Mastery-Based Learning vs. Task-Based Learning

Chad OstrowskiBlog, Competency Based Learning, Innovation, Mastery Learning, Self-Paced Learning, Video

Mastery-Based Learning vs Task-Based Learning (video)

Are you assessing for mastery or task completion?

When you shift your focus from task completion to mastery you’re going to see your students care more about what they know then what they’re doing. Click To Tweet

Full transcript below video.

Video Transcript

Hey guys. Today I want to talk about if you’re assessing for mastery or task completion, and there’s a very big difference between these two things. Lot of times when we assign work we assess for completion of a task. And the problem with this is, a student can complete a task without actually mastering any information. What I want you to think about is how much more valuable it is to assess for mastery of information over completion of the tasks.

This is going to change the way you look at a lot of things in your classroom. When you assess something, it doesn’t matter how the student shows you what they know, just that they know it. For example, if you want a student to be able to explain the process of something occurring but the original task provides a written response, it shouldn’t matter if the student can actually write that response as long as they understand the content. Which means if they can verbally explain it or draw a picture to show the same knowledge, that still shows mastery. Once you start shifting away from task-based assessments and get to mastery-based assessments, a lot of other things also change.

Let’s think about cheating. And this will be a really weird, mind-blowing thought-process for you. But, if a student cheats, or copies answers on a task, but still learns, does it matter if they cheated? Now some of you are thinking well of course it matters, it’s ethically wrong. And I twitter dishonest we need to re-inform, we need to intervene, and we need to let them know that is not correct. But if your goal is to teach students true mastery, even if they cheat, but if they get the mastery they’re supposed to, does it really matter in the end? Because if your goal as a teacher is to get students to complete tasks, that’s fine. But what it should be is getting students to master material. When you shift your focus from task completion to mastery you’re going to see your students care more about what they know then what they’re doing. And that’s our goal for any student. We want them to care about the information they’re learning, not the tasks, or the worksheets, or the activities they’re completing. So when you can take a lot of the things in your classroom and make them mastery based instead of task based, you can teach better.

Stay awesome.

Top image photo by STIL on Unsplash.