Assessing in Mastery Learning: What we Have Learned

Assessing in Mastery Learning: What we Have Learned

This is my third year of doing mastery learning and the more I teach this way the more I like it. Many of our followers have asked for advice from Aaron and I. What have we learned so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes that we have made. Today I want to talk about how we have changed up our assessment s.

This year in our Chemistry classes we have changed a bit how we assess our students. In the past we would check every single assignment that students assigned. We would then put that in the grade book. This year we looked at objectives and instead of a student trying to “get work” done they are now focused in on the objectives that might have several learning activities. This chunking of our activities into objectives.

Below are the old and the new checklists: Note how the old system is very busy and the new one is not very busy.

Clearly: the second chart makes it easier for students to see what it is they need to know and be able to do. Thus far this has fostered a greater amount of learning.

We have even changed the way that we talk to students. Instead of: did you get that assignment done? It is now, “What objective are you struggling with today and how can I help.” This has created a more collaborative learning environment for all students and I am seeing greater gains in learning already.