FAME Research and Development
Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME) continually invests in program improvement by studying the program’s effects on teachers and students. The FAME Research and Development (R&D) team, under the leadership of Ed Roeber, also engages in development and evaluation of resources used in the FAME program. Comprehensive evaluation reports are written each year. The newest R&D effort is a collection of Focus on FAME resources that summarize various R&D outcomes with implications for current and future FAME participants.
What We’re Working On
The FAME Research and Development Team carries out three types of work in support of the FAME program. Some of the key activities of each type are described below.
The FAME R&D team is currently conducting several research studies. These include:
- Study the district-wide implementation of the FAME professional learning program in several school districts;
- Increase Coach use of coaching skills while assisting individual FAME Learning Team members to improve their use of the formative assessment process;
- Create a resource that describes the planning practices within the formative assessment process ;
- Understand student agency and how educators can promote this among the students they work with;
- Examine the ways in which FAME Learning Teams study and learn to use formative assessment practices; and
- Describe how long-term FAME teams work on use of the formative assessment process for three or more years.
The FAME R&D team also creates new resources for FAME Coaches and Learning Team members. Current work includes:
- Completing a resource on planning in formative assessment, and another guide on student self-assessment;
- Undertaking new going-deeper guides on planning as defined in the FAME program, as well as on promoting student agency;
- Developing guides for the use of formative assessment in disciplines such as the social studies in order to demonstrate how disciplinary knowledge and formative assessment practice build on and support one another;
- Summarize the steps educators typically go through to learn to effectively use formative assessment practices at the district, school, and classroom levels; and
- Develop new case studies on effective formative assessment learning by various types of FAME teams.
The FAME R&D team creates professional learning resources and strategies for use in the FAME program to increase the effectiveness of program efforts. This year the team is:
- Creating learning resources for use by FAME Leads, Coaches, and Learning Team members to advance their understanding of formative assessment process.
Virtual FAME Learning Team meetings—not the enemy, just a different way to meet!
This Focus on FAME publication encourages the use of virtual FAME Learning Team meetings and provides helpful tips.
How can administrators support teacher learning about formative assessment and the FAME program?
How can administrators support teacher learning about formative assessment and the FAME program?
What strategies do schools use to effectively integrate FAME into other state, district, or school initiatives?
Learn about strategies schools use to effectively integrate FAME into other state, district, and school initiatives.
Through the Lens: The use of video for professional development in FAME
This Focus on FAME publication explains the importance of self-reflection to teacher growth, and describes how to use video and FAME's Formative Assessment Self-Reflection Guide for professional development.
What are the optimal conditions for implementing formative assessment (and the FAME program) in the classroom?
This Focus on FAME publication describes three necessary conditions for successful implementation of formative assessment practices.
Principles of Formative Assessment (Margaret Heritage & FAME Leads)
This Focus on FAME publication presents twelve principles that undergird formative assessment practices. They were developed by leaders of the Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME) team after a deep examination of exemplary formative assessment practices in several elementary and secondary school classrooms.
What are the benefits of using the formative assessment process?
This Focus on FAME publication describes the significant benefits that formative assessment offers for teachers and students. It presents evidence that shows formative assessment to be a cost-effective approach to improving student achievement, and increasing teacher satisfaction and effectiveness, along with many added benefits.
The FAME Research and Development Team gathers information on FAME approaches with the potential to be replicated in districts across Michigan. Explore these success stories!
Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy: A Case Study in How Participation in FAME Cultivates Teacher Leadership
This case study looks at teacher leadership within the FAME Learning Team at the Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA). It describes how the FAME program helps to build the teacher leadership needed for the enactment of the formative assessment process, specifically, and for school improvement more broadly.
- FAME helps develop teacher leaders
- Skills and dispositions of instructional leadership
Mary Ruth Bird: Architect and Visionary for District-wide Assessment Literacy
This case study illustrates how participation in the Michigan Assessment Consortium’s Achieving Balance in Classroom Assessment (ABCA) program helped an administrator in South Redford School District define a strategy and create an outline for a three-year plan to build knowledge and understanding of three linked concepts: assessment literacy, a balanced assessment system, and formative assessment as a process. It also describes the detailed implementation plan that allowed her to embed this strategy into the work of the district.
- Strategies for systemic change
- Formative assessment process as part of a balanced assessment system
Harper Creek Community Schools: Sustaining FAME Participation in a Time of COVID
This case study describes how the Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME) program began and grew in Harper Creek and how the FAME Learning Team has persisted — and even grown — through their formative assessment progress journey, despite the challenges the pandemic created. Follow along as they describe their journey of “curiosity-ueled enthusiasm along an uncertain road.”
- Sustaining and growing a FAME Learning Team
- Building district-level capacity
The Genesee Three: How Three Educators in Genesee County Helped Strengthen Formative Assessment Practices and the FAME Program
This case study demonstrates how a team of dedicated professionals can build on their experiences in the FAME program and expand professional learning opportunities while at the same time remaining faithful to the FAME program’s vision of formative assessment.
- Collaboration and Commitment
- Professional Learning
Enacting Formative Assessment Practices with Students in the Virtual Environment
Find out how educators enacted Brookhart’s (2020) five strategies for using formative assessment in virtual environments with students with disabilities–with all students during the COVID pandemic.
