1 | An Introduction to Mastery-Based Learning Banner Image

1 | An Introduction to Mastery-Based Learning

In contrast to conventional grading systems, where instruction is organized around time-bound tasks, a mastery-based learning system places essential skills and understandings at the center. Students are graded based on their progress toward achieving specific learning goals. In effect, these systems tend to be more equitable: teachers assess and give feedback to students in transparent and authentic ways, based on academic skills rather than perceptions of behavior or attendance. In this session, participants develop an understanding of the essential components of mastery- based learning and reflect on current classroom and school policies and practices through a mastery-based lens.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will...

  • Understand that in a mastery-based learning system learning goals are grounded in skills and knowledge, assessments and instruction are aligned to goals, and grades and feedback reflect students’ progress toward goals.

  • Explore how instructional and grading practices support mastery-based learning.

Session Overview

TOTAL TIME: 60 min

15 min | Discuss the limitations of grading students based on averages

20 min | Develop an understanding of essential components of mastery-based learning

20 min | Self-assess existing school and classroom practices and policies

5 min | Decide on a path forward

Explore Further

Read about the intersection between competency-based learning and equity, including recommended action steps for teachers and school leaders to design and strengthen equity strategies and consistency in student learning. From CompetencyWorks, INACOL.