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HomeEducationWhy Khan Academy will likely be utilizing "expertise to proficient" to measure...

Why Khan Academy will likely be utilizing “expertise to proficient” to measure studying outcomes (and it is best to too!)

By Bogdan Yamkovenko, efficacy analysis supervisor of Khan Academy.

Mastery studying 

The success of academic know-how have to be measured not solely by time spent on a platform but in addition by studying. However studying just isn’t at all times easy to measure. Khan Academy is designed based mostly on ideas of mastery studying, which inspires learners to have interaction in instruction and apply till they attain excessive ranges of success in apply and evaluation actions earlier than shifting on to the following talent. Our earlier research recommend that spending 30+ minutes per week on Khan is related to higher studying outcomes.1 Our most up-to-date analysis signifies that past time spent, specializing in getting expertise to proficient or increased is related to success on an exterior studying evaluation.

Specializing in proficiency: a greater technique to measure studying outcomes on Khan Academy

A reliable measure of math studying on Khan Academy is one that’s correlated with different recognized, legitimate assessments of math achievement. One such legitimate evaluation is the nationally normed MAP Progress arithmetic standardized evaluation. We analyzed the connection between MAP Progress arithmetic scores and numerous indicators of mastery progress on Khan Academy.

Khan Academy’s mastery studying system focuses on expertise that enhance in mastery ranges, from “tried” to “acquainted” to “proficient” to “mastered.” Learners advance by these ranges as they get extra questions appropriate on workouts, quizzes, unit checks, and course challenges.2 Academic analysis on mastery studying3  tells us that learners who work on a talent till a excessive evaluation rating is achieved could have higher long-term retention of the fabric. 

In our analysis, we discovered that whatever the variety of expertise learners labored on, the proportion of math expertise accomplished at a proficient/mastered stage correlated with MAP Progress arithmetic scores. This sample held whatever the general variety of expertise a learner labored on or the period of time spent on Khan Academy (see determine beneath). We additionally noticed this sample maintain throughout grades. That is in line with mastery studying analysis that implies attending to increased ranges of feat on a talent earlier than shifting on is said to raised long-term retention of knowledge.3 

We now measure the influence of Khan Academy based mostly on the period of time spent on our platform and the proportion of expertise accomplished at a proficient/mastered stage on Khan Academy. As proven within the determine above, expertise to proficient/mastered measure is notable due to its correlation with an exterior legitimate measure of math achievement, which is proof of what researcher’s name “convergent validity.” This metric additionally aligns with mastery studying analysis and is in line with the educational design ideas we use on our platform.

Breadth versus depth: How ought to learners strategy apply on Khan Academy

A typical Khan Academy train has a number of gadgets which might be centered on the identical talent. College students advance to a sure stage (acquainted, proficient) on that talent relying on what number of of this stuff they reply appropriately.  If a scholar will get to acquainted in our mastery system as soon as they full an train, they will attempt the train once more to achieve proficient on the talent, or they will select to maneuver on to the following talent. 

Stopping at a well-recognized stage versus attending to a proficient or increased stage might seize the distinction between shallow studying and deeper studying for the reason that latter requires extra apply. Our analyses point out that it’s higher to deal with fewer expertise however attain at the least proficient ranges on these expertise than to try to work on a number of expertise however solely attain a well-recognized stage of understanding. Our evaluation exhibits that in a typical 30-minute session, a learner can work on two workouts and stage as much as proficient on two expertise. If the primary try at finishing an train is unsuccessful in attending to proficient, we suggest {that a} learner attempt once more fairly than transfer on to the following talent.   

Khan Academy’s five-year purpose

Our five-year purpose is to speed up the educational of 10 % of U.S. college students by 50 % in math and/or science. We use “expertise to proficient+”, the variety of expertise a learner leveled as much as proficient or mastered, as our inside studying metric as a result of it’s each simple to know and related to better beneficial properties on an exterior arithmetic evaluation. We maintain ourselves accountable for shifting the needle on scholar studying outcomes at scale as we make progress in the direction of reaching our five-year purpose. 


1. Learn extra about MAP Accelerator research fundings right here.

2. Study extra about Khan Academy’s mastery mechanics right here.

3. Block, J. H., & Burns, R. B. (1976). Mastery studying. Evaluation of analysis in training, 4, 3-49.




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