Evaluating Learning Resources

What is a learning resource?

Any materials, print or digital, selected by teachers to support curricular objectives and student learning. Student-selected free reading materials, such as Library and Silent Reading materials, are not considered learning resources. For district procedures regarding Library materials, click here.

Who is responsible for evaluating learning resources?

Teachers are responsible for evaluating the learning resources they use in their classrooms. School District 35’s Learning Resource Evaluation Criteria can be found here (in SD 35 Staffnet). The district’s Learning Resources policy and procedures can be found here.

How do I learn how to evaluate learning resources?

There is support available through Instructional Services, Department Heads and Teacher Librarians to support educators in evaluating learning resources. As well, a free 1-hour online course is available (click here) through Focused Education.

What do I do if I’m unsure about a specific learning resource?

If you are uncertain about using a specific resource, use the district criteria form to discuss the resource with your colleagues, department head and/or Teacher Librarian. This flow chart with questions to consider may also help. As well, search to see if a teacher review of the resource has been done by Focused Education (click here). You may also submit resources to Focused Education for a formal review (click here). Finally, you may request a formal evaluation by a district Learning Resources Evaluation Team (LRET).

What is a district Learning Resources Evaluation Team (LRET)?

Upon a request from the field, a team including practicing educators and administrators will be created to provide a district level evaluation of the submitted learning resource. Who is on the team will depend on the specific resource being evaluated. For example, if the resource is an elementary picture book for an elementary context, there will need to be elementary teachers on the team. This process is intended as a backup support for educators; given the importance of context, it is highly recommended that teachers evaluate the resource with relevant colleagues from their school community first.

How do I request a formal evaluation by a district Learning Resources Evaluation Team (LRET)?

First, check the list of learning resources that have already been considered by a LRET (see bottom of this page). If the resource is listed, connect with the Director of Instruction for further information on what context the resource was originally evaluated for and whether that evaluation can help inform your decision for your context. If the resource is not listed, submit a request for a district level evaluation to the Director of Instruction. A LRET will evaluate the resource and communicate a recommendation to you within four weeks of the date of submission.

Will the district have a list of approved learning resources?

No. Since context is paramount, universally approving a learning resource by a central authority is problematic. Although a list of the learning resources that have been evaluated by a LRET will be publicly posted (see below), teachers will need to evaluate learning resources for their specific context. Teachers can connect with the Director of Instruction to discuss a title on the list and the context it was originally evaluated for.

Documents and Supports

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (for teachers)
SD 35 Learning Resource Evaluation Criteria Form
SD 35 Learning Resources Administrative Procedure
BC Ministry of Education Learning Resource Policy (2017)
Focused Education Resource Evaluation Online Course (1 hour)
Focused Education K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection
Focused Education Submission Request for a resource to be formally evaluated
Learning Resource One Pager (clear, concise summary)

List of Titles Evaluated by a LRET

We Are all Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen (Dec 2020)

The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson (Jan 2021)

Instructional Services | #Think35

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