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.

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Anywhere-Anytime Learning

This term refers to the belief that legitimate (i.e. "credit-bearing") and effective learning can and should occur at any time and in any place. Extended learning opportunities are those that require that educators, families and students will seek learning opportunities beyond the schoolhouse walls. These can include enrollment in post-secondary classes and programs, online opportunities, real-world experiences such as internships, and/or areas of study defined and pursued by learners. Also referred to Anywhere-Anytime Learning.

Asynchronous Learning

A student-centered learning approach provides students with the tools and assets they need in order to learn at their own pace. Asynchronous learning environments can also provide students with choices about the sequence and focus of their learning (as occurs in self-paced and flexibly-paced learning environments), but this is not a required feature of asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learning differs from a cohort model, in which students are grouped (by age, and often by ability as well), and then expected to progress at a synchronized rate.

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.

Blended Learning

Learning occurs in both a supervised face-to-face learning community AND in an online setting (it can, but does not have to, include community-based learning experiences). In a blended learning program students have a measure of control over the path, pace and timing of their learning.

Competency-Based Education (CBE)

This approach to education is grounded in 5 key design principles: 1. Students advance upon achieving a pre-determined level of mastery. 2. Explicit and measurable competencies empower students. 3. Assessment is meaningful, and a positive learning experience for students. 4. Students receive timely, rapid, differentiated support. 5. Learning outcomes emphasize the creation and application of knowledge and skills. Mastery Learning is a term often used interchangeably with Competency-Based Education and Proficiency-Based Education.

Data Backpack

Data Backpacks are related to Learner Profiles and Personalized Learning Plans. The concept is that students would arrive in classrooms with an electronic record of their interests, accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses, goals, and plans. This backpack of data would be available to each teacher and student, at any time, so that curriculum and assessment planning could be truly personalized to students' individual and collective needs.