Hacking Mastery Paths

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
88
25626

Situation: Your students have the option to pick from two (or more) different Projects they can do and each project has multiple assignments associated with it. For example, there are two different books students can read and different assignments associated with each book. You'd like to automate it so students can pick their book and then have access to the assignments for that specific book. What can you do?

Try hacking mastery paths!

Mastery Path's are designed to customize the learning path students take based on the grade on an initial assignment - How do I use MasteryPaths in course modules? Yet, the issue with this is that to get it started (the different paths) there has to be one common assignment that all students take that is worth a grade. This one grade is what then puts students on one path or another. So how do you take this initial road bump and get your students onto the right path? Create a quiz with a multiple choice question - "Which Book do you want to read?" with the following answer options, Fahrenheit 451 & 1984. Fahrenheit 451 would be set as the correct answer worth 1 point. 1984 would be set to be an incorrect answer and worth 0 points. [Note, warn the students that this doesn't mean anything and won't hurt their grade].

224906_Quiz.PNG

 

Using Mastery Paths you would have it so that if the student selected Fahrenheit 451 (1 point) then their path allowed them access to all assignments for that book. If the student selected 1984 (0 points) then their path allowed them access to all assignments for that book. See guides below for more information on how to set this up:

Setting this up this way takes care of the Instructor needing to manually assign students to the different assignments

Below is an example of how it would look from the Quiz Mastery Path tab. Remember that you have to have all of the assignments in place before you can create the Mastery Path. I also found that you needed to have the Mastery Path for zero in the 1-0 group (middle), not the 0-0 group (at the bottom) otherwise it didn't work.

224910_MasteryPathFromQuiz.PNG

View of the Mastery Path from the Module (from Instructor View):

224912_TeacherView_MasteryPath.PNG

Once you set-up your Mastery Path through the Quiz you might also also want to go into each assignment and "Assign" the assignment to the "Mastery Paths."

224908_AssignTo.PNG

By doing this you ensure that students can't see any of the assignments associated with the Mastery Path unless they need to do that assignment. Example: By doing this the students don't see any of the Assignments, but as soon as they pick their book they will then see just the assignments associated with that book.

Before picking a bookAfter picking 1984
224909_StudentViewMasteryPath.PNG224911_StudentViewMastery.PNG


As for the initial quiz and the students who got a zero on the one point quiz, there are a few things you could do to adjust for this. The first and easiest is if you have a percentage based gradebook. If so, then put this initial quiz into a zero percent assignment group. That way the grade doesn't impact their grade in any way and you don't need to mess with it at all. If you don't use a percent/weighted gradebook then warn the students that it will look like their grade is impacted, but that at the end of the semester (or end of the assignment) you will go in and give them a fudge point - this give the student their one point and won't give the student access to the assignments from the 1 point option (Fahrenheit 451).

 

Congratulations, you've now hacked Mastery Paths!

More than Two Groups

The question was raised about how you could use this hack with more than two groups? The answer is that you can still use this hack, the quiz just won't look quite as pretty! The trick is to have a separate question for each group/team/option and then to make each question worth a different number of points. See the example below for how this would work.

232576_Three Options.png

Once you have your questions and the point values set up, as well as the corresponding assignments, you can then set-up your mastery path. Notice the point range for the different path's? I tested it and it works so that for the number of points the question is worth is number you need for that path. For example, if someone said yes to 1984 and no to the other ones (or just left them blank) then the student would get a 2 on the quiz. That would then put the student on the correct path for the 1984 Project information.

232592_3 Path.png

Here's how this looks from the Module in Instructor view.

232593_Module 3 path.png

Overall 2-3 options works the best for this hack, but if you have more groups than that you could technically have two (or more) quizzes for the different options/teams - so 3 options for the first quiz and up to 3 options for the second quiz. Students would then only take the quiz that included their option.

88 Comments
dianepbh
Community Participant

I sent in a video as well. 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

What I normally do (in addition to a video) is provide the link in the Community where the problem is being discussed and then (if I have it) the case number for anyone else having the problem. You might consider adding this information to your ticket to speed things along. 

steven_park
Community Novice

One thing we've learned while trying to get Mastery Paths to work: it (the "next" button) WILL work IF the hidden item is a quiz. By that I mean if the only thing you are hiding is quizzes, then the "next" buttons in mastery path will work. And this is ONLY true IF the hidden quiz is not the first thing in the path. You still have to have the "congratulations"-type page first that is not part of any path (as described above). This might be true for other item types, but we've only tried quizzes (works) and pages and content (does not work).

Since most people are probably including content in their paths, this is not likely to be a helpful discovery. I thought I'd share anyway in case it's helpful to someone.  

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

 @steven_park , I haven't tried it where the second item in the path is a quiz, only where it's an assignment or page. Thanks for letting us know what you've found! Every bit of information about the issue helps!

erinhmcmillan
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi, Diane,

I apologize for the delay. As Kona has noted, our information about the workaround was not entirely correct, so I'm sorry for conveying misinformation!

