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Hacking Mastery Paths

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
74 88 14.5K

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
lindalee
Adventurer II

Hi  @kona ‌,

Thanks so much for this informative post! We have a similar use case with one of our programs, and I've been wondering whether an approach like this would work. From this, it looks like the answer is probably yes!

-Linda

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Yep, I'm pretty sure it should! I didn't test it with "real" students, just test students, but it seemed to function perfectly for what I was trying to do!

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Kona:

This is an awesome hack! Brilliant! Magnificent!

People are always asking for features that offer student choice. I wondered a long time ago if Mastery Paths would work for this, but have never had the time to experiment. OMG! I'm gonna share this with everybody!

Thank you!

KLM

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Awesome! Happy to help!!

siouxgeonz
Community Member

Appreciate that you give enough information right off so if I already know what I'm doing I cna just go do it ... but ... mastery paths are new... so then it's screen by screen!  Smiley Happy 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thank you! I was hoping it would make it easier to understand and accomplish!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thank you! It was fun figuring it out!

kblack
Community Member

Great post, Kona!  The placing of the 0-point assignments in the "middle" scoring group is a new one for me.  I've usually just duplicated the two lower tiers while playing around with Mastery Paths.  More work, obviously, but I don't think there are any ill effects from doing so if people forget (like I would....) which scoring group works properly and which does not, as you pointed out.

lindalee
Adventurer II

One of our use cases where I've thought that Mastery Paths might be a great benefit is a course where students complete two of three possible modules in the second and third weeks of the course. (The same set of modules are available both weeks.) Based on what you've shown here,  @kona , I'm thinking that it would possible to construct a mastery path as follows:

  • Quiz (probably with three questions asking "for this week do you want to do module 1, 2, or 3"), each leading to a different number of points. Results of the quiz sends them down one of three Mastery Paths.
  • After they complete that module, they are given a one-question quiz providing them with a choice of options with the remaining two choices. (So, there would be three versions of this quiz, one for each path.) Results would send them down one or the other (much like what Kona shows above).

Sometimes students change their minds, so one thing I'll want to test out is whether it's possible to set up the initial quiz with multiple attempts (or to manually provide students with another attempt), and see how that behaves with Mastery Paths. That is -- can students unlock one path, try again, and then unlock a different path? If the answer ends up no, that's not a deal-breaker. But if it does work, that might solve some of the teaching team's pain with this particular course.

I'm looking forward to testing this out!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

What a great use case!! Please let us know what you find as you work through this!!

shadwin
Surveyor II

Thanks for the informative hack :smileygrin:..  I do not have the feature available at the moment to try it out, but do you know if you can reference/jump to other courses versus other modules in same course?

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Deactivated user, Can you take a screen shot of what you're seeing? That might help with the trouble-shooting.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @shadwin ‌, no, you can't jump to a different course, just different modules in the same course. Yet, you could include a link to a different course and direct students to that link as part of their Mastery Path.

ptart
Surveyor II

Love the creative use to make the tool (Canvas & Mastery Paths) work for you. 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Deactivated user I tried this and initially it did work - took me to the next assignment on the path, which happened to also be in the same module as the initial quiz. Then I tried moving the assignments that were part of the path to the next Module (so a different Module from the initial quiz) and it stopped working (skipped that Module and went to the next Module). I then moved the assignments back into the Module with the initial quiz and it still skipped everything and went to the next Module when I clicked the Next button. I then tried completely recreating another similar mastery path set-up (everything in the same Module) and it skips to the next module. Sigh... so I can confirm what you are seeing and I think it's a bug. I've made a video of it and have submitted it to Canvas Support. 😞

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Please let me know what you find as you continue to test this and I'll keep you updated on my end as well!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Deactivated user, as an update to this. I just heard back from Canvas support (and then verified it myself) that you can't accurately test mastery paths with the test student, you need to use a "real" student. When you use a "real" student (or in my case a real test student) the Next button doesn't show up. The bottom of the quiz results page is blank after they make their selection. The student has to navigate back to Modules and then the correct content shows up.

Can you test this and verify that it's working this way for you as well?

