UFAC (Goal and Procedure)

 The goal and procedure of creating the UFAC system (Universe of Formative Assessment Components)

The Universe of Formative Assessment Components (UFAC) consists of the population (or universe, as stated in the field of measurement) of all admissible forms of information that can inform teachers with an understanding of their students’ learning and direct teachers’ next steps to move that learning forward. We are building the UFAC with a goal to make it as comprehensive as possible. The components are obtained from many sources including the following: 

(1) Major test publishers: information on the tools that they have created for formative assessment purposes (Phase I)
(2) State assessment directors (from 46 states): the tools and practices that they use in their states and consider as formative assessment and/or use for formative purposes (Phase I)
(3) Principals from Phase I of the project: the tools and practices used (or recommended to use) for formative assessment purposes (Phase I)
(4) Principals and teachers from Phase II of the project: sample formative assessment tools and practices that were collected from the selected schools (Phase II)
(5) Schools from Phase III of the study: site observation and interviews with teachers in the seven selected sites from Northern and Southern California (Phase III)
(6) International experts from the Delphi study (Phases II, III, and IV; see Appendix for detailed information)
(7) Literature in the area of formative assessment (Phases I – IV)

UFAC is multi-dimensional since it is not based on a single criterion or a single source of data. It is comprehensive because it includes all possible forms of criteria and strategies that can be used formatively. The process of creating the UFAC includes multiple stages. 

(1) Stage I involves compiling a comprehensive list of components using information from the nation including sources obtained earlier in this project. 
(2) In Stage II, the components are grouped under themes.
(3) In Stage III, the themes and components are presented to experts for content validation purpose. 

A current list of components is derived from statements provided by the Delphi Study experts that describe general characteristics, student and teacher goals, potential tools, practices, etc. of formative assessment. As of the completion of the Year 4 Annual Report, the UFAC system consisted of 242 Components, which were grouped by common characteristics into 23 Themes and three Meta-Themes (see below for the complete list of the UFAC system). 

For example, Component #45 reads, “Teacher adjusts instruction by demonstrating alternative representations of concepts.” This Component falls under the Theme “Feedback,” which describes practices or strategies that teachers can use to incorporate feedback into a lesson. In addition, “Feedback” is one of 11 Themes in the Meta-Theme “Formative assessment as a process” – one of a total of three higher order Meta-Themes: (1) Formative assessment as a process; (2) Formative assessment as a tool; and (3) Formative assessment as a culture. However, some of the Components were classified under more than one Theme. One such example is the previously addressed Component #45. This Component falls under the Theme “Feedback” as well as the Theme “Adjustment.” Both of these Themes are a part of the Meta-Theme, “Formative assessment as a process.” So far, there are a total of 179 unique Components. 

The literature review process has been conducted for the full list of 242 Components as the same Component under a different Theme may convey different content and therefore require different classroom activities. Therefore, UFAC is subject to continuing revisions as a result of the ongoing Component literature reviews. For example, when the literature review was concluded for both Component #24 and Component #75, it was discovered that they would be better served as one single Component, rather than two separate ones. Component #24 stated that, “Teacher structures class so that peers provide reflective feedback on the quality of one another’s work in relation to established criteria, exemplars” and Component #75 stated, “Teacher allows students to use the idea of quality work to evaluate the work of others.” The review of the literature revealed that one Component cannot be clearly distinguished from the other, and therefore only the more inclusive Component #24 was retained and listed in the UFAC; Component #75 was deleted. Similar situations will be considered as the Component literature reviews are completed. This may result in a fewer number of final Components in the UFAC, although all of the Component concepts will still remain within its structure.


UFAC Component Lists and Literature Reviews

 1. Formative Assessment Culture

 2. Formative Assessment Processes

 3. Formative Assessment Tools

 4. Formative Assessment Tools / Processes