The Format

Definitions of FARROP Terminology

Dimensions: There are ten dimensions of formative assessment practice that identify important aspects of practice from the definition of formative assessment and the attributes of effective formative assessment.

Rubrics: Each dimension has a rubric that describes four levels of practice.

Indicators: Each rubric details multiple aspects of practice that are called indicators.

Observation Notes: After each rubric there is a page of observation notes that elaborate on terms used in the rubric and that describe how to handle specific cases during an observation.

For each of the ten dimensions a rubric is provided and observation notes addressing particular aspects of the rubric. The rubric is organized as a table with a set of columns which, reading from left to right, describe a novice or incomplete implementation to a more expert level of implementation.

Each rubric describes both the teacher role in a particular formative assessment dimension and also the student role. The rubrics describe the level of implementation of a particular aspect of practice, not the level of expertise of a teacher.

There are four levels or categories of implementation for each rubric. The levels are referred to both by names and by numbers to indicate a progression of skills and abilities:

B Beginning

D Developing

P Progressing

E Extending

Reading across the levels, will give a picture of what improving practice might look like on each dimension.

Reading down through the highest levels of practice for each dimension provides a way to think about the breadth of the domain of formative assessment.


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Note that the evidence may not match exactly to the description of one level but rather cut across two. In such a case use professional judgment to select the level that is most representative of the observed practice.

FARROP at a glance