About The Learning Bar

The Learning Bar is dedicated to improving the outcomes of all children and reducing childhood vulnerability. Our student assessments and survey solutions are developed by in-house researchers and educators, whose work on student learning is being used to affect local and national policy. This knowledge is the foundation of our evaluation tools which provide educators with the insight they need to make informed school planning decisions.


Underlying research

The Learning Bar was founded in 2004 by Dr. J. Douglas Willms. His extensive educational knowledge and recent work on student engagement for the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is embodied in the intellectual property of the Early Years Evaluation, Confident Learners and the OurSCHOOL surveys.


Early Years Evaluation (EYE):

Transitioning to school

Identify the developmental skills of children as they prepare for kindergarten with the Early Years Evaluation. Play-based assessment methods gather leading indicator data to help educators guide school planning and monitor each child’s progress. Immediate, easy-to-interpret reports empower teachers and multidisciplinary teams to personalize each child’s learning experience to ensure a successful transition to school.


Confident Learners:

Unlocking each child’s potential

Plan, develop and measure the progress of a child’s skill development over time with this whole-school and whole-community program. Confident Learners was developed with Indigenous partner schools to reduce the risk of literacy failure through early literacy assessment, structured learning objectives and evidence-based instruction during the primary school grades. A bank of over five hundred engaging and culturally relevant learning activities, with an online application, allows teachers to plan their lessons to meet the individual needs of their students.


OurSCHOOL (formerly Tell Them From Me):

Informing School Improvement

Measure, assess and report insights on your school using reliable and meaningful measures known to affect learning outcomes. These measures were developed by our research team, in consultation with leading experts and panels of students, teachers and principals. The in-depth reporting, subpopulation analysis and actionable data are the reasons why OurSCHOOL is now the largest national survey in Canada. Over 5.4 million students from 6,300 schools have added their voices to our rich data set to inform school improvement initiatives.


About Us

Dr. J. Douglas Willms

Dr. J. Douglas Willms is the founder and CEO of The Learning Bar.

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Beth Fairbairn

Beth Fairbairn is Vice President of KSI Research International (2009) Inc., a senior executive responsible for managing the day to day operations of the company.

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Christine Hole

Christine Hole is an Account Success Manager at The Learning Bar located in Fredericton, NB. Christine completed her dual honours degree in Psychology and Criminology at Saint Mary’s University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Personality Psychology from the University of Manitoba.

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Alma López

Alma has dedicated her professional career to educational assessment. After she got her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, in 1996 at the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila, she began to work in the Assessment Education Department in Aguascalientes, Mexico. This first experience served her to recognize the importance of collaborate to improve education.

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Claire Watton

Claire Watton joined The Learning Bar Inc. as a Research Assistant in May 2014. Claire completed both an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University in 2012.Most recently, Claire completed a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Guelph during which she wrote a thesis exploring the relationship between school engagement and mental health among adolescents.

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