For K-12 math

# Best practices

Khan Academy gives instructors a wealth of information about their students' progress. You can use our coach reports to find out how your students are spending their time on Khan Academy, where they're struggling, and where they're excelling. This information can help you personalize your instruction to meet each student's needs.

# Step one: Choose a question to focus on

If you're new to Khan Academy's coach reports, we recommend focusing on just one question at first. Start simple by picking one of the metrics below:

Question #1: Who is struggling with at least one skill?

• Why to ask it: Khan Academy designates students as "struggling" on a skill when they repeatedly answer a large percentage of questions incorrectly. If students are struggling, they may need your help to understand a skill, even if they're not asking for it.
• Student Progress report: Click the red square to sort students by number of struggling skills.
• Skill Progress report: Check the "Struggling" box to see only skills with which at least one student is struggling.
• Grid report: Check the "Struggling" box to see only students with at least one struggling skill.

Question #2: How much time are students spending on Khan Academy?

• Why to ask it: Getting all students to use Khan Academy on a consistent basis might be one of your first implementation goals. If you're monitoring time online, you can celebrate students who meet this goal and work with students who aren't yet using Khan Academy consistently.
• Student Progress report: Click the clock icon to sort students by number of minutes spent on Khan Academy.
• Activity report: This report shows time online in a bar graph.
• Note: Khan Academy counts time very conservatively, so please use our numbers as estimates, not exact values.

Question #3: How many mission-level skills have students mastered?

• Why to ask it: If students are not mastering skills from the mission you want them to work on, they may not understand the material, or they may not be using their time wisely. Either way, they would probably benefit from extra coaching. Students who are mastering these skills may be able to serve as peer tutors.
• Student Progress report: Click the blue square to sort students by number mission-level skills they've mastered. You can also set a filter to show only the topics or skills you're interested in. This filter is especially helpful if you’re using study guides (also called “playlists”).

As you become more familiar with Khan Academy and its coaching tools, you can start leveraging more metrics to inform your instruction. One way to learn more about our reports is to explore these scenarios and this worksheet.

# Step two: Explore ways to use coach reports

We recommend that instructors review their coach reports after every Khan Academy session and incorporate this information into their lesson planning. Here are just a few ways to use coach reports:

• Identify gaps in knowledge: Leverage coach reports to identify gaps in your students' understanding of key concepts, and personalize your instruction accordingly.
• Plan targeted interventions: Identify students who are struggling with a specific skill and choose an appropriate intervention, such a one-on-one session with you, a small-group lesson with other students who are struggling with the same skill, or peer tutoring with a student who has mastered it.
• Diagnose misconceptions: For certain skills, you can zoom in to see how a student answered a problem step-by-step and when they took hints. You can see whether students zoomed through all the hints or spent a lot of time on each one, whether they viewed the video, and how many problems they attempted. This kind of investigation helps you not only to pinpoint conceptual misunderstandings but also to identify ways in which students can grow as independent learners (watching videos when they're confused, reading hints carefully, etc.).
• Motivate students: Use energy points, badges, and avatars to inspire competition, collaboration, and celebration. For more ideas, see incentives and motivation.
• Drive student goals: Teach students how to interpret their own progress information, set their own goals, and monitor progress toward achieving them. For example, Egan Junior High 7th grade teacher Courtney Cadwell regularly asked students to review their own progress, completing statements such as the following:
• This week, I've spent the most time doing... (based on the Focus tab students can access from the Progress section of their profile)
• This week, I've struggled the most with...
• This week, I'm most proud of...
• I did / didn't meet last week's goal because...
• This week, I will…
• Guide parent-teacher discussions: Use coach reports as a starting point for discussing students' work habits and progress. (The bottom half of the Student Progress report is especially helpful.) Have parents look at coach reports with you to create a common vocabulary.

Teachers describe how they use Khan Academy's reports (2:44).

We have updated our site since this video was created, so the reports you see in it will not exactly match the reports you see in your own Khan Academy account. However, the methods these teachers describe in the video still apply!

# Step three: Hold students accountable

Every class has unique grading needs, and no one number can summarize a student's progress. If you choose to incorporate Khan Academy into your grading system, we recommend starting with these metrics:

Number of mission-level skills practiced or mastered

As students answer questions correctly on a skill, they “level up” from “needs practice” all they way to “mastered.”

• Students can achieved “practiced” on a skill in one sitting by completing a practice task.
• To advance to higher levels (including “mastered”), students must complete challenges, which mix problems of different types. The number of days it takes to master a skill will vary by student. Often, students must complete multiple challenges over multiple days to reach “mastered” on a skill.

For these reasons, we recommend that students aim for “mastered” as a long-term goal and “practiced” as a short-term goal. Many instructors give students one reward for practicing a skill and a second reward for mastering it. Here’s an example:

• For each mission-level skill that you achieve “practiced” on by the end of this week, I’ll give you one homework point.
• For each mission-level skill that you master by the end of next week, I’ll give you an additional homework point.

You can use the Student Progress or Skill Progress report to see how many skills students have practiced or mastered within their mission. If you want students to focus on mastering specific skills within a mission, we recommend the following:

Number of coach recommendations completed

You may wish to recommend certain skills to certain students based on the information in your coach reports. To see whether a student has completed your recommendations, visit the Student Progress report, select the student from the list at the bottom left, and click the "Recommendations" tab.

# Common pitfalls to avoid

Grading students mainly on their time online

Many instructors ask their students to spend a certain amount of time on Khan Academy each week. It's helpful to know whether students are meeting this expectation, but this information alone won't tell you whether students are focusing on relevant material or making meaningful progress. If you do incorporate time online into your grading system, we recommend using it in conjunction with the metrics above.

Grading students based on the number of skills they’re struggling with or the number of questions they’ve answered incorrectly

Khan Academy should be a safe place for students to practice math, and part of practice is making mistakes. Struggling is an essential part of learning, so students shouldn’t feel pressured to get everything right the first time.

Instead of penalizing students for answering questions incorrectly, praise them for trying. Encourage them to keep practicing, to use hints and videos, and to ask a peer or instructor for help if they need it. When students finally master a skill that initially gave them trouble, recognize them not only for learning it but also for persevering and displaying a growth mindset.

Remember: Khan Academy is here to help students learn, and learning means allowing room for mistakes and growth!

When you get all that data - that is really easy to access - it pushes you to say, "Maybe this lesson that I thought was good for my whole class is only good for 20% of my class. I should go back and think about what I'm really asking my students to do."

- Jesse Roe, math teacher, Summit Public Schools