Yoda Master: Crafting a Pathway based on Self-Assessment

This strategy supports students to create a plan for remediating their missed mastery objectives and work towards re-taking the assessment
454 teachers like this strategy
Yoda Master Overview

About This Strategy

In Yoda Master, students learn, practice, and assess a skill that they previously did not master. Students review their data to identify the skill and create a playlist using approved resources while incorporating their personal learning styles. The teacher approves the playlist and students begin the process of working independently on their playlists. Students check back in with the teacher once they have gone through the Learn, Teach, Practice, and Retake steps. During this check-in, learners reflect on their outcome and what steps were the most helpful to them during the process. This strategy is particularly effective in supporting students to set goals and self-monitor their progress.

Implementation Steps

  1. Teacher creates a list of resources, including technology, collaborative, and teacher support options for students to use in their playlist design.

  2. Show learners assessment data and have them identify an unmastered skill they would like to work on. Have learners reflect on what was hard about this skill for them in the past

  3. Show learners the resource list they can use to build their playlist, including technology, collaborative, and teacher support options.

  4. Support learners to come up with a plan for working towards retaking the assessment and self-monitoring their progress. Once the plans are created,approve it. It is important to norm expectations during this portion of the activity

  5. Learners retake the assessment and reflect on the plan's success; Learners can have a deadline for retaking.

Distance Learning Use Case for Yoda Master

Caitlin MacLeod-Bluver
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

Yoda Master can be used in distance learning to support students to create their own self-paced playlists for practice.

Implementation Steps:

  1. Show students what skills or standards they need to practice in order to demonstrate mastery. This may be done through a shared Google doc or through your learning management system. Students will choose one skill or standard to develop their own playlist of learning tasks to help them master this skill. Refer to the "Systems of Assessment to Demonstrate Mastery" strategy in the BetterLesson Lab for more ideas. 

  2. Explain to students that they will create a playlist of learning tasks to complete to help them practice the skills they need in order to demonstrate mastery of a skill or standard.

    • To do this asynchronously, create a video using Loom or Screencastify where you explain this concept to students, as well as model the tools and resources you want students to use.

    • In a synchronous setting, consider sharing your screen with students so they can see exactly what to do. 

  3. Create a list of available resources for students to use. This may be a Google doc or embedded directly into your learning management system. Consult the Yoda Master Resource Document shared above for ideas, or the tech options listed below such as Khan Academy, BrainPop, or National Geographic Kids.

  4. Share the resource list with students so that they can use this list to create their playlist.  This may include sharing a Google document with students or sharing a list of resources directly through your learning management system. 

  5. Share a model of a completed playlist with students. Make the model a Google document and consider having students comment on this model using the comment feature of Google documents to ask clarifying questions. 

    • To share this in a synchronous setting, consider chatting the link to students so students can explore the model on their own screen or sharing your screen with students. 

    • In an asynchronous setting, share the example via a Google document with students. 

  6. Students will then work to create a playlist of learning tasks to help them demonstrate mastery of a skill or standard. Consider having students use a shared Google documents to create their playlist or a tool like Deck. Toys. See the tutorial in the resource section below for more information. 

    • In a synchronous setting, consider placing students into breakout rooms to complete their playlist and use their peers for support if needed. Students can be in breakout rooms with other students who are working on creating a playlist for the same skill or standard. 

    • In an asynchronous setting, consider offering office hours so students can reach out for support if needed or letting students know specific times that you will check their Google document. 

    • For students with limited technology, call these students and help them develop their own playlist using low-tech options. This could include helping students design hands-on learning tasks, having students explain a concept to a younger sibling, or requiring a certain number of minutes reading a text that they have at home. 

  7. When students complete their playlist, you can approve the playlist or give them feedback to improve their playlist. To give feedback, consider commenting on their playlist, using Google Talk and Comment, creating a short Loom video, or meeting with the student 1:1. See the resources in the resource section below for more information on these tech tools. 

  8. Once students' playlists are approved, they will work on completing the learning tasks in their playlist. When they are ready, they will indicate to you that they are ready to retake the appropriate assessment. Consider having students submit a completed playlist as an assignment on Google classroom or your learning management system so that you know students are done. 

    • For students with limited technology, set up a phone call with students so that they can verbally demonstrate mastery over the phone. 

  9. Share the assessment with students and have students complete the assessment. See the BetterLesson strategy "Systems of Assessment to Demonstrate Mastery" or "Battling the Boss" in the BetterLesson Lab for additional ideas on how to have students take assessments in a distance learning setting. 

  10. When learners have completed the assessment, they can reflect on the success of their playlist to help them prepare for the assessment.

