Usability and Validity Study and the K-3 Formative Assessment Process

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Chatham County Schools engaged in the K-3 Usability and Validity Study in the Spring of 2016. The data they gained from this experience will be used to inform adjustments to the process and resources to prepare for their next steps. The next phase, after the Usability Study is complete across the state, involves the selection of districts to join cohorts to begin a scaling-up process.
  • What is Usability Testing? Usability testing is a method Implementation Teams use to test an innovation or the implementation methods under typical conditions, as opposed to research or ‘pilot’ conditions. (See also SISEP.) Usability testing was originally developed by computer scientists as a very efficient way to develop, test, and refine new software programs and websites, both very complex endeavors. This research is now applied to our complex work in education. The ‘bugs’ in the process can be quickly detected and resolved through usability testing, and researchers have found that the end user experience is much more improved through this process. Through the K-3 Usability and Validity Study with our partner districts, we are developing and refining the K-3 Formative Assessment Process procedures and resources to improve the experience for teachers and students.



Why Implementation Science? It's the HOW to get the WHAT done.

The brief overview below appeared in former Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson's Weekly Superintendent's Message
Using the principles of implementation science helps staff effectively select, begin, evaluate and sustain new initiatives. NCDPI has partnered with the State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices Center (SISEP) to increase capacity for implementation and scale-up of department initiatives to maximize students' academic and social outcomes. View this brief video to learn more. The Office of Early Learning (OEL) is partnering with school districts across the state using implementation science principles to scale-up the NC K-3 Formative Assessment process.


What do Implementation Teams do?
Each District Implementation Team (DIT) is charged with selecting and building the capacity of Building Implementation Team (BIT) members. The Regional Implementation Team (RIT) supports the DITs as they accomplish this work and builds their capacity to do so. The RIT and DITs collaborate in workgroups focused on the following: Training, Coaching, Communication, and Research/Evaluation and Data.You can find resources on the Ai Hub to support each workgroup. These workgroups are aligned with the Implementation Drivers which represent the infrastructure needed to make use of innovations.

Communication Protocol Development

  • This graphic illustrates how a District Implementation Team (DIT) could design a communication protocol. Strengths of this model include:
  • Reciprocal communication and relationships between and among all teams is evident.
  • Each team and workgroup has a designated Point Person and all communication flows through this person to other teams and workgroups. Written forms are used by the Point Person and posted for all members to view (meeting summary forms include celebrations, updates, and barriers).
  • Workgroups are designated to take on buckets of work aligned with implementation drivers: Professional Development, Communication, Coaching, and Data/Research. These buckets of work change over time throughout the stages of implementation.
  • Regional Implementation Team (RIT) member coaches support each workgroup. A strong partnership is evident.

Grows/Glows Feedback From Teachers

  • Building Team Meeting Summary Form - Maintaining the feedback loop between Building Implementation Teams and District Implementation Teams is key to a successful communication protocol. Several districts are using the Building Team Meeting Summary Form (or Glows/Grows). Its format, highlighting "Glows," or successes, and "Grows," or areas for improvement, was co-created by the Chatham County District Implementation Team.

Partnering with Families

Formative Assessment Process Learning

  • Jigsaw Activity


    NC 5 Critical Component Jigsaw Activity - this activity involves using the NC 5 Critical Component handout and this JIGSAW handout and inviting participants to following the directions on the handout to get to know NC 5 Critical Components.
  • Self-Reflection Tool


    This tool is important for educators as they begin implementation of the formative assessment process. It helps them to know the expected implementation of the Five Critical Components and uses I can statements to support reflection and professional goal-setting.
  • Online Modules


    See the modules page on this wiki.
  • NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Activity.


    Here is a hands-on activity designed for participants to review the five Critical Components of the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process. Participants will sequence the Critical Components in the correct order and then match each component to its definition. Note: There is not a first step, second step sequence that results in finishing the process with a final step, but rather an ongoing process represented by the circular graphic.

Crtiical Component Sort Pic.JPGCritical Component Sort Pic 2.JPG

K-3 Construct Progressions and Resources

Quick Guides

Use this agenda (sample template) to support your discussions during PLC meetings. It provides step by step guidance for planning and unpacking of the construct progressions as a team. Then, unpack the construct progressions one at a time using these Quick Guides:


Construct Progressions Sorting Activity

In this activity, "players" are given a set of steps for a given construct, out of order. The object is to correctly order the steps within each construct. Players can check their thinking using the answer key provided for each construct. This can be completed with small groups with a variety of the constructs to build understanding. Construct cards and answer keys are provided below.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.48.17 PM.png
Pictured Above: Sorted Emotion Regulation Construct

Facilitation Notes: Notes for the Facilitator

Construct Cards and Answer Keys:

Writing and Writing Answer Key
Gross Motor and Gross Motor Answer Key
Reading Comprehension Monitoring Meaning and Reading Comprehension Monitoring Meaning Answer Key
Problem Solving and Problem Solving Answer Key
School Related Vocabulary and School Related Vocabulary Answer Key
Emotion Regulation and Emotion Regulation Answer Key
Perseverance in Assigned Activities and Perseverance in Assigned Activities Answer Key