Research is clear that using medium- (week-by-week) and short-cycle (day-by-day) formative assessments to adapt and differentiate instruction has a significant impact on student achievement (Wiliam and Thompson, 2007; Shepard, 2007). The challenge for the classroom teacher is that consistently collecting, organizing and analyzing this amount of data becomes overwhelming.
As an NBCT with a programming background and a degree in Informatics, I’ve launched a startup to address this problem. We’re developing a mobile data collection tool that would enable teachers to capture all their daily and weekly formative assessment data in one place, regardless of the medium (exit slips, conferences, paper assessments, etc.) The tool would use the data to create individual student portfolios, as well as a progress monitoring dashboard for the whole class. This would enable teachers to leverage short-cycle formative assessment data in ways they have never been able to before.
In order for this tool to deliver on it’s promise it needs to be developed in close collaboration with other instructional leaders. I would like to gather a team of teacher leaders with deep expertise in using formative assessments. This team would map out the most critical use cases and applications a tool like this would need to address. Their insight and feedback would help this tool become instrumental in advancing the use of formative assessment in the classroom.