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Pairing course mastery with assignments

Our goal for all students is to master the course material by the end of the term. At Khan Academy, we believe that all students are capable of achieving this with the proper support structures. Using Course and Unit Mastery goals along with targeted assignments we can accelerate student mastery.
Course mastery goals are set to evaluate student progress toward understanding the entirety of the course content. On the other hand, unit mastery goals focus on individual sections of the course, allowing teachers to determine which students have grasped a specific "chunk" of the course material and who might need further support.
Often, students who haven't fully grasped a concept are advanced to the next topic. When this happens, students lack the foundational knowledge needed for the new material, causing seemingly minor skill gaps to expand over time causing major confusion in subsequent coursework.
Assignments in Khan Academy can be a strategic tool for individualized student support. They can be tailored to provide extra assistance to students who are struggling or to offer an additional challenge to those who are ready to advance. This approach is not about addressing the needs of the entire class, but rather focusing on individual learners who require more targeted support. Teachers can select from a variety of resources such as videos, articles, exercises, quizzes, and unit tests to create these assignments. By tracking student performance and progress, teachers can identify gaps in understanding and adjust the assignments accordingly. This way, every student gets the specific support they need to master the course content. able to master skills and have success in subsequent units because they received the support that they needed.

Using mastery goals and targeted assignments to accelerate student learning

Teachers can ensure each student has a successful personalized learning journey by paring mastery goals and individualized assignments.
It is suggested that teachers discuss with their students how mastery goals and assignments will be used together throughout the term so that everyone involved understands the plan moving forward.

Using Course and Unit Mastery goals strategically

Course Mastery and Unit Mastery goals work together to create a comprehensive learning path for students. A Course Mastery goal serves as a long-term target for a student to achieve proficiency in a Khan Academy course across a school year. This overarching goal provides a roadmap for the entire course and encourages consistent progress.
Unit Mastery goals are short-term targets aimed at mastering a single unit. These goals align with the current topic of instruction and promote understanding of the unit's content. They can be assigned in any order.
By using Course Mastery as a long-term goal and Unit Mastery as a short-term goal, teachers and students can track progress in their learning and stay motivated on their path to success. This combination of long-term and short-term goals allows for a flexible and personalized learning experience that can adapt to the needs of each student.

Using Mastery Goals and assignments together

When used together, Mastery Goals and Assignments create a powerful, structured learning experience. Here's how they work in tandem:
  1. Setting the Path with Mastery Goals: Mastery Goals provide the "big picture" of what students should aim to learn. They set the path for the learning journey. For example, a Course Mastery Goal might be for students to achieve proficiency in Algebra I by the end of the school year.
  2. Guiding the Journey with Assignments: Once the path is set, Assignments guide students along the way. They provide focused, immediate practice on the skills and concepts students need to master at the moment that they need it. For example, if the Course Mastery Goal is to achieve proficiency in Algebra I, and a few students are struggling with equations, an assignment can give them an opportunity to practice extra questions after watching instructional videos. Assessments can also be assigned to measure understanding through a unit. Use quizzes to check for understanding and Unit Tests as a summative assessment.
  3. Monitoring Progress: As students complete assignments and work towards their Mastery Goals, teachers can monitor their progress. This allows teachers to provide timely support, identify areas where students might be struggling, and adjust instruction as needed.
  4. Achieving Mastery: Over time, as students complete exercises, quizzes, and tests and gain a deeper understanding of the material, they move closer to achieving their Mastery Goals. Achieving a Mastery Goal signifies that a student has a comprehensive, deep understanding of the course

Teacher tips for implementation

Consider the following steps to ensure successful integration.
  1. Start with a Plan: Before the school year starts, map out your Unit Mastery Goals- consider aligning them to the order of your curriculum. This will give you a roadmap for the year and help you plan your instruction.
  2. Set Unit Mastery Goals: At the start of each unit, set Unit Mastery Goals which provide short-term learning goals for your students.
  3. Create Assignments Strategically: Assignments are useful for providing supplemental instruction to students who need it. They offer immediate opportunities for students to practice and reinforce the skills and concepts being taught, but not necessarily on a constant basis. This targeted approach ensures that students who require additional help can receive it when they need it most. Additionally, assign quizzes and unit tests to the whole class as part of a comprehensive assessment approach.
  4. Use Assignments to Monitor Progress: As students complete assignments, use the data to monitor their progress toward their Mastery Goals. This will help you identify areas where students might be struggling and adjust your instruction as needed.
  5. Celebrate Achievements: When students achieve a Mastery Goal, celebrate their success! This can motivate them to continue working hard and striving for mastery.

Using Mastery Goals and assignments for skill groups

Skill groups are a great way to differentiate instruction and meet the diverse needs of your students. Here's how you can use Mastery Goals and Assignments to create and manage skill groups:
  1. Identify Skill Levels: Use the data from assignments to identify your students' skill levels. You can group students based on their mastery of specific skills or concepts.
  2. Set Group Mastery Goals: For each skill group, set a Mastery Goal that aligns with their current skill level. This provides a clear learning objective for the group.
  3. Create Group Assignments: Create assignments that are tailored to the skill level of each group. These assignments should provide the right level of challenge and support to help students progress toward their group Mastery Goal.
  4. Monitor Group Progress: As groups work on their assignments, monitor their progress toward their Mastery Goal. This can help you identify when a group is ready to move on to a new skill or concept or when they might need additional support.
  5. Adjust Groups as Needed: Over time, as students master new skills and concepts, they may be ready to move to a different skill group. Use the data from assignments and Mastery Goals to make these adjustments.

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