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

I appreciate you bringing this to my attention in the first place so we could look into it!

michael_william
Surveyor II

Hello all, I had Mastery Paths enabled in my FFT account, but now it shows off. I can I re-enable this feature. There is not button it only shows the blue beta button. Any help would be appreciated.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @michael_william , I just checked and can verify that in my Free for Teachers (FFT) account that Mastery Path's is set to "off" and doesn't have a toggle to turn it back on. I'm not sure why this happened, but my recommendation is to contact Canvas Support (Help link --> Report a Problem) and see if they can get it turned back on. I'm also going to report this and will post what I find out.

siouxgeonz
Community Member

Yes, I am getting the same issue.   I am just coming back today to work a little more on this project .... if I can't use Mastery Paths, I'm afraid this will be another "going to D2L for this!"  project...

sujones
Community Member

I am also unable to enable in this account (though perhaps that would have had to happen at a higher level in my institution)...

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

For schools who pay for Canvas it's an admin level option that we can have "off, allow, or on." Allow is how it was set-up for FFT, which allows Instructors to turn Mastery Paths on per course. I just heard back from support, but they didn't understand my question and sent me information on how to use Mastery Paths. I replied back and will hopefully hear back from them soon about how to go about getting it turned back on.

siouxgeonz
Community Member

And the answer is:   Too bad so sad.   Can't do it in FFT.   

siouxgeonz
Community Member

Thing is, I really like and value open.  I'd like to make something others could use.   If I can't do the parts that are a bit harder -- the mastery paths, f'rinstance -- then... its value is a ton or two less.   

michael_william
Surveyor II

Here is the official response,

"Thank you for contacting Canvas Support, I am sorry for the confusion. The Mastery Paths function is not available to our Free for Teachers account because it is still in beta. I apologize about that. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with! Thank you and have a great day! "

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Well that's not good. 😞

siouxgeonz
Community Member

It's not good at several levels.   It's telling me that well, actually, they're not interested in individuals who want to explore and develop interesting things and share them.   What harm does keeping that option open do?  

     And when you  basically tell somebody "No"  and then "have a great day" it just crawls under my skin.  It's all about scripted answers.  

siouxgeonz
Community Member

... but there's plenty that I can figure out and do without Mastery Paths.   In my D2L manifestation it will have them -- so in the event that I actually get this thing off the ground I'll include that structure so that if anybody wants to use it and does have more privileges (or the thing goes out of beta which of course might happen first!)   they'll know the path to use... 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @siouxgeonz ‌, wait, hold the presses! I did some asking around (and maybe a little begging) and the amazing erinhallmark is going to flip the switch and make Mastery Paths available in FFT this next Saturday!!!!!! 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @michael_william , luckily the official response can change if you talk to the right people! I just heard from the wonderful erinhallmark‌ that she is enabling Mastery Paths for FFT this next Saturday!! 🙂

siouxgeonz
Community Member

Smiley Happy    Smiley Happy   Welp, I had already decided (per my blog on FFT group)  that ... there's too much to learn from folks like you to take my ball to other playgrounds... but that's awesome.  Yae Erin HallmarkSmiley Happy  Yay   @kona   Smiley Happy  Yay  @kc5wcy  Smiley Happy   

michael_william
Surveyor II

 @kona , thank you so much for your persistence. My second email did not produce similar results. Hopefully erinhallmark is able to bring this to fruition, fingers crossed.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @michael_william  if erinhallmark‌ says she's a gonna do it, you can bet good money she will, barring any unforeseen barriers. That's just how she rolls.

Kelley

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Ditto to what Kelley said! Unless something crazy happens, Erin is the one flipping the switch on Saturday and she's the one who told me she was doing it! So no I heard from a friend of a friend here! 

siouxgeonz
Community Member

Hoping it will happen!   I got the form message from "support" saying since they hadn't heard from me they're figuring all is well... I responded that I was expecting things to be turned on today but they're not yet...   

siouxgeonz
Community Member

Alas, I'm pretty sure "Saturday" has happened but ... when I go to settings I just see Mastery Paths and Beta teasing me... it's just "off."   Other things have switches to turn them on...  I've got plenty of work to do and stuff to learn Smiley Happy 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @siouxgeonz , my bad. I double checked and Erin meant next Saturday as this coming Saturday the 3rd!! Sorry for the confusion!!

siouxgeonz
Community Member

ah, a "week from Saturday" as we'd say it, only now it  *is* "this Saturday..."  or "next Saturday..."  Smiley Happy  

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

LOL... pretty much!

dianepbh
Learner II

Does anyone know if the NEXT PAGE button issue has been resolved or will be resolved. Am assuming that my effort to get navigation to work is in vain for now. (Took me two hours of trying to finally give up and try seeing if the answer was in the community!!)  I thought I had it working but to not avail. 

