Advances in technology can improve the quality, accessibility, and efficiency of assessments. Building on the success of member states and employing new technologies will allow the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to:


  • Accurately and efficiently measure student achievement and growth through computer-adaptive testing;
  • Develop innovative and real-world test items that assess the breadth of the Common Core State Standards for virtually all students, including those with disabilities and English language learners;
  • Enhance teacher and administrator professional development and capacity building at the local level; and
  • Leverage cross-state resources to deliver assessments and produce both standardized and customizable reports that are cost-effective, timely, and useful for teachers, students, and parents to track progress towards college- and career-readiness.

Technology Requirements

The Smarter Balanced Technology Strategy Framework and Testing Device Requirements provide minimum hardware specifications and basic bandwidth calculations. These can help schools and districts to evaluate whether their computers and networks will support the administration of the assessment system.

The framework was developed with input and feedback from Smarter Balanced member states, work groups, and data from an online inventory of technology resources launched in 2012. Based on the research, data analysis, and the successful 2014 Field Test, Smarter Balanced estimates that the majority of schools and districts in member states will be able to successfully administer the assessments with their existing infrastructure.

The requirements apply only to the Smarter Balanced assessments and should not be considered minimum specifications to support instruction, which may require additional technology. In addition, all hardware decisions should consider the individual needs of students. Some students may need hardware that exceeds these minimum guidelines, some students may require qualitatively different hardware, and some students may need assistive technology to meet special needs.

** Please note that the minimum and recommended specifications in the Technology Framework documents have been clarified as of 08/26/14.

Assessment Software

Smarter Balanced has developed an open source platform for delivery of interim and summative assessments. Details about the software and how it may be used to benefit other organizations are available at SmarterApp.org.

back to top