Empowering Students to be Masters of their Own Learning

Jonathan Bergmann wasn't happy with how much his students were learning. To turn things around, he started using a mastery system for assessment and flipping his lectures. See how Jonathan combines these systems to assure his students fully understand his lessons.

Jonathan's Story

Jonathan Bergmann Uses Camtasia to Allow Students to Learn at Their Own Pace

About Jonathan Bergmann

Jonathan believes educators should ask one guiding question: What is best for my students in my classroom? To the best of his abilities he has done this in his twenty-four years as a high school science teacher. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence for Math and Science Teaching in 2002 and was named Semi-Finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year in 2010. Jonathan is currently the lead technology facilitator for the Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, Illinois. Previously Jonathan taught chemistry, earth and space science, and AP chemistry at Woodland Park High School in Colorado. 

Before Flipping the Classroom to a Mastery System...

  • Jonathan found that some students weren't mastering key conceptual lessons throughout the year.
  • Students who missed class were missing out on learning, and Jonathan was spending extra time re-teaching lessons to students who were absent.
  • With little time to spare during class, Jonathan wasn't able to spend much one-on-one time with students.

And After...

  • Jonathan flipped his classroom and began recording lectures using Camtasia for students to watch as homework, which freed up class time for experiments, discussion, and in-class activities.
  • He transitioned his classroom to a mastery system. For Jonathan, this meant that his students had to meet a minimum requirement of 75% mastery before moving on to the next lesson.
  • Absent students loved the recorded lectures--they were able to easily learn what they missed. And Jonathan no longer had to spend hours after school, at lunch, and during his planning time getting students caught up.
  • Students could re-watch videos on topics that were more challenging for them and use the videos as review for exams.
  • With more time in class, Jonathan was able to differentiate for all learners.

"Since I have been able to visit with every student in every class, every day, I now have the time to check in on each student's individual learning and make sure all students are mastering the content in my classroom," Jonathan said. "If I've got a student who's a rocket scientist, I can challenge them in this content mastery system. Or if I have a student who really struggles with certain content, I can challenge them too. In the old system, I could only shoot for the middle." 


If I've got a student who's a rocket scientist, I can challenge him in this mastery system. Or if I have a student who really struggles with certain content, I can challenge him too. In the old system, I could only shoot for the middle.

- Jonathan Bergmann,
Lead Technology Facilitator, Joseph Sears School
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