January 30, 2018

About

What is the ARC site?

The ARC beta site is a guide and a tool to support you in using evidence in your day-to-day work.

It explains data management, research, evaluation and knowledge mobilization, and defines some of the technical jargon commonly used in these fields.

Why is there an ARC site?

The Ontario Ministry of Education recognizes that some school boards have more limited resources than others to fulfill their data-related needs. The ARC site seeks to level the playing field by providing underserved boards with optional user-friendly tools and information to help them in their work.

Who is the ARC site intended for?

Teachers, principals, research and evaluation staff, program coordinators, and superintendents. In short, anyone who collects data and information to inform program, policy, and instructional decision-making in Ontario’s schools and school boards.

Must all schools and school boards in Ontario use the resources in the ARC site?

No. The resources found in the ARC site are available to anyone who may need them. We hope they are useful, but they are not mandatory.

Why is it important to gather data and ascertain evidence?

“We looked at all the school’s data – comprehensive demographic data gave us the context of how our population was changing, which told us we had to change our strategies and services or we would never get all students proficient; perceptions data allowed us to hear from the students and parents about how better to meet their needs; perceptions data from staff revealed what it would take to change teaching strategies and get all staff working “on the same page”; student learning results, disaggregated in all ways, told us where we did not have instructional coherence and which students were not reaching.

We realized we had very little school processes data – the data that measure our instructional processes and programs. Looking at all the data gave us a reality check about where our school was, not just where we thought it was.”

Marylin Avenue School. From Bernhardt, V. L. (2009) p.9

Why is it important to know how to gather and assess evidence?

The ability to gather and evaluate information as more or less trustworthy is a crucial skill in the education sector, and is directly related to one’s knowledge of methods of inquiry. We hope that this site will provide you with a foundational knowledge of these methods to properly gather and assess evidence.

Who is it done by?

In any case, it is the responsibility of each user to assess the quality of the evidence gathered.

Who is it done for?

Gathering and assessing evidence is done for the benefit of arriving at and providing a sound evidence base to inform decision-making at any level of the education system.

In short…