Planning and Designing Your Approach to Remote and Hybrid Teaching and Learning

Smarter Balanced offers resources and strategies for educators teaching in remote or hybrid learning environments. These resources are also available for in-person instruction and are designed to meet a variety of educator and student needs.

Suggestions for sharing this information with educators include:

  • State education agency staff incorporate the resources and strategies in professional development meetings or public websites
  • Professional Learning Communities share and discuss how to use the resources and strategies
  • Teachers discuss and share how they are using the resources and strategies during grade-level (elementary) or content (secondary) team meetings
  • Coaches discuss the resources and strategies with small groups of teachers
  • University Educator Preparation Program faculty incorporate the resources and strategies in their coursework for pre-service educators

Modes of Remote Instruction

The assessment resources available for synchronous and asynchronous instruction are the same. However, during the synchronous instruction model, teachers may display interim items as part of their formative process during real-time instruction. In contrast, teachers using the asynchronous/indirect instructional model do not interact with students in real time and therefore assessment items and activities are provided “outside” and “between” instruction.

During remote and hybrid instruction, teachers may engage students using two modes of instruction:

Synchronous Teaching

Meeting with students in real time over web conferences or online learning platforms

Asynchronous Teaching

Posting lessons on a portal, providing packets of activities, following up with phone calls and emails

For both synchronous and asynchronous teaching, Smarter Balanced resources can help teachers:

Smarter Balanced Resources

Smarter Balanced resources are designed to support teaching and learning in flexible ways. Teachers are encouraged to use the interim assessments and formative assessment resources as tools to plan their instruction and determine how to help their students learn more.

2021–22 Back to School Assessment Playbook

The Back to School Assessment Playbook offers educators in Smarter Balanced member states guidance and recommendations regarding how they can use Tools for Teachers, as well as nearly 150 interim assessment blocks, to accelerate learning this coming school year.


Cover of the 2020 Back to School Assessment Playbook: Using the Smarter Balanced Assessment System to Improve Student Learning

External Resources

The following organizations offer resources and information that may be useful for supporting students, teachers, and families.