TEA recently announced the availability of a free, optional, online formative assessment resource tool (TFAR) consisting of a TEKS-aligned item bank, test-builder, and data reports. All STAAR-tested grades and subjects will have items available in TFAR. The tool is designed to support teachers in gaining real-time, formative feedback on student learning as instruction occurs. Teachers will be able to create and deliver quizzes and analyze results to help inform instructional choices such as making immediate lesson plan adjustments or providing specific interventions for students at the level of individual standards. TFAR can be used as part of on-campus or virtual instruction.

Districts and educators can use none, part, or all of the functionalities within TFAR, for example:

  • Item bank, test-builder, and data reports: teachers can engage with the full TFAR functionality to pull items from the TEA-provided item bank, create quizzes, assign quizzes to students to take online and track student content mastery using data reports.
  • Item bank and test-builder: teachers can select items from the TEA-provided item bank, build quizzes, and download those quizzes to use in their classroom outside of the TFAR platform
  • Item bank only: teachers can download items from the TEA-provided item bank to use in their classroom outside of the TFAR platform
  • Test-builder and data reports: teachers can create their own TEKS-aligned items in the TFAR platform, build quizzes, assign quizzes to students and track student content mastery using data reports
  • Test-builder only: teachers can create their own TEKS-aligned items, build quizzes, and download those quizzes to use in their classroom outside of the TFAR platform

According to TEA’s Texas Formative Assessment Resource FAQs (08/14/20), unlike the Beginning-of-Year assessments and STAAR Interim Assessments, which measure a broader span of student expectations, TFAR should be used to measure student performance on specific student expectations to inform a teacher's instructional choices, such as making immediate adjustments to unit and lesson plans. Quizzes built by this tool should be part of a broader set of classroom formative practices (e.g., checks for understanding, presentations, discussions).

Available accommodations will mirror those from the previous EOY and BOY assessments. Users may determine which accessibility tools are most appropriate for their students. Teachers may want to refer to the Accessibility Features that are available for STAAR. Most of the standard accessibility tools (e.g., highlighter, color contrast, and magnifier) that students are used to seeing in an online testing environment will be available in TestNav.

Teachers will be able to see how each student and each class performed by item or by standard. District or campus administrators will be able to see standard-level information at the campus or district level.

A district that participates must register by providing a data file that includes information connecting students directly to teachers. A campus or teacher that would like to register and implement this resource should contact their testing coordinator. Registration opens Aug. 27. Additional information regarding registration is available on the TFAR webpage.