Data Use: Formative Assessment

Quality Standard

Formative Assessment: The program provides tutors with support to collect, analyze, and use formative assessment data to inform design of future sessions.

Critical Questions
  • How can the tutoring program use formative assessments already in place within the district/school?
  • What resources and/or training do tutors need to administer and analyze formative assessment data specific to the content they are tutoring students on?
  • How will tutors be supported in the use of formative assessment to inform design of future sessions?
Implementation Checklist
  • Work with the district/school to determine what formative assessments are already in place for students to avoid over testing. 
  • As needed, supplement formative assessments already in place based on the specific content tutors are providing. 
  • Set benchmarks to monitor progress towards outcomes.
  • As part of ongoing coaching work, analyze available formative assessment data with tutors to inform the design of future sessions. 
Implementation Tools

Higher Education Institution (HEI) Specific Tools:

From Existing Resources: 

Key Insights

Set specific benchmarks with expected dates to help stay on track.

  • Programs should set benchmarks with expected dates for all measures — not just measures for student growth, but also for aspects like student/tutor/teacher/parent satisfaction. Routinely reviewing data and comparing it to benchmarks helps programs understand where they are on-track or off-track; this is critical for establishing a data- to-action cycle of insights and iterative improvements. These processes will also support the program with communicating progress and improvements to funders, ensuring the HEI is able to sustain the tutoring program into the future. 

Align routine assessments with session targets (and, ideally, with classroom curriculum).

  • Well-aligned, routine assessments can help programs quickly identify student knowledge gaps and target upcoming sessions to meet specific student needs as they emerge. 
  • If partner schools have existing interim assessments, leverage those data to reduce the need for another assessment and assure that tutoring success is tied to outcomes the school and district sees as relevant.

Provide tutors with time and support to review the assessment and formulate a plan to address each student’s needs, in order for formative assessments to result in more student learning.

  • Train tutors to review actual student work, not just quantitative student performance data.
  • Analyzing student work will enable tutors to identify why students struggled with specific tasks or answered specific questions incorrectly. Tutors can pinpoint access issues, precision errors, and misconceptions; this information can then inform the structure, content, and facilitation of future sessions. This work will deepen their understanding of instructional practices common in school districts, furthering their career development in the case of students interested in becoming teachers.