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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.

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.

LEA CAASPP coordinators are responsible for registering new users in the Digital Library through the Administration and Registration Tool (ART). A Tip Sheet (DOC) is available to assist with the registration process. Should there be further questions or assistance needed with this process, LEA CAASPP coordinators should contact the Digital Library Help Desk at 1-855-631-1510 or caltac@ets.org.

The Formative Assessment Process

The formative assessment process is key to a balanced assessment system. 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. 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 (PDF) External link opens in new window or tab. is available.

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.

Professional Learning Series

The Professional Learning Series are collections of resources, primarily located in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library, that connect educators to specific topics intended to develop a progression for learning. Each series establishes learning goals and success criteria for the educator or for a professional learning community. Most of the series resources provide materials for educator use when planning curriculum and instruction. Further details are available on the Professional Learning Series 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 (PPT; 5MB; Posted 10-Oct-2015) | PDF (2MB) | Alternative Accessible Version
This PowerPoint 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 (PDF) External link opens in new window or tab.
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

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.
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, April 26, 2016

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.

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