As teachers, we’ve all had the frustrating experience of students memorizing enough to get an “A” on the test, only to forget the material a week later. This type of grading and learning doesn’t help students grow and doesn’t help you know where they are actually succeeding or needing additional help.

Mastery grading may be just the solution you need to solve this problem. Unlike traditional grading, mastery grading focuses on evaluating whether students have actually mastered a learning standard (rather than whether they attained a certain letter grade) before they move on to the next level.

In this course, you will examine the history and purposes of grading, including your own beliefs about the practice. You’ll compare and contrast traditional grading with mastery grading and see how mastery grading aligns with Common Core State Standards. In addition, you’ll consider the impact of zeros, deductions for late submissions, homework completion, and test redos on student learning. Finally, you’ll learn how to incorporate mastery grading principles even if your school or district doesn’t, and how to create buy-in among parents and colleagues.

Using the techniques from this course, you will be able to implement mastery grading in your classroom to encourage students to focus on learning, not simply earning a grade.