QuickWire: Khan Academy Tracks Users’ Mastery of Math

Khan Academy, the nonprofit organization that offers free tutorials on the Web, has introduced a new feature that lets users track their progress toward “mastering” various mathematics concepts.

The Web site, a popular resource for students and teachers at many levels of education, uses data analysis to track students’ understanding. The new dashboard is supposed to give students access to more information about what they know, and what they do not, based on how they perform on various exercises.

A user—a journalist, say—might log in to the Khan Academy home page, take a brief diagnostic “pretest,” and find out that of the 46 math concepts touched on in that test, he has demonstrated “mastery” of two. The Math Pretest Champion badge he automatically earns by taking the test (logo: a meteorite resembling a lump of coal), and the 1,000 “energy points” that come with it, may or may not soften the blow.

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