Evaluation of Indiana’s Interim Assessments Grant Program


To support strong data practices, the State of Indiana provides funding to schools for formative and interim assessment programs, tools, and professional development. Schools and corporations receive these state funds through ​Indiana’s Formative (Interim) Assessment Grant.​ The Formative Assessment Grant intends to increase data-driven instructional practices and enrich learning for all students. Many schools and corporations also use local funding sources to support data practices alongside these grant funds.

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) wanted to better understand how Indiana schools were gathering, analyzing, discussing, and using formative and interim assessment data.

From mid-2020 to early 2021, I was a key member of a research team from Indiana University that contracted with IDOE to conduct a survey-based research study that provided insight into how schools were implementing interim assessments and the formative assessment grant program.

What I Did

As a co-principal investigator on this project, my role involved:

  • Helping prepare the research budget and plan

  • Communicating and meeting with IDOE representatives regularly to scope research questions, provide updates on project progress, and get feedback on key research documents

  • Creating document in Microsoft Excel to show alignment between research questions and survey questions

  • Conducting user testing with a pilot survey and survey feedback interviews with 10 participants

  • Designing and administering a 50-question branching survey in Qualtrics to 500+ Indiana schools

  • Managing study logistics, including participant recruitment and follow-up communications resulting in a 94% response rate

  • Analyzing survey results in Qualtrics (quantitative descriptive statistics), Microsoft Excel, and MaxQDA (open-ended qualitative data)

  • Writing 4-page executive summary and 26-page final report using Apple Pages, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Illustrator

  • Presenting key insights using Microsoft PowerPoint to the Director of Student Assessment and other IDOE staff

Sample from survey alignment document

Branching survey design in Qualtrics

Sample page from full report

Key Insights

Our study found that most school districts/corporations used the interim assessments to inform classroom instruction and monitor student progress on state standards.

The majority of school districts/corporations reported that they provide some type of training for their staff and teachers, typically to help them understand, interpret, and use the results. Those trainings were typically happening 1-3 times per year.

Notably, 45% indicated that the grant funding from IDOE did not cover the entire cost of purchasing interim assessment product for their school(s).

Most of the respondents reported being satisfied with the grant program, but indicated that providing more flexibility in the types of assessments they could purchase, increasing the amount of funding, and extending the limited window for applying for funding would improve the program.

My Impact

This information helped IDOE in providing guidance and training for schools and corporations regarding interim assessment data, tools, and professional development.

The results of this research also helped inform changes to the grant program and the following school year there was increased flexibility in the types of interim assessments they could purchase.

Final Reports / Deliverables

Given that this study was completed a few years ago, IDOE has given permission to share the final report and executive summary on my website.

NOTE: While my name is the third listed, I wrote both reports and the other two authors provided editing support.

Executive Summary


Full Report