- Formative assessment strategies in a virtual environment
- Interdependence of five formative assessment practices highlighted here
FAME Leads—A Case Study in State and Local Leadership
It would be difficult to imagine the FAME program without the FAME Regional Lead Coaches (the “Leads”). They are the link between the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Michigan’s educators and, most importantly, Michigan’s students. But who are these Leads? This is their story.
- Regional leadership and support
- Consulting, coaching, and collaboration
The Springport FAME Learning Team—Support for Teachers, Growth for Students
FAME Learning Team members at Springport High School say their time together has become a crucial factor in their own professional growth. Their FAME Learning Team serves as a catalyst to take their learning into their classroom practice with a focus on helping students achieve.
- Professional learning and support for teachers
- Growth in student achievement
The Kingsley Story: A Principal Embraces Instructional Leadership
A new principal addresses achievement gaps by using state and local assessment data to draft a school improvement plan that included Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME).
- Principal leadership and long-term commitment
- Integration of FAME into additional strategies
There’s Always Something Good Happening in Corunna
A district-wide initiative to provide and support professional development for teachers includes encouragement to participate in the FAME professional learning model on formative assessment. (Includes video)
- Intentional integration of formative assessment
- “All-in” district-wide approach
There’s STILL Always Something Good Happening in Corunna!
During our original visit to Corunna, we found a strong and deep commitment to the expansion and support of FAME throughout the district. Chapter 2 of their story highlights the ways in which the district is continuing the good work already started, is expanding to more teachers, and plans to sustain the program long term.
- Expanding to all teachers
- Sustaining FAME long-term
The Muskegon Story: Building Trust, Raising Expectations
Working together, an entire county uses the FAME professional learning model to learn and apply formative assessment practices in the classroom.
- County-wide implementation
- Sustained success due to administrator commitment
The Hesperia Story: The Focus is on the Students
An administrator is committed to overcoming the challenges associated with the principalship by helping teachers maximize their efforts and the needs of an ever-changing and ever-challenging population.
- Principal Leadership
- Focus on Students
Those who can TEACH…and teach EFFECTIVELY!
This case study reveals the power of a district whose effective teachers prepare students to excel—and that hosted a FAME Showcase to recognize teachers’ implementation of the formative assessment process and the positive effects on students.
- Importance of administrative support
- Effective teaching, increased student learning
Think You Know About Formative Assessment … Think Again!
Many classroom teachers think they understand formative assessment and believe they are using it with their students. This was certainly true for a group of experienced teachers in Traverse City, Michigan. But they soon realized there is more to the formative assessment process than meets the eye!
- Commitment to FAME and a team approach
- Empowered teachers, invested and engaged students
Lakeland High School: A Close Look at a First-Year FAME Learning Team
This case study showcases a first-year Coach and Learning Team at Lakeland High School—how they started and how their first year unfolded. Reflections from the assistant principal and teachers provide valuable information about what it’s like to start a FAME Learning Team.
- Active administrator involvement
- Reflections on starting a Learning Team
Blakeslee, Chandler, Roeber, and Kintz – Accentuate the Formative
This article showcases Michigan teachers using rubrics and video to improve their practices.
2020-21 FAME Development and Evaluation Activities
In this 2020-21 report, the FAME Research and Development Team describes activities undertaken by the team, findings related to FAME participant needs, ways in which the FAME resources are used, and additional resources being created to enhance the program.
2019-20 FAME Development and Evaluation Activities
In this annual report (2019-20), the FAME Research and Development Team describes findings related to FAME participant needs, ways in which the FAME resources are used, and additional resources to enhance the program.
Meet the Team
Assessment Director, Michigan Assessment Consortium
Ed has been involved as a FAME research and development specialist since the program’s inception in 2007. He believes formative assessment is a key strategy that helps all students, especially low achieving ones, experience academic success. “I enjoy most when I hear or observe teachers indicate how FAME has changed how they teach and the success that their students are having,” Ed says. He also enjoys it when students reflect on how formative assessment has changed their perceptions of themselves as learners. “These are the essence of what FAME is about.”
FAME Research & Development Team, Michigan Assessment Consortium
Tara Kintz is a Research Associate for the MAC where she conducts research and develops resources for the FAME Program. She has been involved with FAME since Fall 2010. She enjoys seeing what the FAME work makes possible for teachers and students across Michigan as they implement formative assessment processes in their classrooms. “FAME helps teachers to empower and support learners to become self-directed and meaningfully engaged in achieving their learning goals,” Tara says. She enjoys learning and about and sharing the exceptional work of the FAME Coaches and Learning Teams. “I really appreciate the opportunity to develop materials to meet the needs of the FAME program participants. It is great to hear feedback and then take steps to support their work.”
Research Associate, Michigan State University
John has been involved in the FAME program for eight years, serving primarily as a researcher for the FAME program and developer of FAME program resources. He appreciates how the FAME work gives him a chance to contribute to the larger effort of promoting formative assessment practices in the classroom. “As a researcher, I sometimes feel disconnected from the teachers and students in Michigan schools,” John says. “The FAME program offers me the opportunity to reconnect.” He most enjoys helping to develop resources that teachers and students will use in the service of enacting the formative assessment process. “I find great satisfaction in helping to develop these resources because of the tangible contribution that they make to the lives of teachers and students.”