Making Mastery Accessible

The Mastery Learning Resource Bank is organized around a practitioners glossary of terms that inclueds working definitions and designers' tips, accompanies by a set of curated resources. Here, you can explore the best thinking in the field on topics such as Flexibly-Paced Learning, Personalization, and Learning Progressions, while also discovering what Data Backpacks are, and how to distinguish them from Learner Profiles.

The Resource Bank was developed in partnership with Springpoint, and supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York. This section of the Design Lab is very active. We are continually updating our curated resources and refining our working definitions.

Timely Support

Mastery systems are only as successful as their ability to offer students the specific support they need, when they need it. As students and teachers engage in learning activities, students who are moving at a slower pace receive more support with the goal of decreasing the gap between struggling students and their more "ready" peers.

Providing timely, differentiated support is incredibly challenging. It requires that that there are deep and broad sets of learning activities, assets and assessments readily available to teachers and students so that as gaps and confusions are identified, there are resources at hand to address them effectively. Our Checklist for Selecting Online Learning Assets provides a set of guiding questions that practitioners can ask themselves as they research online programs to support learning.

Our slideshow on Creative Scheduling and Grouping Plans accompanied by our Schedule and Calendar Prototyping Tool provide some initial tools to designers engaged in organizing their programs to respond nimbly to student support needs.

Resources » Resource Type

Resources » Type of Organization

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Learning Progressions

A sequence of skill- and content-oriented building blocks that students master as part of the progression towards mastery of a larger Learning Goal or Objective. Students move through a progression over time (sometimes within a course or module, sometimes across years, courses or modules.


A set of content and/or skills that is organized around a set of Learning Objectives aligned to Competencies. Modules are often designed as student-facing (hosted on a learning management system) allowing students to engage directly with the material. Modules differ from traditional curricular units in that they stand alone as a complete learning experience (Modules can be organized around units).

Scope and Sequence

Scope refers to the breadth and depth of content and skills to be taught across grade levels. The sequence is the ordering of the content and skills. In High Schools organized around the Carnegie Unit, a scope and sequence becomes an ordering of courses: Algebra, Geometry, or US History, World History. In a Mastery Learning System, a scope and sequence can refer to smaller units of learning, such as a set of modules or units, or even a set of Thematic Projects, Perofrmance Tasks, or Challenges.