After base line data has been collected and examined, and once school improvement is under way, the next phase of our DDIS model is Formative Feedback.
We found schools in our study engaged in Formative Feedback by the creation of on-going evaluation and feedback systems for elevating teaching and learning to the next level. This process was defined by the collection and examination of information related to teaching and learning while work on school improvement was already underway.
Timely and regular engagement with the Formative Feedback process is an essential feature of a DDIS, and since Formative Feedback is concerned with supporting improvement, information collected in this stage usually focuses on aspects of the school that have already been reconfigured or put in place through Program Design.
We have theorized that once a DDIS is well established, the distinction between Formative Feedback, Data Acquisition, and Data Reflection will start to blur.
One of the schools in our study is in the process of creating a Formative Feedback system utilizing MAP (Measures of Academic Progress test) data. Since the MAP test generates immediate reports about how students are progressing towards state standards across subject areas, it is a powerful tool for engaging in the sort of continuous iterative data collection necessary for engaging in Formative Feedback.
The key for utilizing any type of student data, including MAP test scores, effectively to create a Formative Feedback cycle lies in creating structured opportunities for teachers to engage in professional development and program design based on this data.
Leadership at this school is currently in the process of creating exactly these sorts of structured interactions for teachers to use MAP data for the continuous improvement of curriculum and instruction.