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What is in the CSM curriculum?
The CSM Course covers the most important academic skills for educational and professional success:
The CSM curriculum teaches the skills that are used every day in academic programs, and further support
decision-making in the workplace. CSM emphasizes depth of understanding and fluency of these skills.
CSM equips students with specific problem-solving strategies and the problem-solving
mindset to help them tackle real-world challenges.
Independent learning is a key skill for success in both college and in today's rapidly
changing work environments. CSM is designed to break the cycle of passive learning
and empower students to solve problems and learn new material on their own.
CSM is a new generation of educational technology that devotes as much attention to
a student's habits of mind as to the skills being taught.
Who is the CSM Course designed for?
Everyone can benefit from CSM, from 8th
graders through adult learners. CSM's adaptive learning
system adjusts to the needs of widely diverse students -- all students learn all of the Core Skills, and are
guided to as many Supporting Skills as they need. CSM will fill in
gaps down to 3rd
grade math and 6th
grade literacy, but is also appropriate for
college-level students. CSM has many
in secondary schools, adult and workforce education, and postsecondary education.
How is the CSM Course structured?
The CSM Course covers core math and literacy skills and key problem-solving
strategies, and takes about 10 to 80 hours to complete, depending on student preparation.
Students who finish the CSM Course are eligible for the CSM Certificate
Students who complete the CSM Course have access to the Challenge Problems,
which focus on advanced problem solving and critical thinking with an emphasis on
teaching how to attack novel problems in unfamiliar situations. The Challenge Problems can take dozens of hours.
There are two ways to incorporate CSM into an educational program -- competency-based or seat-time.
In a competency-based class, students will work on CSM for as long as it takes them
to reach their goal, which is usually completion of the CSM Course (but programs can opt to include some of
the Challenge Problems as well). In
a seat-time class, students will get as far as they can on CSM in the time alotted -- some will spend most
or all of their time in the CSM Course, while others will progress quickly through the Course and get deep into
the Challenge Problems. If you use CSM in a seat-time class, we recommend approximately a semester-long class, or about
60 hours, which will allow most students to complete the CSM Course.
How does CSM teach?
To achieve the highest learning efficiency, CSM is an adaptive learning system that
personalizes instruction by guiding each student on a unique path through the
lessons according to his or her individual needs.
Zone of proximal development. CSM maintains students at their "edge of knowledge"
where lessons are neither too
easy and boring, nor too hard and frustrating. At this edge of knowledge, learning
is both fastest and most rewarding.
Students move through "trees" of skills, earning yellow, red and black belts
- No traditional tests. In most computer-based instruction, students spend a lot of their time in tests
at the beginning and end of each lesson, rather than in instruction.
In contrast, in CSM, testing and training are
woven together seamlessly. CSM formatively analyzes each
student interaction in terms of skills acquisition, independent learning, and
habits of mind to guide them on their
optimal path through the curriculum.
- Feedback tailored to specific errors. CSM analyzes every incorrect answer
to determine the specific error made by the student, and in most cases, CSM identifies
the problem and immediately provides the student with their thinking
error to help them correct their mistake.
Higher level of mastery. Most conventional educational technology requires
minimal competency -- often 60-70% passing scores on multiple choice questions. CSM
requires a much higher level of mastery, resulting in
significantly deeper learning.
- Durability of mastery. CSM uses a karate belt metaphor to bring students to
back to skills over weeks as they move from yellow to red belt, and finally to a
black belt. Instead of just giving students a check-mark and moving on, CSM
determines that the student can reproduce the skill over an extended period, demonstrating
that the skills acquisition is deep, secure and durable.
Guided metacognition. CSM guides students through the process of metacognition, by
asking them to consider their learning and needs every time they miss a question. CSM also helps
students learn how they learn best by providing many lesson types that are geared towards various learning
styles, as well as feedback to students on which lessons they are reading and which lessons are most
successful in helping them learn.
- Measurment of and response to effort and learning. Most adaptive learning systems focus exclusively
on the cognitive aspects of a student's performance. CSM addresses the whole student by also
measuring and responding to effort and learning.
A new and higher standard for college and work readiness
CSM's goal isn't college and workforce readiness
, it's providing students with the skills they need for college
and career success
Many college readiness programs are simply test-prep for college placement tests. However,
studies show that performance on these tests correlates poorly with college completion,
leading to low graduation rates at many colleges -- only 20% of community college students
graduate within 6 years, and the percentage goes below 10% for those who
require any developmental education.
In contrast, CSM teaches the skills needed for college completion
-- that is, the
math, literacy, problem-solving, independent learning, and
academic traits and habits of mind that students can use every day as they
progress towards graduation.
When many employers hear the term "workforce ready", they think of low-skill, entry-level
work. In contrast, CSM is oriented towards the problem-solving and decision-making skills
that are crucial in supervisory and managerial positions of strategic value to employers.
Is it really free?
Yes, the CSM Course really is completely free for everyone, and professional development
for teachers is free, as well. The CSM Course is maintained as free through revenues from
the CSM Certificate and other CSM services. Our company's goal is to educate people
and raise the skills of the world population, so keeping the CSM Course free is the best way to
have an impact on as many people as possible.