In terms of documentation, we document the functionality of a feature as it was designed. If functionality is contrary to what is in a guide lesson, that shows our product team that we need to have the functionality reviewed and addressed. Thanks for filing your support tickets as they'll definitely help show that fixing the functionality is significant. I apologize that the functionality isn't working as intended and do hope our teams can resolve the behavior soon. I can check your case and make sure it's attached to the correct engineering ticket so you'll receive updates as they are made available.

Thanks,

Erin

dianepbh
Community Participant

I look forward to the fix as it impacts 100% of the courses we design. For us the timeline is asap because we only do course design during the summer. We have kids enroll from August 25th and every day until June the next school year. This means all of our courses need to be done by August 25th. If not resolved by then, we have to wait a full year to use the functional MPs. 

ssimpso4
Community Contributor

Anyone have an update on whether or not the 'Next' issue has been resolved? Thanks!

steven_park
Community Novice

Instructure hasn't made us aware of any fixes. If it's something you want to use, you should submit a support ticket for it. The more people report it, the more likely they are to fix it.

awilliams
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Great recommendation  @steven_park  If you file a support ticket, you are also attached to a tracker that will notify you when the issue is resolved or in some cases, moves to beta for testing, and having the ticket # makes it so much easier to reference and check up on.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

As far as I'm aware, no. 😞

I've got a help ticket in for it so as soon as it gets fixed I'll get an update email anoit

it and will post the information here. 

ssimpso4
Community Contributor

Does anybody know off the top of their head what happens is a quiz 'trigger' linked to a Mastery Path (i.e. the quiz releases one or more conditional items) is set for multiple attempts? In other words, what happens is a student takes the quiz twice and triggers multiple pathways . . . 

Thanks!

Any update from Instructure folks on bug-fixes would also be appreciated here . . . I have so many teachers interested in MP, but I confess my own hesitancy to wholeheartedly recommend its use because of it peculiarities. 

aolsonpacheco
Community Participant

Thanks so much for posting this workaround Kona. I am looking for an option for 3 self-selected paths, and it sounds like this might work. However, only after they fix the "next" button issue I think. (Glad I read all the way through the comments to find that out). Looking forward to hearing any updates.

ryan_corris
Community Contributor

What did you find out about this  @lindalee ‌?  When I was playing around with this idea of taking the "initial" assignment twice I did not have much luck.  I believe it changed the score that the teacher could see, but it kept the student on the same path as they were originally assigned.  If you had a different result, I would love to hear about it.

ryan_corris
Community Contributor

ssimpso4‌ You may already have an answer to this since you asked a while ago, but here was my experience.  Once a student takes the initial assessment, they are assigned a path.  Let's say they are on the middle path.  Then they take the assessment again and score for the higher path.   The teacher view shows that the student is working in the upper path, but the student is still assigned to the middle path.   For this reason, if the initial assessment was a quiz I would set it so students could only take it once.

If you have found out differently, I would love to hear what you have found.

Thanks!

ryan_corris
Community Contributor

I just came across this  @kona ‌.  What a great idea!  This is a great hack!  Now I almost wish there were more than three paths.  Maybe in the future we will be able to set Mastery Paths to a specific number of paths, say between 3-6.  I totally understand the purpose for the upper, middle, and lower path, but with hacks like this I can see being able to use an additional path or two at times.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

 @ryan_corris , I agree that it would be pretty awesome if there were more than three paths! Could definitely make for some great flexibility in coming up with different options/paths for students. 

steven_park
Community Novice

I haven't seen it mentioned by anyone else here, so I'll reply: Instructure has told us the next and previous buttons are fixed. I believe we've tested and confirmed it. If you are already aware, sorry for the duplication of news.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

 @steven_park , I was aware that it had been fixed, but I honestly can't remember if that information had been posted somewhere on this thread - so thank you for adding it! Very much appreciated!

aolsonpacheco
Community Participant

Yes, thanks so much! I had not heard until you replied to this thread!

timothy_maw
Community Champion

I love this idea. Thank you for posting as I had not thought of using Mastery Paths in this way.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

 @timothy_maw , I'm glad you found this useful! I'm a big fan for finding unique ways of using Mastery Paths! 🙂

Kona

wwolf
Community Participant

 @kona ‌, 

Thanks for sharing this great hack.  I have some teachers who are looking to automate things a little more and I believe this will help them.

BethCrook
Community Coach
Community Coach

I can't wait to start diving into more Mastery Paths projects this summer now that I'm actually able to learn about it first! Jeez...jumping right in with no knowledge was a lesson for sure. HA!  But I agree, I think having 3-6 options would be ideal!  So many ideas flying around in my head already and I love this example of book assignments.  Thank you  @kona !

wanfareed
Community Novice

Hi  @kona ‌. I just read this post. Very interesting.

I was doing a test but it seemed that for mastery path to work, all items (activities) need to be within a single Module. Meaning I cannot have, let's say Module 1 which is the trigger for mastery paths. And the mastery paths are the different modules (e.g. Mastery Path 1 as one module and Mastery Path 2 as a different module).

