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Using Khan Academy for self-paced practice

How to allow students to develop an individualized pathway through Khan Academy content


In this model, teachers use Khan Academy as a tool for students to practice a year’s worth of subject material at their own pace, with less direct guidance from a teacher.
This model is especially popular for:

When is Khan Academy used?

Highly flexible. This model could be used in-class or out-of-class.

What content is typically assigned:

What is the cadence for assignments?

When using self-paced practice, teachers may choose not to assign individual skills to students. Instead, teachers can assign a course mastery goal, which covers all the skills for a grade level (ex. 7th grade) or topic (ex. pre-Calculus).
Teachers may also combine self-paced practice with other models by choosing to periodically assign skills to students.

How does a teacher guide students to the right content?

Course Mastery: Teachers assign the selected course(s) to students as a course mastery goal. Teachers either assign the on grade-level course to students or based on additional understanding of the student's skill levels assign a goal below or beyond grade-level.
Map Recommended Practice: Teachers input student’s MAP scores and use the personalized practice recommendations.
Official SAT Practice: Teachers have students link their College Board accounts and past PSAT and/or SAT scores to generate a personalized learning pathway.

How do teachers grade using Khan Academy's Mastery System?

Some teachers grade student mastery based on overall mastery percentage (as viewed in the Progress tab of each class on the Teacher Dashboard). Teachers may expect certain milestones throughout the school year (example: at least 20% mastery by end of October, at least 50% mastery by end of January, etc.)
Other teachers incorporate a time requirement and expect students to practice for 30, 60, or 100 minutes per week in addition to reaching specific mastery benchmark goals.

What does a teacher do with mastery data reports?

Teachers check the Progress tab to see class progress at the overall course and unit levels.
By clicking on an individual Unit the teacher can dive deeper into the individual skills in that unit. This allows teachers to:
  • Identify specific skills where several students are struggling. This may help a teacher identify topics for small group or whole-class instruction.
  • Identify potential peer tutoring pairs. Teachers often pair students who have mastered skills with students who are struggling on that same skill.

Teacher routine

First day and week

Teacher explains:
  • Idea of mastery-based learning and self-paced practice
  • The grading policy for Khan Academy self-paced practice
  • The difference between practice exercises and mastery challenges (if applicable)

Ongoing use

Before class
  • Teacher scans the course page of the Progress tab for students to celebrate or encourage
  • Teacher scans skills on the unit page of the Progress tab and sets up peer tutoring pairs, and identifies a topic for in-class review
During class
  • Teacher announces peer tutoring pairs and writes names and topics on the whiteboard
  • Teacher works with a small group or the entire class on a review topic
  • Teacher circulates throughout the room and provides 1-on-1 help while students are practicing
After class
  • Teacher may enter grades into their gradebook
  • Teacher may adjust topic for next day’s direct instruction based on student practice results

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