 @kona ‌ erinhallmark

erinhallmark
Community Team
Community Team

Hi, Diane,

Our engineers have an open ticket for this but it has not been prioritized by our product team.

One workaround noted by other customers is to place a regular page (not a MasteryPaths page) in the module right after the item to provide a destination for the Next button. The page contains simple informational text that tells the student congratulations for completing the assignment and to click Next to continue. When the student clicks the Next button from the page, MasteryPaths works as expected.

Hope that helps!

Erin

dianepbh
Learner II

That is an acceptable workaround.

However, this is such a key new feature, fixing this seems like a very important bug fix.

Also: this workaround should be documented by Canvas in the Mastery Path documentation. It really did take me hours to figure out that I was doing everything as required but it was not working. A bit of a frustrating waste of time if a workaround exists.

We are trying to get staff to use Mastery Path, but introducing it with this major bug is kind of … not a great idea.

Thanks for the quick response ☺

Diane

dianepbh
Learner II

Erin,

We tried the workaround but are still getting the error.

Before Workaround:

· Qualifier Quiz

o Path 1 - student qualified here and clicks on next

o Path 2 - Page Error when student clicks on next and directs them back to the home page

After WorkAround

· Qualifier Quiz

o Congrats (workaround) page

o Path 1 - student qualified here and clicks on next

o Path 2 - Page Error when student clicks on next and directs them back to the homepage

Ideas?

DBH

Ext 71730

dianepbh
Learner II

Hey Erin, 

We keep trying and are not getting the results we were hoping for.  Am I perhaps still not inserting the "workaround page" in the correct location? 

  • Qualifier Quiz
  • Congrats (workaround) page
  • Path 1 - student qualified here and clicks on next still tries to go to the path 2 page and gets an error
  • Path 2 - Page Error when student clicks on next and directs them back to the homepage
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

erinhallmark‌, I'm not able to get this work-around to work correctly.

Module Layout

Quiz (two possible paths)

Congratulations page (not part of Mastery Paths)

Assignment (Path 1)

Assignment (Path 2)

What happens:

As either the test student or a real student (I checked with both), if the student takes the quiz and gets assigned to Path 1 everything works fine. The Quiz next button takes you to the Congratulations page which takes you to Assignment (Path 1).

If the student gets assigned to Path 2 things don't work. The quiz next button takes you to the Congratulations page, but instead of the Next button taking you to Path 2 (so skipping Path 1), it throws an error message.

**My only other issue is the Congratulations page (since it's not part of the Path) is visible and accessible to the student before they even take the quiz. Would you need to combine all of this with a "must work through the content in order" requirement?

Thanks! Kona

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

PS - Here's a video showing what I'm seeing and what I sent to support - 06.14.2017-09.51.34 - it's case # 02111758 if anyone would like to reference it.

steven_park
Community Member

We have this same problem. Until the "next" button is fixed, Mastery Paths as a feature is functionally useless. We submitted this issue several months ago and it's frustrating that it isn't even prioritized, let alone fixed. Argh!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

This is what I just got from support:

Hello Kona,

I went through this issue a bit further and did some testing as well after seeing the mentioned work around on our tracker. I then found that if the path for the student is different than the default option in the module. The next button is not updated. This does look to not be fixed using the "Filler Page" in the modules as mentioned. I spoke with the agent that found this work around and we discovered that there was an error in testing. I have added this to the notes on the tracker so they are aware of the issue. I have also attached this ticket to our tracker so you are made aware of any updates to the feature regarding this.

I did more research in the community and found that some teachers have included additional instructions for students when completing these items that advise them to check the module page after completing their assignments to access what is required next in the Mastery Paths sequence. I hope that this helps and also that the mapping of the, "Next" buttons is updated soon.

dianepbh
Learner II

I got the following from Canvas Support. It feels like this person has never heard of the issue.  And I agree... This is a great idea which we really cannot use until navigation actually works. 

Thank you for contacting Canvas Support. I'm sorry to hear about inconvenience experienced. I'll be happy to assist.
Can you please provide us with following information:

  • Link to the course where the issue is occurring
  • Example student with the issue
  • Screencast of the error.If you need a tool to record your screen, Jing is a free program that works on both Macs & Windows PCs.  Check it out at: http://www.techsmith.com/jing/free/

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Thank you,

Anja J
Canvas Support