Posted: May 22, 2020


The University of Alberta was completing a Literacy Research Program in three different Alberta school divisions to better understand how literacy education could be improved.  This program required three separate testing cycles throughout the year with teachers spending 50 hrs to collect and validate student’s score per cycle.  This 150 hrs per year was a significant challenge to scaling the program and the final product reporting needed to improve usability and interactivity.


Scott Mckenzie set out to reduce the time associated with this reporting through the utilization of better tools and automated reporting.  Microsoft Power BI and Office 365 were identified as cost effective, easily accessible tools that could solve this problem if applied correctly.

  • An iterative approach that engaged stakeholders allowed users to feel a part of the development process and increased adoption
  • Processes were built to ensure this approach could be utilized in other schools using the Literacy Testing model


The time to complete the data collection and validation dropped by 80% from 150 hrs / year to 30 hrs / year.  This was a time and cost savings of 80% throughout the year

  • The process was now scalable and transferable to other schools with 12 schools currently using the system across Alberta
  • This reduction in time resulted in Teachers championing the Literacy Testing program