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.

Meaningful Assessment

In a mastery system, assessments are the vehicle for to track progress towards the mastery of learning objectives, outcomes and competencies. They provide both teachers and students with an opportunity to reflect on and address gaps in understanding and skill, clarify confusions, identify critical next learning activities. At the heart of this approach to is the understanding that assessment is a collaborative endeavor for teachers and students, who are crafting multiple opportunities, contexts, and pathways for students to master (and demonstrate their mastery of) competencies.

Our team has developed a suite of Performance Task Guides for teachers committed to preparing students to successfully undertake the tasks assigned to college students. Our Assessment Pathway Model and Prototyping ToolList of College Benchmarked Performance Tasks, and accompanying slideshow, Mapping Backwards from the Tasks Required of College Freshmen, provide an overview of one approach to designing meaningful assessments. The Performance Tasks and Formative Tasks sections of our Design Lab house our compilation of College-Ready Assessments.

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Benchmarked Student Work

Samples of student products, pegged to specific performance level indicators. The student work provides teachers and students with a reference point: an example of what student work should look like at particular grade levels or performance levels.

Formative Assessment

An opportunity for teachers and students to check for understanding of new concepts, contents and skills. Formative assessment provides teachers with feedback on the effectiveness of their teaching, and helps teachers identify the "next steps" that students need to undertake. Formative assessments are "in-process" assessments.

Performance Indicators

A student-friendly description of what students will be able to do once they have mastered competencies or performance outcomes. These can be pegged to specific performance levels or to an overall description of mastery. See Performance-Level Indicators, Grade-Level Descriptors, Grade-level Expectations and Grade-Level Indicators.