Clear Standards

The following definitions of Standards, Assessment Anchors, and Eligible Contents are derived from the PA Department of Education's website. They are provided here as a point of reference for introducing and correlating to the outcomes assessment terminologies used in EvalTools®. For more information on Clear Standards, please click here.clear standards

"Standards are statements that describe what students should know and be able to do. They increase in complexity and sophistication as students progress through school."

"Assessment Anchors are often used to clarify the educational standards assessed on the School Assessment and can be used by educators to help prepare their students for the state's educational standards. The Assessment Anchors often anchor the state assessment system and the curriculum/instructional practices in schools. Assessment Anchors are further elaborated with Eligible Content."

"Eligible Content identifies how deeply an Anchor should be covered and specifies the range of content to best prepare students for the State Educational Standards for School Assessment."

EvalTools® Outcomes Assessment System (OAS) is native to support Standards Aligned System. There are many features available in EvalTools® to make your assessment more transparent and automated.

EvalTools® supports Clear Standards with the following modules:

    • Learning Plan
    • Curriculum Outcomes Matrix


Learning Plan:

EvalTools® has easy-to-follow interfaces to allow you to browse through the state educational standards and identify which subject area and grade level standards you should follow in planning your course. To illustrate how EvalTools® supports Clear Standards, let's take a look at one of the subject areas, 8th grade Mathematics. For example, the PA's standard 2.1.8.C is illustrated as follows:

 Math Standard

For consistency in commonly used outcomes assessment terminology, we align standards with student outcomes, assessment anchors with course outcomes, and eligible content with key assignments. The following table summarizes the K-12 terminology with that of EvalTools®.

K12 Terminology  EvalTools® Terminology   Definition 
Standards  Student Outcomes Student outcomes are statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation.
Assessment Anchors  Course Outcomes Course Outcomes are statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of the course.
Eligible Contents  Key Assignments Key Assignments are assignments used to gauge in meeting course outcomes


EvalTools® LMS is integrated with the OAS. EvalTools® LMS centers around the process of planning-teaching-assessment cycle for any given course. EvalTools® provides features to build your learning plan and embeds assessment into your plan from the start. The typical elements of a learning plan consist of (a) course description, (b) course outcomes, (c) course outline, (d) course assessment methods, (e) grading policy, (f) course outcomes assessment criteria, and etc. The effectiveness of the teaching and learning experience relies on this initial planning stage.

Let use a MATH101 algebra class for one term as an example. The following figure depicts the three essential elements of the planning-teaching-assessment process:


In the learning plan, there are two steps in Clear Standards. The first step is to define the course outcomes of the learning plan and the second step is to map the course outcomes to the student outcomes of the Mathematics course. The following figure depicts sections of the learning plan captured by EvalTools® for Math 101.

Step 1: Enter Course Outcomes into Your Learning Plan

course outcomes

Step 2: Map Course Outcomes to Student Outcomes

course outcomes mapping to standards

That is all a teacher needs to do to delineate course standards. After the standards for every course have been set up, EvalTools® will automatically compose the curriculum outcomes matrix as shown below for the Curriculum Director.

Curriculum Outcomes Matrix:


From this matrix, you can derive (1) how each course outcome correlates with the student outcomes. The "x" indicates the correlations. (2) How many courses offered that term satisfy each student outcome as indicated as a number in the "Total Courses" row. This information gives you a sense of your program strengths and weaknesses, and also clearly identifies how your program might satisfy independent or state standards.