Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2014

MasteryConnect

Record, analyze, share assessment data with flexible CCSS grader

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-12
Great for:
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (4 Reviews)

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5 images

Pros: Comprehensive tools for curriculum mapping, organizing assessments, networking, and tracking student progress on standards.

Cons: The standout feature, curriculum mapping, requires a premium account.

Bottom Line: A fantastic assessment tool that's utilized to its fullest when adopted at a school or district level.

Teachers can use MasteryConnect to plan formative assessments and track student progress on standards. The free version gives teachers access to the searchable assessment bank. Teachers use this to help brainstorm and build their curricula. They can also track their students' progress using online tools. Reports can be printed and shared with students and families, keeping everyone in the loop.

For communities with a premium account, teachers can use MasteryConnect to network with other teachers at their schools, jointly plan curricula, and set up full scope and sequences. Teachers can stay more organized and keep track of their long-term goals using these helpful tools.

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MasteryConnect provides tools for teachers to track mastery of standards in real time, and it also serves as a repository for teacher-created formative assessments. The "mastery" part of the website helps teachers plan assessments linked to standards and analyze data collected from the assessments. With a premium account, teachers can create customized curriculum maps linked to formative assessments. Common Core State Standards are color-coded by domain and can be rearranged, rewritten, and compiled from various subject areas. Grades can be entered as raw scores, using rubrics, performance sources, bubble sheets, or even built-in GradeCam support. Users can customize the mastery levels to match school criteria. Reports are detailed and can be shared with parents and students using an online portal. School and district users can also import data into a school-based SIS.

The "connect" part of the website provides an online repository of teacher-created formative assessments. Teachers can search the assessment bank via a Pinterest-like interface. Teachers can use, download, and modify any of the shared assessments, some of which are even peer-reviewed. Assessments created by free-account users are automatically shared with the community. Premium accounts include privacy controls and ways to share within schools or a district. Paid users can also upload copyrighted assessments to share and reuse in the future. 

 

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MasteryConnect offers excellent grading customization including adjustable grading scales, rubrics, performance-based assessments, bubble sheets, and GradeCam. These tools are matched with sharing features that help teachers, students, and parents track mastery of standards in real time. Each stakeholder can view the data clearly and make instructional decisions based on students' various levels of mastery.

The repository of shared assessments -- some even peer-reviewed -- can also spark creativity, conversation, and perhaps increased rigor in the classroom by giving teachers a large range of resources from which to pull ideas. The curriculum-mapping tool is the standout, but it's a premium feature. This tool helps teachers and teams create long-term assessment plans based on CCSS. It's flexible enough to allow for backward planning, reordering standards, drilling down into substandards, and even rewording the standards to better match the school's learning targets. Uploading formative assessments to these plans helps create an organized and lasting overview of the curriculum.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Engage with a large network of teachers sharing standards-aligned assessments. Pins make browsing assessments visually interesting and easy to search. The teacher interface is a bit overwhelming.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Assessments are linked to standards, and grading is quick and flexible. Reporting tools provide insight into student mastery. The best benefits, however, will require school/district buy-in.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

An interactive tour gets users up and running quickly. Tutorials and videos are available throughout the site.


Common Sense Reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Colleen M. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Lakeshore Elementary School
Holland, MI
Great for looking up standards!

I like the resource section. It is set up much like Pintrest and has many resources that are available to access. I haven't used the learning community because it seems to be very limited. The assessments that I have tried to look into do not seem to be very valuable to me. If there was a way to have students do the assessments online and have immediate feedback of the standards they were missing I would be more likely to use this. Overall, I love the app for looking up and understanding CCSS however I think the rest of the site needs some improvements before it would be a useful tool for me.

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