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At Khan Academy, one of our core beliefs is in the importance of providing ways for learners and students (and teachers!) to master skills at their own pace. We embarked on this journey with Missions over five years ago, and this feature has been a critical part of the Khan Academy vision. We (and we hope you!) have learned a ton from our Missions experience, and we are looking forward to a new and improved way to move through self-paced learning, focused on supporting learners, students, and teachers with our Course Mastery system.
We’ll be gradually removing access to Missions in the coming months, and Missions will be completely removed from the website in June 2020.
Missions Removal Timeline
Starting in February 2020, we’ll remove the link to Missions from Course pages for new users and for users who’ve never used Missions. This won’t affect existing Missions users, who will still be able to use Missions until June.
Starting in June 2020, Missions will no longer be available to anyone on Khan Academy. However, we encourage everyone to check out the improved version, Course Mastery, which already exists in the Course Library, and is available for more subjects than Mission was able to cover. It would also include spaced repetition and spiral review. For more information about Course Mastery, check out this article. To learn more about spiral review in Course Mastery, see more below and read on here.
Why We’re Removing Missions
There are several reasons we’re saying goodbye to Missions. One major reason is that the Missions code base (the building blocks that make Missions work) is very old, causing errors and disruptions in the Missions experience, and making it increasingly difficult for our developers to maintain. We want to deliver the best possible experience, and the challenges listed above prevent us from doing that well.
Secondly, our goal is for our self-paced learning tools to be useful and meaningful to all learners -- those who use it independently and those who use it in the classroom. There are several aspects of the Missions system that make it difficult for classrooms to use, which we have improved in Course Mastery:
- Teachers couldn’t assign Missions to students, which made it difficult for teachers to track student work and progress. In Course Mastery, teachers can assign mastery goals and see how students are progressing towards those goals.
- It wasn’t clear to teachers how Missions evaluated a student’s understanding, especially how students moved through the various levels to achieve Mastery. With Course Mastery, a student’s progression through the Attempted, Familiar, Proficient, and Mastered levels is simpler, more predictable, and more transparent.
- Missions weren’t integrated into Course Library, so it wasn’t clear to many teachers or learners how (or whether) what they were working on fit with their curriculum or specific needs.
- Missions was limited to Math and some Computer Science content. Course Mastery is available not only in Math, but also in some science and humanities courses, and we’re working to make Course Mastery available in more subjects in the future.
What’s Next for Missions Users
We recommend that all Missions users start transitioning to Course Mastery as soon as possible to become familiar with how it works before Missions are removed.
We know how important it is that we maintain the learning progress you’ve earned, so all skills you worked on and all skill levels you reached in Missions automatically show as worked on at the same skill level in the equivalent Course Mastery course. Any skills you mastered in Missions will also be mastered in your Course Mastery courses.
If you enjoyed Mastery Challenges in Missions, you’ll be able to find Mastery Challenges in Course Mastery. These new Mastery Challenges have been improved based on feedback we received from learners and teachers. For instance, we heard from Missions students that they were frustrated that un-practiced skills were being tested in Mastery Challenges in Missions. Mastery Challenges in Course Mastery will only test skills where students have reached the Familiar level or higher. For more information about how Mastery Challenges work, see here.