OPTIC: Online Platform for Teaching and Informed Calibration

Welcome to OPTIC, a tool for Massachusetts educators in public school districts and educator preparation programs to calibrate their understanding of effective instructional practice and high quality feedback. This site provides the information you need to register, access resources, and support the calibration process with teams.

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What is OPTIC?

The Online Platform for Teaching and Informed Calibration (OPTIC), is a professional development tool that supports Massachusetts educators to build a shared understanding of high-quality instruction and improve the feedback that teachers receive. Using video and interactive data displays, the platform provides educators with a dynamic calibration training experience aligned to the Standards of Effective Teaching Practice and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

Ongoing, frequent calibration is essential to ensuring a meaningful, useful, and fair educator evaluation process grounded in high-quality feedback to teachers. OPTIC supports groups of educators to develop and refine common expectations for practice and feedback based on snapshots of instructional practice.

PK-12 schools, districts, and educator preparation programs can use OPTIC to:

  • Support evaluators, instructional coaches, teacher leaders, and other educators in their understanding of effective practice, standards-aligned instruction, and high quality feedback;
  • Improve consistency within and across schools analyzing evidence and providing feedback;
  • Reinforce priorities around effective practice and standards-aligned instruction within and across schools and alongside partners;
  • And more!

Important note: This is not a tool or protocol for conducting actual observations or evaluations of teachers.  In the platform, participants “score” practice in order to discern differences in perceptions among observers and to engage in rich discussions of evidence. The platform is not intended to reinforce the act of scoring classroom observations, nor does DESE recommend providing an evaluation rating for a teacher based on a single observation. The goal of the platform is to help groups of observers work together to refine a common understanding of high quality practice and feedback, such that they can better identify effective instruction and support educators in their continual growth through high quality feedback.

  • Calibration Task
  • Consensus Scoring
  • Agreement Report
  • Feedback Report

Using OPTIC

OPTIC enables districts and educator preparation programs to train evaluators, supervisors,and observers in what to look for when observing teaching practice. Administrators can get started with the process by doing the following:

  1. Register for OPTIC
  2. Browse the available calibration tasks and pick the ones you would like to assign to a team at your site
  3. Create a group of administrators, evaluators, observers
  4. Assign the calibration task and invite the participants to view the calibration tasks you selected
  5. Monitor how many of your participants have completed the calibration tasks you have assigned
  6. Host a feedback session with your participants to view the report for each calibration task,identify areas of agreement and areas of discrepancy, explore selected evidence and written feedback, and discuss why the practice viewed represents the level of development selected