Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2017

Couragion

Individualized STEM career exploration targets students' values

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Science

Skills
  • Character & SEL
  • College & Career Prep
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
7–12
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Pros: Well organized and quickly exposes kids to a wide variety of STEM careers.

Cons: Videos and web quests cannot take the place of actual role models and mentors.

Bottom Line: Students identify career values and use them to evaluate STEM options.

Teachers, counselors, and schools can use Couragion to help middle and high school students expand the range of careers they're considering. Once students have used Couragion to identify a career of high interest, students will benefit significantly from shadowing or volunteering with a person in that field. Businesses, hospitals, and other community organizations are much more likely to accept one passionate student into their workplace than a large field trip of semi-interested teenagers.

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Couragion is a website that helps match students to STEM careers. Kids begin by answering a questionnaire that asks them about their values. They then use sliders and drag and drop their choices to signify the importance of things such as travel, recognition, creativity, and variety in their work.

Based on the results of the survey, students are allocated quests into various STEM-related career options such as food scientist, patent attorney, or product manager. Quests include videos of role models who share both what they love and don't love about their job. Kids watch videos, read fact sheets, play games, and take quizzes. They earn points as they progress through each quest. 

Couragion begins with each student's needs and wants. However, many kids struggle with the opening series of questions. Even high school seniors are not sure whether they want to work for a nonprofit or profit company; they may not have had enough life experience to answer confidently. But by clicking on the information icon, students can view a box that provides some added context, such as the challenges and benefits of working with teams of different sizes.  

Couragion's drag-and-drop selections can be particularly helpful if a student is having an internal debate about something like the number of years of schooling they're willing to complete after high school. Sliders allow kids to characterize themselves in a more nuanced way; instead of simply saying they never want to work alone, students can indicate that most of the time they would like to work with someone else. One of the most helpful tools for kids is the Profile Builder. After learning about a career, such as physician assistant, kids drag and drop cards into briefcases based on their values. For example, they decide how important it is to select the number of days they work or how they would feel about taking a virology course. Couragion allows kids to not only learn about other careers but also determine whether or not those careers match their interests and strengths.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Sometimes students are turned off by online career-planning programs. Couragion counters this with an easy-to-use interface that keeps revisiting what each individual student cares about. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Videos and Fact Packs provide important details about STEM careers, including type of work, salary, and education requirements. Quizzes encourage self-reflection about each career. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Teachers can track student progress using the Navigator dashboard. Couragion is missing planning tools and concrete next steps to support kids once a career has piqued their interest.


Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

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