Learning or achievement gaps refer to differences between what a student has learned and what they are expected to learn by a certain point in their education. These gaps can occur throughout a student’s educational journey, whether that’s due to schedule changes, midyear teacher replacements or emergency remote instruction. Understanding where students are experiencing learning challenges is a key part of setting them up for success.
In this blog, we look at how Mastery View in D2L BrightspaceTM can help teachers identify and address their classes’ achievement gaps.
What Is Mastery View?
Mastery View is another page of the Grades tool that shows the overall level of achievement of outcomes for each learner in your class. The tool can suggest learning achievements automatically or you can evaluate them manually.
Mastery View doesn’t affect how students’ grades are displayed; instead, it helps show each student’s achievement as part of the larger class. This allows you to find and address individual learning gaps and class-wide areas for improvement.
How to Use Mastery View in Your Classroom
Mastery View provides you with a single overview of class performance related to outcome comprehension and mastery of topics. Below, we look at the three basic steps to help put this tool to use.
1. Set Up Mastery View
To get started with Mastery View, you need to define an achievement scale. Once that’s set up, there are four areas that you can put Mastery View to work for you:
- Assignments: Set standards for assignments, discussions or rubrics to get an idea of a student’s mastery level. You can connect standards to new or existing assignments, depending on which ones they’re designed to assess.
- Quizzes: Connect outcomes to quiz questions, including random question sections. You can align standards to individual questions, which allows you to see a student’s mastery level of specific expectations.
- Discussions: Track students’ engagement and comfort levels by aligning discussion parameters to achievement levels. This way, you can easily determine who is participating in online discussions and who isn’t.
- Portfolios: Assess portfolio evidence and, as long as you’ve aligned the standards to the rubric you’re using, you’ll be able to track a student’s achievement level automatically.
Depending on your needs, you can set up Mastery View to be as broad or as granular as you’d like. The Grades View and Mastery View provide different, complementary information about learners. By using outcomes associated with various elements of the assessment, such as quiz questions or rubric criterion rows, it is possible to investigate more specific dimensions of performance.
2. Analyze Mastery View Metrics
Mastery View offers another perspective on students’ performance and their grasp on learning concepts. When combined with the Grades View, you can get a more dynamic understanding of how your students are doing and whether there are any learning gaps.
- Distribution Bars: See how many students have been evaluated and what percentage of them achieved each outcome. This can help assess class material and help you understand if your class is struggling to understand a lesson.
- Individual Assessment Mastery: Understand a student’s mastery level of each individual assignment and quiz, as well as the feedback you gave them. These results are displayed in a color-coded trend graph, clearly showing a student’s progress over time. This allows you to quickly assess what learning gaps exist on an individual level.
- Trend Lines and Overall Mastery Levels: Track a student’s overall mastery level, which is calculated on a most-consistent and most-recent basis. You can also change how the mastery level is calculated. This builds in some context to the student’s score: If they started the year off slow but things began to click as the year went on, it’s possible that they would receive a higher “mastery level” than their grade average might suggest.
These analytics help you identify learning gaps and address them as they arise, ensuring students don’t fall further behind.
3. Address Learning Gaps
Once you’ve identified learning gaps using Mastery View, you can take steps to address them at both a class and an individual level. At a class level, this may consist of using Release Conditions to share material based on standards that students haven’t mastered yet. For example, you can set rules that allow students to move on to the next section only if they’ve shown a certain level of understanding on a quiz. This is based on a completion attempt or on a score.
Specific resource sharing can also be used at an individual level through Release Conditions. For example, if one student is struggling with a certain lesson and scored below a certain threshold, you can share a supplementary lesson or assignment with that specific student to help them bridge the gap. Understanding individual learning gaps also helps you create the right action plan with that student, such as setting up one-on-one sessions or working with their family to ensure the student is on the right track.
Understanding where learners are experiencing gaps can help you create personalized learning experiences. Any student can have these gaps on their educational journey, but they can be easily overcome when making the most of tools like Mastery View. Identifying and addressing these gaps in understanding early on creates a climate of success and fosters student growth.
Learn How You Can Help Optimize Your Brightspace Classroom
Looking for more tips and tricks on setting up and using Mastery View?
Register for our Teaching and Learning webinars for K-12 educators, teachers and administrators to learn new ways to optimize your Brightspace, whether you’re teaching online, in person or a combination of both.
Chase Banger is a Content Marketing Specialist at D2L, specializing in the K-12 sector. An award-winning journalist and former communications specialist, he has a passion for helping people through education.
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