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Creating Mastery Goals with Khan Academy

Learn how to create and monitor Course and Unit Mastery goals.
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Assigning Course and Unit Mastery Goals on Khan Academy provides a clear, measurable path for learning. A Course Mastery Goal is a long-term target for a student to achieve proficiency in a specific Khan Academy course throughout the academic year. This encourages steady progress and deep understanding of the subject matter. A Unit Mastery Goal, on the other hand, is a short-term target for mastering a specific unit. These goals can align with current instruction and help promote understanding of the unit's content. They can be used as standalone short-term goals or in conjunction with Course Mastery Goals to form a comprehensive learning path for the academic year. These tools, in conjunction with supportive teachers, create a supportive learning environment, promoting personalized learning journeys. We recommend combining these goals with assignments to encourage students to work towards mastering skills, ensuring a tailored path for each student's needs.
This article discusses Mastery Goals, the difference between Course and Unit Mastery Goals, and the best way to use these goals to track student progress.

Using Mastery Goals

Course and Unit Mastery Goals on Khan Academy serve as powerful tools for teachers to guide and monitor student progress. A Course Mastery Goal is a year-long academic goal for a student to become proficient in a particular course on Khan Academy. It's designed to encourage consistent progress and a deep understanding of the course content. Teachers can use these goals to gauge the class's progress throughout the year, identify areas of strength and opportunity, and adjust their teaching strategies accordingly. These goals also provide a clear path for students, keeping them focused and motivated as they see their progress toward mastering the entire course content.
Unit Mastery Goals are like mini-targets within a course. They divide the course into smaller, more digestible parts. This way, teachers can concentrate on specific parts of the curriculum, making it easier to spot and fill in any gaps in students' knowledge. These goals easily align with what you are teaching in class, ensuring that the learning process is relevant and comprehensive. By keeping an eye on students' progress towards these goals, teachers can ensure that each student is advancing at an appropriate pace for their unique needs. This detailed division of content helps students understand what they're expected to learn and gives them a sense of accomplishment as they master each unit.
Course and Unit Mastery Goals are not just about setting targets; they are about creating a structured, personalized learning environment that motivates students and supports teachers in their instructional planning.

Setting Mastery Goals

Step 1 Setting a Course Mastery or Unit Mastery goal
  • Go to your teacher dashboard and choose a class.
  • Under the Mastery Goals tab, select Assign.
  • Select your course, Course mastery or Unit mastery and set your due date. Click the blue Create button on the bottom right of your screen.
    • When setting Unit Mastery goals, we suggest you assign one unit at a time that corresponds to your current instruction unit.
  • Select a date and click on the blue create course goal or create 1 unit goal button.
  • You will be taken to the Mastery goal progress page
Course mastery goal
Animated GIF of how to set a Course Mastery Goal
Unit mastery goal
Animated GIF of how to set a Unit Mastery Goal

Mastery goal progress: Tracking and editing mastery goals

Step 2: Tracking unit and course mastery goal progress
  • On the left-hand navigation menu, under Mastery Goals, click the Progress tab.
  • Here, you can see all your mastery goals for this class.
  • You can sort the view by All goals, Course goals, or Unit goals.
  • If you click on the blue Details, a pop-up showing each student's progress on that specific goal will appear.
  • To edit or delete a goal, click on the three horizontal dots to the right of the details.
Animated GIF of how to track progress of Course and Unit Mastery Goals.

A few reminders

Here are a few reminders to consider.
  • Explain to students what Mastery goals are and how Course goals and Unit goals differ. We encourage teachers to include students in the goal-setting and decision-making processes whenever possible.
  • Create a Khan Academy routine for students to work on mastery goals. We recommend 30 to 45 total learning minutes, and at least two skills leveled up per week.
  • Have data-driven conversations with students using data from mastery goal progress. When students need extra help, you can strategically use assignments to provide targeted support in areas they struggle with. In this case, you can assign additional content to help students develop foundational skills.
  • When assigning mastery goals, students will have to master all skills in the course to reach 100%. Realistically, we recommend students aim to master 80% of the course. The mastery progress report will indicate that students have completed the course once they achieve 80% or higher mastery. Achieving mastery is a journey that every student, regardless of their starting point, can embark on. It's about setting a learning goal and persistently pursuing it. This journey may look different for everyone, but the destination is the same - a deep, comprehensive understanding of the content. It's not just about memorizing facts but about developing a true understanding of the underlying concepts. Every student has the potential to reach mastery. It's a testament to the power of perseverance, dedication, and the belief that every student can succeed.

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