Creating Common Formative Assessments

  • When creating CFAs 6 steps can serve as a guide.

    1. Know the purpose.
    2. Decide which assessment accomplishes your identified purpose.
    3. Create a quality assessment.
    4. Administer and score the assessment; analyze the assessment results.
    5. Make an accurate inference.
    6. Adjust the instructional in a timely manner.


    When creating an assessment for the end of a unit Ainsworth suggests the following 10 steps. You will notice that some steps mirror the steps for creating RCD units.

    1. Determine what the unit of study is.
    2. Identify priority standards.
    3. "Unwrap" the priority standards.
    4. Create a graphic organizer that identifes the level of rigor found in the skills according to Bloom's Taxonomy and Webb's Depth of Knowledge.
    5. Determine the Big Ideas and write the essential questions.
    6. Determine the Big Ideas and write the essential questions. (5 and 6 are the same on purpose).
    7. Write selected response items (multiple choice, true/false, matching, or fill in).
    8. Write Constructed-Response Items (short answer, essay, multiple step math problem). Constructed-Response items also require a scoring guide to ensure accurate scoring.
    9. Create the scoring guide.
    10. Write Big Ideas/Essential Question Directions