7th Annual Solutions for Learning Conference

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018, 8:00 am – 3:15 pm. Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre

We are proud to present the 7th Annual Solutions for Learning Conference: Embracing Abilities.

The 2018 conference features a morning keynote session, followed by 3 sessions of breakout presentations with 4 presentations to choose from. Along with a day filled with important information sharing, participants will have a great opportunity to network with like-minded individuals to build on their knowledge.

The 2018 conference keynote presentation is: “Taking a ‘VOCAL’ Approach to Assessment – Validating Observation and Conversation when Assessing Learning.”

Presenter: Damian Cooper, Education Consultant

Damian Cooper is an independent education consultant who specializes in helping schools and school districts across Canada, the United States, and internationally, to improve their instructional and assessment skills. During his varied career, Damian has been a secondary English, Special Education, and Drama teacher, a department head, a librarian, and a school consultant.  He has specialized in student assessment for more than twenty-five years. Damian served as assessment consultant to the School Division of Nelson Education.  Prior to that, he was Co-ordinator of Assessment and Evaluation for the Halton District School Board in Burlington, Ontario.

Damian is past president of The Canadian Assessment for Learning Network (CAfLN). Damian’s international reputation rests on his wide-ranging experience as an educator, his deep understanding of assessment, and his no-nonsense, common sense approach to what works in schools.

Damian’s publications Talk About Assessment: Strategies and Tools to Improve Learning (2007), Talk About Assessment: High School Strategies and Tools (2010), and  Redefining Fair: How to Plan, Assess, and Grade for Excellence in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (2011), are all best sellers.  His latest project is VOCAL: Validating Observation and Conversation when Assessing Learning, an online professional learning course for educators.

Workshop Description: An over-reliance on written tests and examinations fails to provide evidence of the full range of educational outcomes that comprise 21st. century learning.  Complex skills and competencies demand that students demonstrate their learning by doing, and conversing, as well as in writing.  Furthermore, many students know, understand, and can do much more than may be reflected in their responses to test questions.  But many teachers have received little or no training in the design and use of assessment tasks that involve student performance and conversation.  And, unlike more traditional, written assessments, oral and performance assessments introduce additional challenges of classroom management, data-gathering, and scoring.

During his keynote, Damian will invite educators to explore:

  • Why “triangulating” assessment by employing a balance of oral, performance, and written tasks is essential
  • Examples of each type of assessment
  • Methods for gathering evidence, including the use of digital devices
  • Approaches to scoring performance and oral assessment tasks.

Featured Breakout Sessions:

  • Using Digital Evidence to Improve Learning
  • Investigating ADHD
  • Reading Rocks in Halton – A Program to Support and Motivate Vulnerable Readers
  • How Technology Can Bridge the Gap for Learners with Learning Disabilities
  • Empower – Decoding and Spelling
  • Be the Calm in the Storm
  • Strategies to Support Students with Learning Disabilities in Math
  • Understanding How Anxiety, Processing Speed and Working Memory Effect Teaching and Learning
  • Code Breaker
  • Dyslexia: Myths, Facts & Best Practices for Classroom Success

Great practical yet motivational ideas


Having a choice of breakout sessions was really beneficial

Thank You to Our Silver Conference Sponsors