Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Smarter Balanced Digital Library


The Smarter Balanced Assessment System has three components: summative assessments, designed for accountability purposes; interim assessments, designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year; and formative assessment processes, supported by professional learning and instructional resources located in the Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab.. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Graphic (PDF) displays the relationship between these components, the Common Core State Standards, and college and career readiness.

The Digital Library provides subject- and grade-specific resources intended to help educators apply the formative assessment process during daily instruction. In addition, the Digital Library has collaboration features that allow users to rate materials and share their expertise with educators across the country. Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60642.6, the Digital Library is available to local educational agencies (LEAs) for use in K–12.

To view the new CAASPP Institute training materials featuring the Digital Library, go to the Digital Library CAASPP Institute Training Materials Web page.

This is a screenshot from the Smarter Balanced Digital Library landing page. This initial page provides a search feature for locating specific Digital Library resources and includes a carousel of featured resources.

Digital Library Self-Registration Now Available

In December 2016, Smarter Balanced launched a Digital Library self-registration Web interface which is available through the existing Digital Library login page External link opens in new window or tab.. The new interface allows LEA staff to create a new account without the assistance of their LEA CAASPP Coordinator, as long as their e-mail address is affiliated with a known LEA e-mail domain. Staff with a non-LEA-specific e-mail domain (e.g., @gmail.com, @yahoo.com) will still require LEA CAASPP coordinator assistance to create a new account.

LEA CAASPP coordinators are responsible for maintaining current users and registering new users in the Digital Library through the Administration and Registration Tool (ART). LEA CAASPP coordinators can export (download) a file of their current Digital Library users from ART; add or delete users in that file, and then import (upload) the revised file to ART. This is helpful for large LEAs that have many users. LEA CAASPP coordinators should contact the Digital Library Help Desk by phone at 1-855-631-1510 or by e-mail at caltac@ets.org if they have questions or need assistance.

The Formative Assessment Process

To view the new CAASPP Institute training materials featuring the formative assessment process, go to the Formative Assessment CAASPP Institute Training Materials Web page. The formative assessment process is key to a balanced assessment system.

The Smarter Balanced Digital Library supports educators with the four attributes of formative assessment: (1) Clarify Intended Learning; (2) Elicit Evidence; (3) Interpret Evidence; and (4) Act on Evidence. A Smarter Balanced document describing the four attributes of the Formative Assessment Process External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) is available. The Digital Library is an online collection of resources aligned to the Common Core State Standards that support K–12 teachers in their use of formative assessment processes to adjust teaching to improve student learning. These resources are developed, submitted, and reviewed by members of the Digital Library State Network of Educators.

Formative Assessment in Action Video Series

The Formative Assessment in Action Video Series features California members of the Digital Library State Network of Educators (SNE) demonstrating formative assessment techniques in their classrooms.

Digital Library Resource Collections

The Smarter Balanced Digital Library has more than 2,800 resources. For ease of use and convenience, the CDE and Smarter Balanced have assembled collections of resources that address professional learning topics and relate to specific subject- and grade-level Interim Assessment Blocks. Further details are available on the Digital Library Resource Collections Web page.

Spotlight Webinar and Forum Series

Digital Library Spotlight Webinar and Forum Series are hosted by Smarter Balanced and facilitated by Digital Library resource authors who are national experts and innovative practitioners in a variety of areas such as curriculum, English language development, and special education. During the Webinars and forums, resource authors provide an overview of the resource materials and highlight formative assessment strategies that can be used to support teaching and learning. Further details about the spotlight Webinars and forums are available on the Spotlight Webinar and Forum Series Web page.

Related Resources

Digital Library Introduction for Teachers PDF (2MB) | Alternative Accessible Version
This presentation was created specifically with the intent of helping to familiarize teachers with the Smarter Balanced Digital Library. It takes users on a tour of the Digital Library and focuses on accessing, filtering and navigating, marking favorites, using the forum features, and describing the four attributes of the formative assessment process. This 15-20 minute presentation is recommended for use during a staff meeting or professional development session. Presenter notes are provided in the notes section of the presentation file to assist in delivering the presentation.

Digital Library Fact Sheet External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Digital Library, the formative assessment process, and the features that allow teachers to search by a multitude of features of instructional materials that will help inform teaching and learning. The fact sheet is ideal for sharing with educators, parents and guardians, school board members, and community representatives.

Digital Library Overview and Sample Resources (PDF; 1MB; Posted 13-Jan-2015) This slide show is a recorded tour that is meant for anyone wanting to know more about the Digital Library's design features and professional learning resources. It includes three sample resources to demonstrate how to interact with the Digital Library. This overview is meant for educators, parents and guardians, school board members, and community representatives.

Formative Assessment and Digital Library Frequently Asked Questions

Video Resources

New! Digital Library and Interim Assessment Clinic Video (Posted 16-Dec-2016) | Presentation Slides External link opens in new window or tab. ( PPT)
The Digital Library and Interim Assessment Clinic was an in-person training offered in the fall of 2016 to local educational agencies. This one-hour video provides a recording of the content presented at the Clinic, including information and guidance about professional learning and instructional resources, promoting the use of the Digital Library, and an overview of interim assessments and considerations for administration.

Exploring the Smarter Balanced Digital Library (Posted 13-Jul-2015)
This 29-minute video provides an overview of the formative assessment process and instructions for logging in and navigating the Digital Library.

Introducing the Smarter Balanced Digital Library (Posted 06-Mar-2015)
This six-minute video provides a general introduction to the Digital Library with endorsements from California educators who are using formative assessment resources from the Digital Library.

Quality Criteria for the Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 33:35)
This 33-minute video provides background on the development of the Quality Criteria for the Digital Library as well as an overview of the rating system used to review resources. In addition, Formative Assessment Practices/Transition to the Common Core Work Group members explain how State Leadership Teams and State Networks of Educators use the Quality Criteria to evaluate resources for the Digital Library.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Related Content
  • Digital Library State Network of Educators
    Information on the State Network of Educators (SNE), a team of educators which evaluates resources for inclusion in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium's Digital Library of formative assessment tools and practices.
  • Meet an SNE Member
    As a new attribute, CDE will be introducing one of California’s outstanding members of the Digital Library State Network of Educators (SNE) each month.
  • Smarter Balanced Assessment System
    Latest information about the new generation of English language arts/literacy and mathematics assessments.
  • Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments
    The progress monitoring component of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.
Recently Posted in Testing
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 189 (added 18-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 18, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 188 (added 18-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 12, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 187 (added 09-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 6, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 186 (added 04-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, December 28, 2016.
  • 2016-17 Notice of CAASPP Administration Letter (updated 03-Jan-2017)
    Sample letters for local education agency may use to notify parent or guardian of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress administration.