SuccessMaker provides adaptive, game-based math and reading instruction to struggling students in Kindergarten through eighth grades. Students work through exercises at their level while the system continuously reports their progress and adjusts lessons to provide remediation or additional challenges based on their performance. Licenses for SuccessMaker can be purchased by schools and districts.
SuccessMaker launched in the 1960s at Stanford as a joint project with IBM and computer-based learning expert, Dr. Patrick Suppes. The program offered adaptive math and reading instruction to elementary students. Computer Curriculum Corp launched the program as a company in 1967, Simon & Schuster purchased SuccessMaker in 1990, and Pearson in 2007.
SuccessMaker provides supplemental instruction in reading and math and serves as an intervention tool for struggling learners. SuccessMaker 8, the most recent version of the project, was released in fall 2015. The program provides about 43 instructional hours for each grade. SuccessMaker is aligned to Common Core and some state standards as well as other Pearson math and literacy products. The SuccessMaker program can be used for Tier II Response-to-Intervention (RTI).
SuccessMaker Reading focuses on the following areas:
- Phonemic Awareness
- Concepts of Print
The program begins with guided practice and instruction of material. If a student does not perform well, the program focus shifts to remediation. If a student performs well on the initial exercises in the level, the program moves to independent practice, which removes scaffolds present in guided practice and focuses on the skills of vocabulary and reading comprehension.
The SuccessMaker Math program presents a variety of level-appropriate concepts simultaneously. If a student performs well, the next concept is presented. For a student performing at an intermediate level, previously mastered concepts are presented for reinforcement along with previously failed concepts and unseen skills.
In the event that a student exhibits low performance, the program shifts to remediation which includes relearning the prerequisite skill, a tutorial on the current skill with step-by-step instruction and repeated practice on the skill.
SuccessMaker is browser-based and students can access the program at school and on personal devices at home. The program can also be accessed through Android and Apple apps.
SuccessMaker for Students
SuccessMaker for students begins with the level designated by the placement test or teacher. The curriculum develops a personalized learning path for the student that continuously adjusts based on student performance. Students rotate between practice exercises, tutorials and games. Both the reading and math activities begin with material at the student’s level as designated by the assessment or the student’s teacher.
The program uses songs, videos and animated characters to present information to students. SuccessMaker gives students some control as they interact with the program such as the ability to choose characters that they use through activities and create drawings or animations on the screen to increase engagement. At the end of each session, students receive a daily progress report with total number of questions answered and the percentage answered correctly.
Rather than tests, the program uses student performance data to indicate progress. Pearson recommends that students engage in 3-4 sessions totaling 60 minutes of instruction per week and at least 20 hours per year. SuccessMaker has tools to adapt instructional methods for English Language Learners (ELLs).
SuccessMaker for Teachers and Administrators
Teachers can set the level a student starts at and manually readjust their learning path as necessary. Because SuccessMaker is a supplemental education program, in some schools a teacher other than the student’s classroom teacher may manage the SuccessMaker program and provide information about performance to the child’s classroom teacher.
SuccessMaker can generate reports that track mastery by academic standard or skill. Skills are flagged green, yellow or red according to the student’s mastery level. A few of these reports include::
- Student Performance Report (SPR)—Overall average, overall percentage, average time on task
- Areas of Difficulty (AOD) —Specific areas of difficulty for that student
- Cumulative Performance Report (CPR)—Level of each strand, IPM level, current level, and gains (the difference between the student’s current level and her IPM level)
- System Enrollment and Usage (SEU)—Time on task and number of sessions
Reports can be filtered by demographics including learning disability, English proficiency level, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Data can be exported to MS Excel as CSV files for further analysis.
SuccessMaker’s professional development offerings include the following packages:
Schools can also develop a customized professional development program based on their needs.
SuccessMaker reports that more than 50% of customers use Title 1 funding to purchase the program.
Schools and districts can request a quote for the SuccessMaker program online. SuccessMaker licenses are concurrent, based on the number of students using the program simultaneously. For example, a school with 30 workstations would buy 30 licenses, one for each workstation. Once a SuccessMaker license is purchased it lasts forever, there is no annual fee. However, in order to use the most recent version of the product when an update is released, schools and districts must purchase an upgrade.