Chronicles of Learning (Chrono)

Graphic generated by the Chrono system demonstrating class attainment at two learning events.

The great educational challenge of our times is to know the learner.

The broadest goals of education remain constant – to help learners realize their potential and thereby to help them relate competently to the world and make their unique contributions to the world.

Educational information systems (like all other aspects of the educational process) must be faithfully directed towards these goals and must meet the challenge. Learning is the center of the educational enterprise and so the most salient information is that concerning the extent to which learners have attained intended learning goals.

Educational information systems must serve the learner first. All other considerations (such as administrative convenience) must be considered secondary.

The Chronicles of Learning (Chrono) is strictly devoted to these primary educational purposes and principles and does so by meeting the challenge of knowing the learner. See Discovering the True Nature of Educational Assessment.

Chrono uses as its basic unit the operational learning goal. Operational learning goals have two special features. First of all they are practical in that they are stated at a level appropriate for planning, carrying out and evaluating lessons or units. Further they have been aligned with appropriate assessment activities.

The operational learning goal turns out to be the most fundamental unit of educational information. It is what is needed to support planning and evaluation of teaching and learning. It is also the most salient information for resource allocation, professional development and accountability (See our presentation An Alternative Approach to State Examinations in Science Education for a fuller elaboration.) This permits an efficiency that is far beyond what characterizes conventional education information usage.

Chrono has a number of desirable features in addition to the fact that it focuses faithfully on strictly educational purposes. These include:

  • A variety of data entry methods are available that accord with personal teaching styles
  • Rapid turn around time for analyses of results (near real time)
  • Reports that are easily interpretable and geared to practical educational decision making
  • Easy movement back and forth from reports on students, classes, target groups (e.g. NCLB categories), special instructional groups, schools and larger systems
  • Model assessment activities supported by professional development
  • The capability to build new learning goals and assessment activities
  • Simple, practical ways to assess reliability of judgments of student performance
  • A permanent bank of information on student performance that is available in near real time for lesson planning and school district decision making.

Special features of Chrono

Performance assessment packages

Please visit the Guest site for the Chronicles of Learning (Chrono).

For more information or for a guided tour of the system, please contact Paul Zachos at