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Computer Adaptive Formative Assessment TM (CAFA TM) System

(v 1.0 Beta)


The CAFATM system (Choi, Kim, & Yoon, 2012) is a technology-based educational assessment and learning system focused on a formative assessment process. This system provides individually tailored diagnostics, feedback, and information to students, educators, parents, policy makers, and members of the community. This web-based formative assessment system will integrate various educational practices (including standards-based curriculum, classroom instruction, and accountability system), a learning and cognitive theoretical framework, and advanced psychometric models (e.g., Item Response Theory Models, Computer Adaptive Assessment, Diagnostic Assessment Models, Formative Assessment Models, Auto Item Generation, and Multi-level Longitudinal Assessment Models). The current version (v 1.0 Beta) provides the content of K-12 Mathematics in English, and plays as a core engine for the service website, And, future versions will include Science, Engineering, and Language subject content as well as an expansion into other languages such as Chinese and Korean. Key features of this system include:


Alignment with Curriculum, Instruction, and Accountability


Common Core Standards Based System: CAFATM U.S. K-12 Mathematics is based on Common Core State Standards for Mathematics ( for the alignment with standard settings and curriculum. The system is designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the Math knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.


Classroom Teacher Module: The system’s Classroom Teacher Module provides teachers a Classroom Instructional Toolkits dynamically optimized by students’ current performance to effectively and informatively assist teachers in daily classroom instruction. For example, printable assessments (worksheet, quiz, practice test, or exam) will greatly enhance the already existing classroom or home education service qualities.


Test-less Assessment Environment: One of the advantages of this system is supporting a test-less education environment. Instead of getting student achievement information only from the traditional classroom paper-pencil examinations, this system can measure such information using multiple and multi-dimensional sources including on- and off-line information, in or out classroom information, teachers or parents’ information (e.g., information from the home work worksheets, online practice quiz activities, or watching study videos).


Enhanced Accountability Module: The system provides various options of measuring and monitoring educational accountability. CAFATM provides several accountability measures not only across participant and stakeholder levels (students, teacher, or school, etc.), but it also provides also various measures of educational achievement such as overall mastery level of skills or changes of set of skill mastery levels. Most importantly, the system allows for an accountability system which emphasizes a culture of formative assessment different from the summative oriented other conventional accountability systems.


Integration of Learning and Cognition Theories


Cognitive Knowledge Map Module: The system integrates various cognition theories into the assessment model. For example, CAFATM U.S. Mathematics K-12 is based on the Math Cognitive Knowledge Map using the Common Core State Standards ( in Mathematics. Because of this integration, the system can handle the more complex aspects of student achievement beyond element skills and distinct bits of mathematics knowledge.


Memory Analysis Module: The system includes the Memory Analysis Module, which analyzes the transition from working memory toward long-term memory of each skill based on the theory. Because of the incorporation of the module, the system can provide optimal treatments and feedback to students and teachers to efficiently maximize learning outcomes.   


Motivation Enhancement Module: The system provides the Motivation Enhancement Module based on several motivation theories. Using this module, the system can handle several motivation enhancement components such as System Generated Positive Reinforcements Planning, Individually Tailored Challenge Planning, Self-directed Learning Environment. Currently, even Game-type Learning Environment is under development.


Integration of Advanced Psychometric Models with Technology


Technology Based Assessment: The CAFATM system is a Technology-Based Learning and Assessment System. Although the system’s basic format is Internet-based, the future version of this system will also support various mobile technology access, intranet, and even it can also be integrated into traditional paper-pencil assessments in classroom setting. Furthermore, the system provides an Adaptive Learning and Assessment (or Individually Tailored Learning and Assessment), which provides tailored feedback at the individual, class, and school levels.


Item Banking System with Auto Item Generation Module: The system is centered on Computerized Item Banking System with Auto Item Generation module. Therefore, all assessment items are electronically managed in the network-based central database system. Also, the system can provide nearly infinitely many assessment items using Auto Item Generation module. This assessment system also provides highly interactive and multi-media assessment items using several multi-media technology modules, such as parameterized mathematical expression image generation module, parameterized chart/figure generation module, or text-to-speech module.


Formative Assessment Model: Beyond conventional measurement models such as Item Response Theory (IRT) models and Diagnostic Assessment (DA) models, the system also includes the Treatment Centered Formative Assessment (TCFA) model. This new assessment model allows the system provide tailored diagnoses (assessment) and treatments (feedbacks) that maximize educational outcomes by providing services such as optimized instructional guides for teachers and individually tailored study guides for students. Using this new assessment model framework, the system can substantially improve efficiency and quality in educational services. This new generation assessment system enables us to fully take the benefits of formative assessments in educational practice.


Multi-level Assessment Model: The system manages the all information in the system in a multi-level nature: six levels including: student, classroom, school, school district, states/provinces, and countries/cultures characterized as main languages. The system also manages and analyzes the all information by nesting structure of information. For example, students are nested within a classroom, classrooms are nested within a school, etc. Therefore, this system can provide meaningful information for educational outcomes and services counting different level’s characteristics.


Longitudinal Assessment Model: The system manages and analyzes information, which changes over time in a longitudinal fashion. Furthermore, the system longitudinally measures and analyzes not only student level information, but also the upper five levels (classroom, school, school district, states/provinces, and countries/cultures) using various state-of-the-art growth model techniques such as the Logistic Growth Modeling with Markov chain Monte Carlo estimation method.


Click Here to meet the inventors of CAFA system!


Choi, J., Kim, S., & Yoon, K. (2012). CAFATM (v 1.0 Beta) System: Computer Adaptive Formative AssessmentTM System for Educational Services [Computer System]. eMathTest, Inc.