March 5, 2019

OPTIC Now Available Statewide

The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education is excited to announce the statewide release of a new, enhanced Online Platform for Teaching and Informed Calibration (OPTIC).

OPTIC is a dynamic professional development tool that supports teams of educators to cultivate common expectations for and a shared understanding of effective instructional practice and high quality feedback. We encourage you to take advantage of this resource as it remains available to districts at no cost through June 2020. 

Using OPTIC, educator teams view a video of classroom instruction, tag evidence and score practice aligned to focus elements from the Massachusetts Standards of Effective Teaching, and practice drafting written feedback.  Participants then view real-time data displays of the scores and feedback (disaggregated by group, role, school, district, and state) to facilitate a discussion of perceptions of practice and generate characteristics of high-quality feedback.

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 instruction and high quality feedback;
  • Improve consistency within and across schools analyzing evidence, providing feedback, and using professional judgment to determine ratings;
  • Reinforce priorities around high-quality instructional practice;
  • Reinforce common expectations of effective instruction with partner organizations;
  • And more!


The Platform is available for use immediately, with additional functionality being added throughout the Spring, including new video content and calibration tasks focused on grade-level content standards. View this quick overview of the platform to learn more about the system. The Resources section of this web site also provides more information on how to get started.

Contact with questions. DESE has secured an agreement with TeachForward to make OPTIC available at no cost from now through June 2020. After June 2020, OPTIC will be available at a discounted rate.

On behalf of DESE’s Center for Instructional Support, we look forward to supporting your ongoing professional learning efforts!