Mastery-based learning (MBL) is a teaching and learning method and instructional strategy first identified in 1968 by education researcher Benjamin Bloom and is defined as an alternate method for teaching students who do not respond well to traditional public school instructional modes. The primary challenge of mastery-based learning is the teacher’s ability to provide enough time and variety in instructional methods so all students achieve the same learning level. In other words, a performance level is established that all students must meet before moving on to the next instructional unit while still taking the time to provide additional instruction for those students who require the support.
The key features of MBL align successfully with adaptive instructional approaches featured in a variety of online curriculum packages offered by Global Student Network (GSN), a leading provider of online education tools since 2004. GSN offers eight (8) complete K-12 programs that are uniquely suited to use in public schools, charter schools, private schools and homeschools. Because students using GSN’s online education tools work on a self-paced basis and are able to move independently from course-to-course and grade-level-to-grade level and because GSN offers important assessment tools to determine student placement and learning styles, student success is virtually guaranteed. No student is left behind feeling as though there is no option other than to “give up.”
Online curriculum supports mastery based learning in schools in many ways:
Flexibility – Mastery based online learning breaks study units into sets of instructional objectives and then “packages” those objectives into smaller pieces that are more easily digested by students. This approach creates actual self-paced courses that can be adapted to any learning style or schedule and allows students to reach course goals and objectives based on their own timeline.
Cost – Global Student Network offers learning packages at competitive prices geared to adapt to school budgets, creating an opportunity for teachers and administrators to serve a more diverse student body while expanding the amount of knowledge and teaching tools available to teachers.
Grading and Reporting – GSN’s curriculum packages generally include a dashboard management approach served by an adaptive learning system. Teachers are able to view everything a student has mastered in a single glance while tracking mastery trends and patterns individually or across the entire class.
MLB Standards – Adaptive digital learning systems such as those offered by GSN, allow teachers to determine the specific needs of each student and match those needs with innovative learning approaches. The net result is that lower-performing students are brought up to speed quickly while, at the same time, advanced students are provided the opportunity to move through materials at their own pace and take on more challenging work as soon as they are ready.
At this time, forty-eight (48) states and the District of Columbia support online learning approaches, including approaches that range from supplementing classroom instruction on an as-needed basis to enrolling students in full-time online study. GSN offers a variety of options, including:
- K-12 learning tools and materials;
- Dual enrollment opportunities;
- Credit recovery;
- Mastery-based learning;
- Advanced Placement (AP) courses;
- Honors courses; and
- Summer school programs.
For more information about how your school can successfully implement online mastery-based learning programs using GSN’s wide range of flexible, self-paced, proven educational curriculums, please visit our school partnership page.