Rhode Island Formative Assessment Project: Linking Learning and Assessment

The Rhode Island Department of Education has implemented a statewide course in formative assessment, Linking Assessment and Learning, which is a required element of the state’s Race to the Top plan.

As the subject matter expert, WestEd led the development of formative assessment content in the five online modules, and developed the school-site Communities of Practice materials to support site-based teacher learning in formative assessment.

Linking Assessment and Learning is a full-year, blended course design, offering comprehensive support to teachers and school leaders to implement classroom formative assessment.

The five online modules offer tools, templates, resources, vignettes, and video examples that support all aspects of classroom formative assessment—from teacher planning to student use of self and peer assessment.

The Community of Practice Facilitator Guides offer teachers the opportunity to apply the formative assessment practices using their own lesson plans, curricula, and resources. The materials provide strategies for reflection, protocols for collaborative teacher work designed to support teachers’ emerging classroom practices, and an extensive set of resources for schools wishing to extend their learning beyond the online course.

To increase effective implementation at the school level, WestEd led the development of leadership planning materials that promote schoolwide implementation of formative assessment. These materials provide guidance to Rhode Island school leadership teams related to both instructional leadership and school policy. The materials contain:

  • Guidance about the typical teacher learning progression in formative assessment
  • Specific strategies for offering feedback on formative assessment practice
  • What to look for in classroom walk-throughs while teachers are adopting new practices
  • Strategies to align school policies that will support formative assessment implementation

More information about WestEd’s approach to the professional development design for Linking Assessment and Learning can be found in Professional Development on Formative Assessment: Insights From Research and Practice (2013), by Elise Trumbull and Nancy Gerzon.