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Common Formative Assessments

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Derek Dalasta

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of Common Formative Assessments

Common Formative Assessments
a promising practice
Brief Overview and Common Definition
Not a clever name


Formative Assessment

Requires time for the developers of the assessment to reflect on the effectiveness of their instruction and collaboratively plan how to adjust instruction practices as a result of the data.

Why is it considered a promising practice?
"Teachers benefit because their students become more motivated to learn. Furthermore, their instructional decisions are informed by more accurate information about student achievement. Teachers also benefit from the savings in time that result from their ability to develop and use classroom assessments more efficiently” (Stiggins, 2002).
Possible Concerns
Common assessments will require lockstep pacing and uniform instruction. (teacher autonomy affected)
“One of the most powerful motivators for stimulating teachers to consider changes in their practice.”

(DuFour, DuFour, and Eaker 2007)
Common Formative Assessments
It's possible in all schools...
Good News!
Professional Learning Community
Common formative assessments (along with proficiency targets) are
“The engine that drives the PLC process.”
-Dr. Loraine A. Ozar, Loyola University
Derek Dalasta
July, 2013
Formative Assessment
Common across a grade level or team

Team generated

Same assessment type, content, and timing

“to make decisions about what actions to take to promote future learning” (Chappius).
How it is used
but this one is special...
"It is a frequent, common, high-quality assessment designed by the teachers who are collaboratively working to help a group of students develop agreed-upon knowledge and skills"
According to the NWRESD (Northwest Regional Educational Service District), Common Formative Assessments are periodic or interim assessments, collaboratively designed by grade-level or course teams of teachers, and administered to all students in a grade level or course several times during the quarter, semester, trimester, or entire school year...
another perspective...
Designed as matching pre- and post-assessments to ensure same-assessment to same-assessment comparisons...
they are similar in design and format to district and state assessments...
...common formative assessment items are intentionally aligned to essential (Priority) standards only and...
...reflect a blend of item types, including selected-response (multiple choice, true/false, matching) and constructed-response (short- or extended) or tasks...
...participating teachers analyze student assessment results in Data Teams to plan and differentiate instruction...
Such results provide predictive value as to how students are likely to do on each succeeding assessment (school, district, and state) in time for teachers to make instructional modifications
Not for all the learning in a course
Track a limited number of the most important learning
(Dufour, 2007)
What are some of the characteristics proven to be most effective?
Weaves through the entire course
Not for all learning in a course, but rather...
Contains “do-over” skills and performances that can be applied to different topics.
Tracks a limited number of the most important learning
Team-developed common assessments are more equitable for students.
Inform and improve the practice of both individual teachers and teams of teachers...
More efficient use of teachers' time
more effective in monitoring and improving student learning.

The Case for Common Formative Assessments

The Case for Common Formative Assessments
by Rick DuFour, Becky DuFour, and Bob Eaker, September 2007
Stiggins, R. J. (2002). Assessment Crisis: the Absence of Assessment for Learning. Phi Delta Kappan. V 83 no10
Jessup, S. (2007). Common Formative and Summative Assessments:The Impact on Student Achievement. The Educational Partners LLC
Ozar, L.A. Developing and Using Common Formative Assessments. www.luc.edu/ccse
DuFour, R., DuFour B., and Eaker, B. (2007) The Case for Common Formative Assessments. www.allthingsplc.info

Chappuis, S. and Chappuis, J. (2007) The Best Value in Formative Assessment. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, V 65 no 4

nwresd.org - a good place to go for clear definitions of terms
If you ever need to lobby for, defend, or justify CFA:
"The Case for Common Formative Assessments" (09/13/2007)
"Common Formative Assessments" (07/30/2007)

http://youreducationalpartners.com/ consulting company that produces heavily-cited literature.
"Few teacher-designed tests and assessments meet the most basic (assessment) standards..." (Wiggins, 1996)
Wiggins, G. (1997) Practicing What We Preach in Designing Authentic Assessments. Educational Leadership. V54 pl 18-25
www.luc.edu/ccse - Loyola's Center for Catholic School Effectivenes
Common assessments need not be additional assessments.
They should replace some of the individual assessments that teachers have traditionally given.
Teachers in PLCs do not test more often, but they do use assessments that are far more powerful.
The common assessments will limit us to a narrow focus or lower-level skills.
We are already assessing too much. This adds to the burden.
If we focus on
student achievement on assessments
we diminish our efforts to develop the whole student.
This is a false dichotomy. There is no need to choose between academic achievement and developing the character of students, fostering a love of learning, or generating good citizens for a democracy.
Teams are free to use a variety of assessment strategies, and many use performance-based assessments.
The assessments can be as rigorous, varied, and authentic as the team decides and should provide the team with the information it will find most helpful in assessing its effectiveness.
As an individual teacher, you can use whatever assessments you like all throughout the year, but at least four times a year we agree to use the same common assessment.
Teachers remain free on a day-to-day basis to make instructional decisions and they benefit from diversity in instructional techniques so members can begin to observe which of those techniques are most effective in helping students achieve the intended outcomes of the unit and/or course.
CFAs do insist that teachers agree to 1) ensure students have access to the same knowledge, skills, and dispositions regardless of the teacher to whom they are assigned and 2) to specify certain benchmark dates when the team will administer assessments to identify students who may be experiencing difficulty or areas of the curriculum needing attention.
When teachers first begin this practice, we recommend they start with a minimum of four common assessments per course/subject, per year. Once they begin to see the benefits, they typically add more frequent assessments.
So once again, there is no expectation that all teachers must be teaching the same content on the same day or using identical strategies.
The expectation is that we will agree to teach certain concepts within the same window of time (perhaps six weeks) so that all students will be prepared for the common assessment.
Rick DuFour post on July 30, 2007
"Common Formative Assessments"
It Makes Your Team Better
Conversations surrounding the creation of common formative assessments are a powerful tool for professional development
When teachers have access to each other’s ideas, methods, and materials they can expand their repertoire of skills.
When a team discovers the current curriculum and their existing instructional strategies are ineffective in helping students acquire essential skills, its members are able to pursue the most
powerful professional development
because it is specific,
and relevant to the context of their content, their strategies, their team, and their students
Basis for comparison using
Richard Elmore (2006) wrote, “teachers have to feel that there is some compelling reason for them to practice differently, with the best direct evidence being that students learn better”
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