Khan Academy can help developmental math instructors personalize their teaching to provide a more customized learning experience for students.  By incorporating technology into their courses and leveraging Khan Academy's reports, instructors can encourage mastery-based learning and more quickly diagnose issues.

Some instructors incorporate Khan Academy into their classroom practice, while others have students use the program during lab time so that class time can be devoted to deeper discussion and hands-on applications of concepts. Khan Academy can also be a resource for test preparation and homework.  

Our most popular math material for college students in developmental math is the Algebra Basics mission, which provides coverage of the core topics in Algebra I & II. Find out more about missions here.

Common approaches

Some colleges are using Khan Academy in a blended-learning model to meet the unique needs of their student bodies.  

Community College of Vermont

Tim O'Connor, a math professor at Community College of Vermont, used a blended-learning approach to teaching his Basic Algebra course.  Watch Tim’s video below or for more information, read his case study here.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College also implemented a blended-learning approach by using Khan Academy to supplement a freshman calculus course consisting of 350 students. In this case study, KA exercises were used as the primary homework, and the focus was on mastery of the concepts. In-class tutors were also provided for 1-1 support.  Learn more about Dartmouth’s use of KA here.

Basic elements of successful student use

In any approach, we tend to see successful student use boil down to four basic elements.

  • Use a subject-level mission as homework or supplement. Our most popular mission for college students in transition is Algebra Basics, which covers the core topics in Algebra I & II.
  • Focus on mastery.   Getting a skill ‘practiced’ is important, but mastery shows that students are retaining these skills over time.
  • Provide additional support, such as access to tutors and motivational strategies.  The human element of learning is critical - it’s important for students to have instructors/peers to intervene when needed.
  • Show students the basics of using KA.  Providing a little help initially when using the tool can go a long way.

Learn more about these best practices here.


For more information:

  • If you’re considering using Khan Academy in your college or course, check out these tips for college implementations that we’ve put together based on our previous learnings. Feel free to adapt them to your unique needs.
  • For stories on how Khan Academy has helped older students, check out our student testimonials.