This past year, I was fortunate to have access to MasteryBook, a platform that really
complemented the way I approached competency-based learning in my classroom, from Grade 9
Science to Grade 11 Chemistry.

Facilitating Progress at the Right Pace

One of the platform’s greatest strengths lies in its user-friendly dashboards, designed for both
students and teachers. Students gained a sense of ownership over their learning journey by
clearly seeing their progress on each competency. For example, I had students breezing through
the concepts and modeling skills involved in cell reproduction in Grade 9 – MasteryBook would
display their mastery, allowing them to confidently move on to explore additional topics.

Conversely, students who needed extra time with this topic wouldn’t be held back; they could
work at their own pace, solidifying their understanding before progressing. This personalized
approach fostered a sense of agency in my students, helping them to take charge of their
learning. MasteryBook provided me and the students with the evidence we needed to make these

Easy to Read Data

The MasteryBook further empowered students by offering a variety of ways to view their progress
data. Some students thrived on detailed breakdowns of their strengths and weaknesses within
each competency.

For them, seeing a breakdown of their performance on specific skills within
“Designing Scientific Experiments” or “Analyzing Data” provided a clear roadmap for
improvement. MasteryBook catered to these preferences by offering charts, graphs, and even
progress bars that showcased their overall mastery journey. This flexibility allowed me to tailor
my feedback to each student’s learning style, ensuring clear communication and maximizing the
impact of my interventions.

Showcasing Learning

But MasteryBook wasn’t simply a data repository. It provided a platform for students to
showcase their learning in creative ways. The ability to upload evidence of mastery, like lab
reports, presentations, or even video demonstrations, proved invaluable. This not only provided
me with a deeper understanding of their grasp of the concept, but also fostered their creativity
and communication skills.

By analyzing this evidence, I could pinpoint areas of confusion with greater accuracy, allowing me to provide more targeted support and intervention. Often, one-on-one meetings with students became a conversation centered around their MasteryBook progress, using the platform’s detailed data and their uploaded work as a springboard for personalized

Customizable Competencies

The platform’s flexibility extended beyond student learning styles. MasteryBook‘s ability to
adapt to our school’s unique science standards was another game-changer. The competencies
assessed within MasteryBook could be easily customized to match the specific skills students
needed to master in each course.

For example, the competencies needed for mastering “Cell Reproduction” in Grade 9 Science would naturally differ from those required for mastering “Molarity” in Grade 11 Chemistry. MasteryBook allowed me to tailor the platform to these specific needs, ensuring a perfect alignment between what we were teaching and how student progress was measured. Furthermore, the Mastery Levels – the benchmarks used to define competency – were also customizable within the platform. In my classes we used the British Columbia proficiency scale which goes from Emerging to Developing to Proficient to Extending.

Students Own Their Learning

In conclusion, MasteryBook empowered students to take ownership of their learning, provided a
platform for personalized feedback, and ensured seamless integration with our school’s unique
science curriculum. The year with MasteryBook has been an enriching experience, fostering a
student-centered learning environment where curiosity, exploration, and a dedication to mastery

About the Author

Evan Hall is the Head of the Science Department at the Collingwood School in Vancouver, BC.

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