What is a playlist?

A playlist (also known as a study guide) is simply a list of skills and/or videos for students to study. Many coaches create playlists to help their students focus on the most relevant material. Playlists are especially important for students who aren’t using missions, but we recommend them for all classrooms as a way to help students stay on track.

How do I create and implement a playlist?

1) Identify the standards or concepts you want to teach.

2) Find relevant content on Khan Academy.

Tip: If you’d like to find Khan Academy skills that cover specific Common Core standards, you may find our Common Core map helpful.

3) Write down the names of these skills or videos in a document. Voila - you’ve got a playlist!

Tip: If you plan to share an electronic copy of the playlist with your students, you may want to include a link to each skill along with the name. That way, students can simply click the link to access the skill!

Tip: If you’re using the Common Core map to choose skills, you may also find it helpful to copy and paste skill names and links from this spreadsheet. It contains the same information as the Common Core map and is updated quarterly. Here's a preview:

Common Core spreadsheet

4) Decide how you’ll guide your students through the playlist. Here are two options:

Option 1: Share these skills with your students by making coach recommendations.

Option 2: Share paper or electronic copies of the playlist with your students. Ask them to add the skills from the playlist to their own learning dashboard using the “Find and add a skill” box at the bottom of their screen.

Important: Skills recommended by a coach or added to the student’s dashboard are prioritized in Mastery Challenges so that students can master them more quickly. Skills accessed through the search bar at the top of the screen are not prioritized. For this reason, students should not use the search bar at the top of their screen to find skills from the playlist. However, the search bar at the top of the screen is a great way for students to access videos on the playlist. (Coaches cannot recommend videos, and students cannot add videos to their dashboards.)

Note: Currently, it isn't possible to upload your playlist to the Khan Academy site. If you want your students to see the skills on their playlist when they log in to Khan Academy, you may want to use option 1 instead.

5) Ask students to work through the skills in order.  Otherwise, students may jump to another skill if the one they are practicing becomes challenging, resulting in lots of jumping and little learning.

6) Monitor student progress on playlist skills.

One option is to use the Skill Progress, Student Progress, or Grid reports, which all contain a filter called “Find topics or skills.” You can add the skills on your playlist to this filter one by one to limit the focus of the report. You can then click the bookmark icon at the top right of the screen to bookmark your filtered report for future use.

What are the most common kinds of playlists?

  • Foundational playlists: List the top 10-20 skills you think every student must know before starting on grade-level content. Find those skills on Khan Academy and create a playlist.
  • Unit playlists: Look at the standards and concepts you want to cover in a unit. Search for the relevant skills on Khan Academy, and create a playlist of skills. Depending on how much access to technology your students have, you may want to limit the number of skills to the most important 5-10.
  • Differentiated playlists: Create two playlists for your students: one that covers the basics, and another that covers more advanced topics. This way students can advance within the unit if they are ready.
  • Project playlists: Identify the prerequisite skills needed for a project, and create a list. Have students complete them before or during the project.

Below are a few sample playlists. You can find more examples here.