Is this correct?

sphinney
Community Contributor

wanfareed‌ The items that you include in a path can be from any module and from multiple modules. For example, I have 3 paths. 1 path includes content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 4. Another path includes content from Modules 5 through 9. My third path includes content from all of the modules 1-9.

wanfareed
Community Novice

Thanks  @sphinney . I will try that out.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

wanfareed, sorry I missed your question! Sarah is correct that technically you can include content from any Module as part of your mastery path. I don’t always recommend it because it can get confusing to the students as to where to go next, but if you have a well laid out plan you should be ok!

Kona

ryan_corris
Community Contributor

Thanks to  @dana_gelder ‌ for pointing out to me that I need to revise this post due to information that I had discovered after writing it. In my initial reply to  @sts1020 ‌ my knowledge at the time was incomplete.  Shortly after posting, one of my co-workers, heidiadams‌ tried something a little different and improved upon what I had found. 

When I tried it initially, when setting up the quiz I choose the option to keep the highest score. Therefore, if students got a low score, they could take it again and potentially get a higher score. Once they got the higher score, they could not see the paths for the lower scores again. However, if you set the option to keep the most recent score, the students can take the quiz over and over again as many times as they want no matter what score they receive to be able to access other paths.

 

It was a pretty simple fix, but I needed someone else’s perspective to see it.  And someone else's perspective to remember this post. 😉

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
Author

 @ryan_corris , thank you for coming back and providing this update and the extra information! It is much appreciated! 🙂

Kona

bkrisenhoover
Community Participant

Hello Kona,

Thank you for a great blog post.  After watching several videos and reading other articles I was still having difficulty understanding how the "choice" option would be designed.  Your article communicated brilliantly.  You've inspired an "ah ha" moment :-).  Thanks again for everything you do for the community.

Kindest regards,

Brandon

jeckhardt
Community Novice

I tried this awesome hack, but it does not seem to be working for me. Students who get a 0 see the same assignments as students who score a 1 on the pathway selection quiz.

This hack has been out there for a while. Does anyone know if it still works?

Thank you,

Jon

ryan_corris
Community Contributor

Hey  @jeckhardt ‌!  I just tried this again and it still works for me.  When you are setting up the Mastery Path content and scores, have you tried adjusting the scores?

Scores for Mastery Paths 

The computer tends to split the range between the three options and does not always assign points the way I want it to.  Would love to know if this helps.

cindyk
Community Participant

If you use new quizzes, you now only need 1 mc question with 2 or 3 choices.  Give each choice a variable amount of points.  When you define your mastery paths, I have been using percentage since that's my default and I keep the default percent ranges.  I made the options worth 1, 2, or 3 points for a total of 3 points.  70-100% = 3 point option, 40-70% = 2 point option, and 0-40% = 1 point option.

I really prefer this route as I no longer have to worry about students responding yes to more than one question.  It's a one question quiz and MC manages the single selection.

***Addendum after trying:  It would be great if new quizzes actually reported a grade for quizzes not included in grade.  It scored it just fine but the results were unusable for mastery paths as the grade (from the external tool) was not reported back to to usable by mastery paths.  When I looked at speedgrader, I could not assign points though I could see the points.

***Addendum to my addendum: I had copied my quiz from a quiz that was graded complete/incomplete.  Once I changed it to percent, it worked just as expected.

kkivnani
Community Novice

I will try that.

jenna_scheub
Community Participant

Hello! I'm hoping I can get some help on a Mastery Path choice assignment that I tried this spring. My issue was that I couldn't seem to prevent the choice quiz from affecting the total grade. I ended up having to go back (at the end of the semester) and override grades for students who chose the "0 point" answer. This choice assignment was part of a larger module about GIS mapping.

I wrote a blog post about it here: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/designers/blog/2020/03/31/first-masterypath-module 

Here are some screenshots I hope will help! 

Module view

353110_Screenshot 2020-07-16 16.08.24.png

Quiz view

353177_Screenshot 2020-07-16 16.08.41.png 353178_Screenshot 2020-07-16 16.09.06.png

353179_Screenshot 2020-07-16 16.11.04.png

ryan_corris
Community Contributor

Hey  @jenna_scheub ! I had this same concern previously.  If you are using new_quizzes, there is an option to not count the assignment towards the final grade.  Maybe this will help your situation.

Do Not Count check box in New Quizzes 

jseretan
Community Novice

I have been using this Hack for a few years and I love it. However, I am running to a few cases when, for no apparent reason, some students who complete the "quiz" correctly, they are not seeing the opportunity to choose the either/or assignment. I cannot find a pattern for why it doesn't work for a handful of kids but works seamlessly for most?  Is there something I can do to get this tool to work for them?

jseretan
Community Novice

There at least 2 issues with the Mastery Hack as of this month. The tool is not choosing correctly. I Have had these in my course for a few years. My settings have not changed. Did Canvas update the program recently?
1) everyone is getting the second set of assignments from the choice question. Most should be getting the first set of assignments. Note: this appears to be for everyone, not just some students.


2) One class lost the Mastery paths in the Choice quiz altogether - disappeared!