Developing a Mastery Learning Curriculum

  • Jeffrey H. BarsukEmail author
  • David H. Salzman
Part of the Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation book series (CHS)


The traditional model of educating healthcare providers involves passing determined by a bell-shaped curve and subjective evaluations from mentors. Using this model, many healthcare providers advance despite below average performance. In fact, this method has proven to be ineffective to ensure providers deliver patient care without harm. Curriculum development grounded in mastery learning ensures all healthcare providers can deliver a high level of patient care uniformly. In this chapter we integrate the Thomas six-step model for healthcare provider curriculum development with the seven features of mastery learning to develop mastery learning curricula. We provide an example of how an Advanced Cardiac Life Support training curriculum was developed and evaluated. Knowledge about how to apply mastery learning to healthcare training curricula ensures excellence for all providers, patients, and other stakeholders.


Mastery learning Curriculum development Assessment Skill variability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Departments of Medicine and Medical EducationChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Medical EducationChicagoUSA

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