What are Mastery Settings?

With standards-based grading, there are different ways to calculate the mastery of a standard. Traditional points grading is based on point values and percentages; standards grading is based on levels rather than points. The five ways to calculate the overall performance levels are:

  • Mean - overall standard performance will be determined based on the average level they perform at.

  • Mode - overall standard performance will be determined based on the level they perform at the most.

  • Most Recent - overall performance level will be determined based on the level they achieved most recently.

  • Highest - overall performance will be determined based on the highest level they've achieved.

  • Decaying Average - overall performance will be determined using a calculation that is based on an average with more weight given to the more recent scores.

See below for an example of how a student's overall performance level changes based on the mastery setting selected.

💡 Tip from the Otus Team: Term Conversion plays a substantial role in the calculations that are used to determine the overall performance levels; if something doesn't seem quite right with the standards performance, take a look at the Term Conversion settings in the Main Administrator account. If you don't have access to the Main Administrator account, or have questions about your Term Conversion settings, reach out to us in the chat feature!


Mean

The Mean mastery setting calculates the average performance level among all attempts.

Term Conversion is especially important in this calculation. To see a detailed explanation of how the Mean performance level of Approaching Mastery was calculated in the example above, click here.


Mode 

The Mode mastery setting will be the performance level at which the student has performed the most at.

To see a detailed explanation of how the Mode performance level of Approaching Mastery was calculated in the example above, click here.


Most Recent

The Most Recent performance level is just what it sounds like; the performance level that the student earned most recently.

To see a detailed explanation of how the Most Recent performance level of Mastery was calculated in the example above, click here.


Highest

The Highest performance level is just what it sounds like; the highest performance level the student has achieved.

To see a detailed explanation of how the Highest performance level of Mastery was calculated in the example above, click here.


Decaying Average

This performance level is calculated based on the most recent attempts having the most weight. There is a specific formula that is used which essentially gives the most recent performance level a weight of 65%, with all other previous attempts making up the remaining 35%. Decaying average is calculated with a cascading effect, meaning the formula starts calculating based on the first attempt and continues in the same fashion until the most recent attempt has been captured.

The table below shows how the Near Mastery performance level was calculated for the above example.

Term Conversion is especially important in this calculation. To see a detailed explanation of how this calculation is done, click here.

💡 Tip from the Otus Team:

When all standards being calculated are assessed at the same exact time, perhaps in one assessment that was administered, we list them highest to lowest and THEN do the calculation. This gives the student the benefit of the doubt. This also means that the calculation may appear to be incorrect as teachers are expecting a "mean" calculation rather than the result of the decaying average breakdown in place specifically when attempt data is collected all at once. This is a common concern at the beginning of the year for many teachers since they only have one or two assessments. Decaying average is best when there are many data points across a longer period of time. As the year continues, the data will be more and more accurate for this student, giving a true representation of their standard mastery.


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