An approach to teaching based on the idea that each learner must master one step before moving on to the next.
The mastery learning method divides a course into small units, each of which is designed to achieve specific objectives. Learners take a diagnostic test at the start and end of the course, and they must have understood at least 80% of the material in order to move on to the next unit.
The approach has been used since at least the 1920s, but the term first appeared in the 1960s, when John Carroll and Benjamin Bloom championed the idea.
Mastery learning can be time-consuming and difficult to implement, but the idea of small units of learning with diagnostic tests is popular in e-learning.