If you’re teaching a variety of courses from the Logical Operations CHOICE product line, then you’ve encountered Mastery Builders as an optional component of the CHOICE learning model. For example, in our Data Science learning path, you’ll see Mastery Builders in courses ranging from Microsoft® Excel® to SQL Querying.   

But what are Mastery Builders, anyway?  

Simply put, Mastery Builders are student exercises that are associated with a lesson or group of lessons, rather than with individual topics. This means that Mastery Builders align with the overarching functional objective of a lesson, as opposed to the more granular, task-based objective of a specific topic. (Note: here’s a refresher on learning objectives in the CHOICE instructional model.)  

Compared to the topic-level activities within the main body of the curriculum, Mastery Builders might include more challenging hands-on practice, more extensive case study work, or even additional quiz-style questions to promote certification readiness. Mastery Builders are deliberately structured to be somewhat open-ended and not to provide detailed scaffolding for the students’ work. To ensure student success in the Mastery Builders, we provide suggested responses in the Solutions section of the student manual, as well as sample completed files for the practical, hands-on exercises. Mastery Builders are considered instructionally optional and are not included in the suggested running times for the lessons. For this reason, they appear at the back of the manual, rather than in line with the lessons they support.  

Now that you know a bit more about the learning theory behind Mastery Builders within CHOICE curriculum, I hope you’ll find lots of ways to use them flexibly, as you see fit: as extra in-class review and practice; as offline work; or as optional self-study for your more advanced students.