks CARE members to reflect on their thoughts on four different elements of measuring and collecting data on engagement and student perceptions generally.  The  four areas are:

  • What are two or three enduring concepts about engagement?

  • TTFM as an instrument?

  • Type of data being collected through perception surveys?

  • Using the data in schools?


At the end of the workshop, participants are asked to complete exit cards and include three comments. One for each of the following statements:

  • One thing I learned

  • On thing I will apply

  • Next time, I would like to…