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What is self-paced Mastery?

Updated

Khan Academy’s mission is to offer a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. In order to move toward this mission, one of the things that the Khan Academy team provides is a system to track students’ learning progress in all courses, all devices, and in many languages. We call this the Mastery System. 

Some of the things we have to offer are teacher tools, reports, and supports that help teachers incorporate student-paced mastery learning into their classrooms. Teachers receive detailed data about each student’s performance when they complete practice. Teachers can also help by assigning content to their students as a part of their lessons.

Benefits of Khan Academy’s student-paced practice in the classroom:

Teachers can often see that there is no one exercise that all, or most, students need to work on at the same time, and mastery learning enables each student to work on an exercise, lesson, or assignment that best fits their individual needs. 

The Student Experience 

Course Mastery

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Courses that have Mastery enabled show:

  1. The overall fraction of mastery points for that course that your student has achieved.
  2. The percentage of the course that has your student has mastered.
  3. Your student’s course mastery level (see Mastery Levels below for more information).

Courses will also have a Course Challenge card at the bottom where students can take an assessment that covers a sampling of skills from the entire course.

Note: While the Course Challenge can help learners achieve Course Mastery, the Course Challenge can't be assigned.

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Unit Mastery

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The Unit page also has several elements, which are labeled in the image above:

  1. The total Mastery Points available in this unit (for example, 1200 points on this unit—100 for each skill in the unit)
  2. A bar across the top that tracks the student’s progress through Levels 1 - 6.
  3. A left-hand column that contains the Skill Summary, which enables the student to see their progress on each skill.
  4. Under Practice, the student can also see their progress from Familiar to Proficient to Mastered on each skill.

Practicing to Level Up in Skills and Mastery

Before each exercise, quiz, unit test, or course challenge, students will see a card that quickly shares information about how many questions there will be and roughly how long it took for other students to answer them. 

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They’ll also see a card after they’ve finished an exercise, quiz, unit test, or course challenge. On the left, they’ll be able to quickly see how many skills they’ve leveled up or down on, as well as how many skills remained at the same level. On the right, they can find a detailed description of each skill level change.

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This card may also recommend lessons for students to take based on their performance in the questions.

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Each skill is worth a total of 100 Mastery Points. As students practice skills and answer questions in quizzes, unit tests, and course challenges, their level for that skill will go up (or down, if they miss any questions in the course). 

Moving to Familiar will earn them 50 of the 100 points. Leveling up to Proficient will get them to 80 points. Becoming Mastered in a skill allows them to collect the total 100 available Mastery Points.

Skill Levels in the new Mastery System

Khan Academy’s new mastery system levels show where your students stand based on their performance on exercises, quizzes, unit tests, and course challenges. Students are promoted or demoted based on their performance, and most promotions or demotions are a simple move from the student’s current level to the next higher or lower level. 

Because one concept of mastery learning is understanding a skill in any context, some promotions require students to answer questions correctly on a quiz, unit test, or course challenge in order to move forward.

General Movement

In general, students can move up one level from Not Started or Attempted to Familiar by scoring between 70% and 85% on an exercise, or by answering all of the questions about the skill right on a quiz, test, or challenge. 

To get to Proficient, students must start at Familiar and get all of the questions about a skill right in an exercise, quiz, test, or challenge. To get to Mastered, students must begin at Proficient and get all of the questions about the skill right on a Unit Test or Course Challenge.

Special Case Movements

There are also special instances where students may be promoted or demoted two levels. If students score 100% on an exercise, quiz, test, or challenge the first time that they attempt a skill, they can be moved up two levels to Proficient

They can also be moved two levels from Attempted (see below) to Proficient in a skill if they achieve a perfect score on an exercise. Conversely, students who have achieved mastery of a skill can be demoted two levels to Familiar if they score lower than 70% on an exercise.

New State: Attempted

Another change with the new mastery system is the Attempted level. This level indicates that students may be struggling with a skill. Students may fall into this category if their first attempt at a skill on an exercise, quiz, test, or challenge is lower than 70%, or if they had previously made it to the Familiar level, but then scored lower than 70% on an exercise or missed all of the questions about that skill on a quiz, test, or challenge.Mastery_skill_levels.pngMastery Progress Levels

Progress_bar.pngUnit mastery levels are based on the percentage completion in the unit.

  • At Level 1 students have completed less than 25%
  • Level 2 indicates between 25% and 49% completion.
  • Level 3 indicates between 50% and 74% completion.
  • Level 4 indicates between 75% and 89% completion.
  • Level 5 (which is considered Mastery) indicates 90% to 99% completion.
  • Students reach Level 6 when they reach 100% completion!

Mastery is not easily earned, and that’s intentional. But putting in the work to achieve it will prove they’ve earned (and learned!) it. We hope your students in the Mastery system will enjoy leveling up their skills and reaching 100% Course and Unit Mastery.