Implementing and Managing a Mastery Learning Program

  • Elaine R. CohenEmail author
  • Kenzie A. Cameron
  • Jeffrey H. Barsuk
  • Diane B. Wayne
Part of the Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation book series (CHS)


A rigorous education intervention cannot succeed without well-planned implementation and careful ongoing management. Specific steps needed to achieve education and translational science goals include (a) planning for mastery learning, (b) pilot testing, (c) implementation, and (d) continuous management. Successful mastery learning programs rely on numerous resources. Planning for implementation includes obtaining resources such as space, time, supplies, equipment, and faculty. Pilot testing ensures that scenarios and assessment tools are refined and accurate. Implementation requires highly engaged faculty and learners who complete rigorous deliberate practice with individualized performance feedback. During outcome assessment, predetermined outcome measures are evaluated. Finally, ongoing management is necessary for mastery learning programs that may undergo periodic revision based on feedback and reaching education and clinical outcomes. When planning for dissemination, understanding culture, setting, and the downstream collateral impact of a mastery learning program is critical.

This chapter discusses the execution and management of mastery learning programs. We highlight specific examples that illustrate barriers and facilitators including faculty time, materials, scheduling logistics, data collection, and follow-up.


Implementation Mastery learning Pilot testing Study management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine R. Cohen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kenzie A. Cameron
    • 2
  • Jeffrey H. Barsuk
    • 3
  • Diane B. Wayne
    • 3
  1. 1.Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Departments of Medicine, Medical Education, Medical Social Sciences, and Preventive MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Departments of Medicine and Medical EducationChicagoUSA

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