Formative Assessment Delivery System (FADS)

Collaborating Institutions: 
Center for Highly Interactive Classrooms, University of Michigan, Learning Sciences Institute, Vanderbilt University

Funded By: 
National Science Foundation, Discovery Research K-12

University of Michigan Participants: 
Joe Krajcik, Namsoo Shin, Joi Merritt

Vanderbilt University Participants: 
Rich Lehrer

BEAR Center Participants: 
Mark Wilson (PI), Cathleen Kennedy, Kathleen Scalise, Ya-Hui Su, Amy Dray

The Formative Assessment Delivery System (FADS) project is designed to advance the use of formative assessment data to inform day-to-day instructional decisions. The project seeks to help teachers more accurately diagnose their students’ comprehension and learning needs through the use of a teacher-managed computer system for formative assessment. The software will be modeled with the 6th grade Chemistry unit from the Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology (IQWST) curriculum and the 7th grade Constructing Data, Modeling Worlds (CDMW) mathematics curriculum.


A key feature of this project is the centrality of teacher expertise. We collaborate extensively with teachers to learn how technology can make a difference in the classroom. Teachers will guide the design of (1) the way feedback is provided to students during instructional uses of assessment activities (e.g., embedded assessment), (2) the reports that will be provided to teachers after students complete assessments, and (3) the professional development materials about how to effectively gather and use formative assessment data.