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.

Resources » Resource Type

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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.

Performance Outcomes

General statements that describe the combination of skills, knowledge, characteristics, aptitudes, and traits which contribute to high performance. A competency is something one can do often, in many situations and with strong results. The key to competencies is that they require students to have mastered standards at a deep enough level that they can apply their learning to challenging performance tasks.

Performance-Based Grading

3 Key features: 1. Connect to clearly articulated learning objectives. 2. Separate academic achievement from behaviors. 3. Focus on learning progress. The practice of assessing students on their level of mastery of competencies/performance outcomes or standards. Grades are based on the final level of achieved mastery. This fundamentally different from traditional grading systems that typically consist of a cumulative score that's a combination of task completion, effort, and an average score on assignments and tasks.

Personalized Learning Plan

A Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) is a tool designed to give students control and support as they set goals and make plans to achieve these goals. Typically, a PLP will document students passions and interests, their existing competencies and their goals and plans for expanding and deepening their competency. PLP's often span three key arenas of growth: social-emotional/physical, academic, and college/career. For plans to be truly Personalized, they would provide students with choive and voice over pace, path, and place with regards to goal-setting, learning, and demonstration of competency.