    • Consider using a Google form to help students reflect on the efficacy of their playlist. Share the Google form through your learning management system or email it directly to students. See the tutorial in the resource section below for more information.

    • For students with limited technology, set up a phone call with students for them to reflect on the process verbally. 

Special Education Modification

Nedra MassenburgDEMO
Special Education Specialist

Yoda Master Self Paced Assessments allows students to identify their skill gaps and track their progress in improving these and leads to improving their ability to decide on a path of remediation, advocate for support, and set goals.   

Effective use of Yoda Master requires teachers to prepare for the bevy of skills they require from students including executive functioning (task initiation, prioritization, working memory, etc.) skills, written expression skills, reading skills, and/or verbal skills.  In order to support students with disabilities who have difficulty in these areas consider the following modifications:


  1. Traditional paper-based, written methods of assessment may limit the ability of students with disabilities to demonstrate their learning. In conjunction with traditional assessments, consider giving these students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through: conferences, take-home reflections, oral presentations or re-tellings, learning logs, graphic organizers, cloze exercises, visual/image representation, etc. See the "Differentiation Techniques" resource in the resource section below for more information.
  2. Use visual aids, timers, and verbal reminders to help students with task initiation and task completion during goal setting.  Depending upon the number of students with disabilities present in a classroom, teachers should consider increasing the amount of time they spend on explicitly teaching norms for Yoda Master Self Paced Assessments. 

  3. If multiple teachers are present in a setting, consider having one teacher work in a small group of students with disabilities to provide them more modeling and more frequent feedback on progress toward their goals during Yoda Master Self Paced Assessments.  Teachers should also consider having more frequent celebrations for progress towards goals shown by students with more intensive disabilities.

EL Modification

Shannon Coyle
English Learner Specialist

This strategy supports English learners to reflect on their own learning and take ownership of achieving mastery. Learners benefit from a guided process that makes room for their own agency and provides them with rich resources. Learners are also afforded the opportunity to use academic language to discuss and plan their own learning. 

English learners need to write their learning plans, discuss them with teachers, and listen to feedback. Learners may be required to use all four domains of language, reading, writing, speaking, and listening during the learning activities in their learning plans and assessments. In order to support English Learners consider the following modifications:


  1.  Ensure English learners understand all directions for playlist activities. If the activities are new to learners, consider previewing or partnering with learners’ language specialist to preview for learners at lower levels of proficiency. Make this part of your routine when approving learner’s individual playlists.  See the "Teacher Tool: Leveled Question Stems" resource in the resource section below for more information.
  2. Provide English learners with familiar reference sheets such as graphic organizers, word banks, sentence stems, formula sheets, etc., to use as needed during polling activities.

  3. Provide sentence stems and word banks for reflections. Put sentence starters directly in reflection templates and have learners reference listed objectives in their plans. For learners at lower levels of proficiency consider fill-in-the-blank sentences, pointing to objectives that learning facilitators fill in during check-ins. 
  4. Consider adding language objectives and assessments to content objectives and assessment. Conveying knowledge and information, and interacting with teachers and peers are important parts of mastering any skill for English learners. Use learner-friendly rubrics to evaluate language skills used to show content mastery. See example rubrics in the resource section below.
  5. Ensure assessments are fair, accurate assessments of learners. Consider accommodating, modifying, or creating alternative assessments for English learners that aim to distinguish between linguistic and content mastery. Consider partnering with learners’ language specialist. See the following resources in the resource section below for more information: "Using Informal Assessment in the Classroom," "WIDA Can Do Descriptors," and "Assessing ELLs in ESL or Mainstream Classrooms: Quick Fixes for Busy Teachers."
  6. Provide a variety of ways for learners at lower levels of proficiency to present their learning, including visually and with limited, scripted, or pre-recorded speaking. Consider cloze exercises, portfolios, learning logs, oral presentations, 1:1 conferences. Consult learners’ language specialist and use data about learners’ language levels to determine appropriate assessment formats. See the "WIDA Can Do Descriptors" and "How to Use Can Do Descriptors to Design Learning Activities" resources in the resource section below for more information.

Coach Tips

Daniel Guerrero
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

With this strategy, the element of ownership that is different from other playlists or individual rotations is the students' agency over the  resources included in the playlist. It is important that we give time and space for learners to really understand the resources, especially the technology resources.  Strategies like scavenger hunts and investigations with the tools can help learners feel sure about navigating and finding what they need for their plan.

Tech Tools

Google Forms

  1. Forms can be used to capture student 'plans' in this system, to keep a record and be able to show data of what is included in their plan over time

  2. In the paper version, teachers and students are making a plan for just that moment, but with Forms, teachers and students can modify the task to be more about a longer goal and vision of using data to get 'meta' about student decisions.