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.

Overview of FAME R&D Activities

List of FAME R&D Resources

Focus On FameCase StudiesReport Abstracts

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.

Research Studies

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.

Resource Development

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.

Professional Learning

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.
Focus on FAME

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.

Case Studies

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!

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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
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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
Read More
Report Abstracts and Articles

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 our R&D Team

The Research and Development (R&D) team develops and evaluates FAME resources.

Contact us to learn more about FAME R&D.

Contact R&D