Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Transforming Students from Passengers to Drivers with Mastery-Based Learning

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Sunday, June 23, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: 120A

Romain Bertrand   Molly Nealeigh  
New technology is great, but is it empowering students to drive their own learning? Learn how a mastery-based approach to blended learning equips students to analyze their data, set goals, asses their understanding, and own outcomes. Explore strategies to use in your classroom, and leave with an implementation plan.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: QR Code Reader, Google/Gmail
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Personalized learning
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: Math
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this presentation is to share the power of mastery-based learning teachers and leaders and equip them with the knowledge, resources, and process to begin implementation in their school or classroom. As educators, we now have access to technology that can help us not just differentiate, but individualize learning pathways for students. But making that shift can be challenging, especially if there isn’t a school/district initiative to support it. Both presenters have developed and implemented mastery-based learning in their classrooms and want to share how this shift has transformed learning for their students.

By the end of the session participants will:
1. Learn how mastery-based learning has driven student growth for a teacher and school
2. Understand how to build and implement a mastery-based learning system driven by students.
3. Experience elements of the system first-hand to better understand its application with learners and educators in their schools.
4. Leave with resources that will allow you to build a similar system or support other teachers in their implementation.


1. Introduction (5 minutes)
- Presenter introductions, shared norms, support participants with Pear Deck set up

2. Engaging Questions (5 minutes)
- Audience Poll (in Pear Deck) Why are you interested in implementing mastery-based learning in your school or classroom? How do you hope it will impact student learning? What do you think will be most challenging
- Turn and Talk- what do you notice?

3. Share experience building mastery-based classrooms (15 minutes)
- Why started-- what challenges were we trying to address with mastery-based classroom and desired impact on student learning
- Describe the early stages of implementation
- Evolution- what changed over the year and how practice grew
- Impact- describe how student learning experience changed by the end of the year including growth on standardized test score. Includes student video /stories/quotes

4. Building a mastery-based classroom (20 minutes)
- Share key components/systems of mastery-based instruction
- Participants independently explore and select strategies based on which component feels relevant to student need. This is will occur in a module-like format similar to what students use in Molly’s classroom

5. Debrief and Next steps (15 minutes)
- Poll (in Pear Deck) - ask how they would rate experience, what additional supports or resources they’d need to be successful.
- How to implement-- share protocols that support the implementation of the mastery-based system.
- How admins can support- give list of suggestions and resources for leaders

Supporting research

1. Achieve. "The Role of Learning Progressions in Competency-Based Pathways." 2015.
2. Briggs, Derek C. et al. "Using a Learning Progression Framework to Assess and Evaluate Student Growth." Center for Assessment Design Research and Evaluation. 2015.
3. CompetencyWorks. "What is Competency Education?" International Association for K-12 Online Learning. 2014.
4. Corcoran, Tom et al. "Learning Progressions in Science: An Evidence-based Approach to Reform." Consortium for Policy Research in Education: Center on Continuous Instructional Improvement. 2009.
5. Heritage, Margaret. "Learning Progressions: Supporting Instruction and Formative Assessment." National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing. 2008.
6. Hess, Karin. "Developing and Using Progressions as a Schema for Measuring Progress." National Center for Assessment. 2008.
7. Indiana Department of Education. "Learning Progression Guided by Formative Assessment: Self-Reflective Rubric."
Rand Education. 'Competency-Based Education."
8. Sturgis, Chris and Patrick Susan. "When Success Is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning." Nellie Mae
Education Foundation. 2010.
9. Walton, Janice and Ryerse, Mary. "Competency-Based Education: Definitions and Difference Makers." GettingSmart. 2017.

Related Blog articles
1. What is a Mastery Based Learning System
2. The Building Blocks of a Mastery Based Learning System (Part 1)
3. The Building Blocks of a Mastery Based Learning System (Part 2)

More [+]


Romain Bertrand, BetterLesson
Molly Nealeigh, Charlotte-Mecklenberg School District

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