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Working with Mastery Tests


Mastery tests are used to quiz Learners knowledge of the material covered in the tutorial and application/practice for a module. There is no option to save and exit a mastery test to complete at a later time and need to be taken in one session. Mastery tests give mastery status if the score is 80% or higher.

The best way to obtain an understanding of how a mastery test question answer was derived is to review the associated tutorial for that test. Content covered in mastery tests is covered in the tutorials. They detail how to work through the problems to come up with the answers. It is for this reason primarily that Learners are encouraged to work through the tutorials before going through the mastery tests, especially if they are unfamiliar or need clarification with the content.

Mastery vs. Completion Enhancements (8/28/17):

Educators now have visibility into how their students are progressing through their course (via Completion status) as well as how the students are performing (via the grades on the mastery tests).  Separating the data points provides more transparency in grading and a more holistic view of student engagement in courses.

These changes include:

  • Completion status is no longer tied to mastery of a Module.
    • Once the Mastery Test is attempted, the Module status will be recorded as Complete regardless of the score.
  • The Mastery Test score will be reflected as the Module score.
    • Students’ actual Module score will be recorded in the student curriculum details and will be visible in reports where module activity is detailed.
    • The Gradebook will record the actual score of the Module as reflected in the student curriculum details.  The Module score will count toward students’ Current and Course Grade along with other course activities.
      • Note: This rule will apply to all newly created Classes (Sections) post 8/25 and updated Grade Tracker pages in the Gradebook
      • Grade Tracker pages that are not updated will maintain their current template settings.
  • Completing activities will allow students to continue making progress in the course without strictly being held to scoring 80% or better on Mastery Tests.
    • Note:  Scoring an 80% or better will earn Mastery status (Gold Star) on the Module
  • With the 8/28 release, all students in active Classes (Sections) will have their Module statuses updated to reflect the new rules; no mastery test scores will be changed.
    • Note:  When updating a Grade Tracker page to Gradebook a preview has been provided to review how the new rules may impact Current and Course grades. 

Separating Completion and Mastery provides educators the ability to easily see where student intervention may be necessary.  By using both Current and Course grades along with Activities Complete in the new data visualization, educators can evaluate student performance; communicate more efficiently with students and make decisions more efficiently to support student achievement.

In addition, separating Completion and Mastery improves the alignment of local program implementation policies used to determine course credit.

Refer to the Mastery vs. Completion QRC for more details.

Reporting Impacts: 


What's Next

Number of Tries limit: 

If a Learner takes a mastery test multiple times, the system keeps the highest score. Learners can only view the highest score, although educators can view all scores and history for multiple mastery test attempts.

For any class, you can limit the number of times the Learner can unlock a locked mastery test by reviewing the tutorial. After that, the Learner will require an educator to unlock it using the Edit Status feature. This limit applies to each mastery test in the assignment and to all Learners in the assignment.


Other Considerations

Is there a way to change the 80% percent mastery criteria?

In PLATO content, the system defined mastery criteria for mastery tests is 80% and cannot be changed. This also applies to activities in some elementary content titles (Math Expeditions, Beginning Reading, Reading Explorations), each of which function as a combined tutorial, drill and mastery test. Some content titles use dynamic mastery tests that give enough questions to determine whether the test is mastered, but do not report a score; they nevertheless use the 80% criteria to determine mastery.

Although the system doesn't automatically recognize anything less than 80% as mastered, you can work around this by manually editing the status of the activity to show mastered and change the score to whatever you want. Refer to Edit Status for details.

Is there a way to change the number of questions in a mastery tests?

You cannot customize a mastery test or change the number of questions presented in the mastery test in a PLATO course or title module. A mastery test draws a fixed number of questions randomly from a pool of questions.

Are there written answer keys available?

Written answer keys are not available for exploration activities. Educators can preview PLATO content including mastery tests, however, the ability to view answers in mastery tests varies by PLATO content title.

Can a learner master a module mastery test in just a minute or two?

Some module mastery tests typically require 80% correct of a total of 5 to 10 questions to master, so it is not uncommon for a student to master a mastery test in a short time, for example 1 to 5 minutes. Other mastery tests may typically take longer if they give a fixed number of questions, for example, 20 or 40 questions.

Can you view students answers of a Mastery Test?

Student answers are available for some Mastery Tests.


How to get more help

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