This alternative educational approach specializes in diagnosing
deficiencies and prescribing appropriate print, computer and audiovisual
materials at the correct level to help students of varying abilities progress
toward "mastery" of their learning objectives. It is a competency-based
program that is individualized and self-paced. The computer management
system allows for immediate student feedback as students receive individualized
attention in a supportive environment.
Advantages of the U.S. Basic
Skills Learning System
Major Advantages/Differences From the Traditional
Use of initial diagnostic testing provides for the development of individualized
study plans for each student specific to his or her needs. Post-testing
helps determine overall academic growth.
It is a system with clearly stated learning goals for each student, using
the attainment of mastery of the skills or concept as the criteria for
moving on to the next level.
Teachers are not forced "to teach to the middle". Without being subject
to "drill and kill", students work independently in various subject areas
according to their study plans, with monitoring and support from the teacher.
Major Advantages/Differences From Other Learning
The cost is approximately one-fifth of other systems, with as good or better
The system makes use of a variety of types of curriculum materials (print,
computer, audiovisual) with multiple offerings for every lesson to accommodate
the learning styles needs of each student.
It boasts a comprehensive curriculum at elementary and secondary/GED levels
for use with both children and adults in a variety of subjects including
traditional academic areas, English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship,
functional life skills, and workplace or SCANS related skills.
The system doesn't rely solely on a network of computers but can be used
with "stand alones", thereby minimizing "down time" in case of technical
problems. (In fact, because of the abundance of print material available,
the instructional portion of the system could even be used in the event
of a power outage.) **Other network programs are sometimes left unused
for extended lengths of time because of hard to resolve "bugs" in the system,
causing much frustration and many delays.
The U.S. Basic Skills Learning System is very flexible, using an "open
architecture" which allows for "referencing in" of favorite teacher materials
not currently used as part of the system, should teachers choose to do
It is more than just an instructional product. Sites become part
of a national network of users who receive initial training and ongoing
support from the excellent staff at U.S. Basic Skills. Users are
trained in the operation of the system and become part of a network of
professionals who support each other in the delivery of basic skills instruction.
The system has been in use for over 15 years at hundreds of sites nationwide
in a variety of settings.
The U.S. Basic Skills Learning System........
.........A Complete System for Delivering Basic Skills Instruction
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