Best Practices for Aligning Assets By Concepts
As you align assets by concepts, follow the best practice steps outlined below to get the most out of the alignment system:
1. Identify very targeted concept(s) and standard(s) that match the specificity of the asset.
- Tag the asset with 2-3 applicable concepts and accept 10-12 targeted standards.
Note: You may need to include more concepts and standards for assets that include a wide variety of skills.
- When selecting applicable concepts, choose ones that reflect the most granular skills or pieces of knowledge in the content.
Tip: Utilize the hierarchical structure of the concept taxonomy. During this step, you will likely only want to tag concepts that fall down lower in the hierarchy.
Example: You can see the hierarchical structure in the image below. (Writing > Mechanics >> Punctuation Rules >>> End Marks >>>> Exclamation Mark)
- When selecting the first standards, look for granular standards that match the specificity of the content. Example: Imagine an asset is asking students to explain the meaning of synonyms and antonyms. Both of the standards below cover that skill, but the second standard is much more granular in how it’s written:
"Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings."
"Use knowledge of antonyms and synonyms."
By accepting the second standard first, you are giving the system more targeted information about what you want.
- Accept a variety of standards from a variety of states/authorities; avoid duplication (derivatives) at this stage.
Note: In other words, accept standards from both CCSS/NGSS and non-CCSS/NGSS authorities. It’s not helpful to include a CCSS standard, plus the same standards from derivative states.
- Whether you start with concepts or standards first is less important than making sure your choices are targeted.
2. Review standards in the "Standards Matches" section and reject several of the highest scoring ones that do not apply.
- This step allows you to correct the system by quickly identifying where it has gone wrong.
- Reject 7-10 standards and refresh. Repeat if you are still seeing high scoring standards that do not match the content.
Tip: Focus on standards that are scoring roughly 80 or above.
- As you are rejecting, take mental note of what it is about the standards that disqualifies them and mark concepts less applicable as appropriate.
Tip: To identify the concepts associated with a standard, click the book icon. If you are seeing the same concepts in the key idea chains, then you may want to go into the "Tag With Concepts" box, search for the concepts, and mark them as Less Applicable or Not Applicable. This will tell the system to de-emphasize those concepts.
3. Accept and reject additional standards from the highest rank down. Add standards as need to fill gaps.
- It is best to accept/reject in small batches (5-10 standards per iteration).
- By focusing on the results that the system presents with high confidence, you are providing the best feedback for training the system. As you continue this process, standards that are not appropriate will begin to fall off, so you gain efficiency by this up-front and iterative approach.
Tip: The system attempts to place all accepted standards above a score of 60 and all of the rejected standards below 40. There will be some outliers, but this is the ultimate goal.
- If you notice gaps in expected standards, simply add standards through Search Standard to pull in those and similar standards.
4. Use the "Suggestions, Guidance and Searching" tabs to help with the recommended steps above:
Clarify Concepts: These are concepts that are related to standards you have accepted and/or concepts you tagged in the asset. You may use this tab to find concepts to emphasize/de-emphasize in addition to the concept search. (Steps 1 and 2)
Review Standards: These are standards that are related to the standards you accepted. This tab is a good place to expand the breadth of appropriate alignments. (Step 1)
Clarify Standards: These are standards that fall in the middle score range. It is helpful to make decisions about these to inform the system where it is most uncertain. (Steps 2 and 3)
Search Standards: This is where you can enter a keyword or phrase to directly search the standards and their tagged concepts. This tab is useful for gathering the initial set of targeted standards, expanding the breadth of covered skills, and filling gaps. (Steps 1 and 3)