Assessment | News

Amplify Insight Creating Digital Library of Assessment Tools for Smarter Balanced

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has given a $12.5 million contract to Amplify Insight (formerly known as Wireless Generation) to develop a digital library of formative assessment practices and professional learning resources for teachers. Although Smarter Balanced is better known as being one of two organizations developing the formative assessments for the Common Core State Standards, the consortium of states is also developing interim assessments that can be used by educators throughout the year to evaluate student progress.

The digital library will provide an online resource where teachers can access formative test items and instructional guidance. It will also include resources to help instructors interpret and make use of the data and reports that will come out of the Smarter Balanced summative and interim assessments.

"Smarter Balanced is committed to providing resources and tools to help teachers become more effective in their real-time, classroom-based assessment activities to measure student acquisition of the Common Core State Standards," said Joe Willhoft, executive director of Smarter Balanced. "Just as important, we believe that educators must be involved from the beginning to identify and vet formative assessment resources to ensure they meet the needs of classroom teachers."

Amplify Insight will develop the technology behind the digital library and create professional learning resources, develop instructional modules, and oversee educator engagement. That work includes forming "state leadership teams," which will attempt to recruit an average of a hundred educators from each of 21 governing states. These educator teams will provide feedback on the development of formative assessment resources and professional learning tools created by the Consortium and provide additional resources for classroom use.

The winning proposal is available online through the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, which managed the competitive bidding process.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.