Research Backed Methodology

*All methodology  used in the CCM has been through the rigors of being scientifically tested or has been studied as applications in learning by cognitive experts and educators.

Here is a list of  methodology used in the CCM and the research that supports it:

Mastery teaching and learning

The material that will be taught to mastery is broken down into small discrete lessons that follow a logical progression. In order to demonstrate mastery over each lesson, students must be able to overtly show evidence of understanding of the material before moving to the next lesson (Anderson, 2000).

Students who do not achieve mastery continue the cycle of studying and testing until mastery is met. Although students taught for mastery may need more time to reach proficiency in the initial stages of a course, they should need less time to master more advanced material because of the firm grasp of fundamentals that they should gain from their initial efforts. Bloom,1968. Learning for Mastery;  Davis& Sorrell,1995. Mastery Learning in Public Schools: Educational Psychology Interactive.

(The last sentence reflects the methodology of the now popular Singapore math)

Cued Recall

The practice of establishing cues or prompts to aid in future recall of information is based on Endel Tulving’s Encoding Specificity Principle (1983).This posits that pairing a context cue with content during encoding (initial perception and registration of information) and then showing that context clue at retreival, will activate the memory of the content, making it easier to recall.

Reconstruction of Tulving’s experiments-Hannon and Craik (2001).


information is sorted into manageable units which promote more efficient processing in short term memory and increases the potential of long term memory......Gobet, Lane, and Croker, 2001.

Spacing Effect

“Known information” should be peppered in between information to be learned. This distributed practice enhances long-term retention…Crowder, 1976.

Whole-Part-Whole Learning

At first, the entire concept or set of information is presented to the learner in its entirety. This way, the learner has an idea of the end result to strive for. Next, the whole is studied part by part in logical order. Once each part is mastered, this information is put back together as it was originally presented and the learner has complete knowledge of the “whole”.

‘Through the ‘first whole’ the Model introduces new content to learners by forming in their minds the organizational framework required to absorb the forthcoming concepts…The ‘first whole’ also provides motivation for the participants to want to learn by revealing the meaningfulness and connectedness of the content. Organization of knowledge in the beginning stages of instruction also serves the even larger purpose of memory retention and retrieval upon completion of instruction. After learners have successfully achieved their performance criteria for the individual ‘parts’, or components within the whole, these parts are linked back together, forming the second ‘whole’. It is not only the mastery of each individual part of instruction that is important, but the relationship between those ‘parts’.. that provides the learner with the complete understanding of the content.” Swanson, 1993.


A temporary assistive component (hint, clue, prompt) of an instructional material or method that helps a learner complete the learning task successfully, intended to be removed gradually until mastery is attained. Scaffolding studies proving its effectiveness: (Greenfield, 1999); (Langer and Applebee, 1986) ;( Wood, Bruner and Ross, 1976) ;( Brown & Palinscar, 1985).

Separation of Color and Form

Some of the activities in the CCM require the learner to transfer their mode of thinking from color, to colored digit, to uncolored digit. The brain is quite capable of performing these actions as explained by these statements derived from studies:

“The existing evidence…is consistent with the conclusion that color and form information can be integrated if the task requires it…in conditions such as ours …the stored representation appears to contain both color and form information that can be accessed separately.” Remington, 1996. Also, Turk-Browne, Isola ,Scholl, & Treat, 2008; Starasina& Davachi, 2008. MIT. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Transfer of Learning

During the color coded flashcard activities, transfer of learning mirrors Haskell’s Taxonomy of Transfer of Learning, Level of Transfer # 4, “Near Transfer”. Haskell describes this level of transfer as: “Near transfer occurs when we transfer previous knowledge to new situations closely similar to, yet not identical to, initial situations.” Haskell,2001. 

Multiple Modalities

In the CCM, information is presented and manipulated in various modes- visual, auditory, and tactile.

“Information is not stored in a single place in the brain…When an experience comes into the brain, it is deconstructed- the visual, aural, and emotional components are stored in different places- but it is hooked together by circuit neurons. Therefore, when we recall something, we have to reconstruct it. The more modalities you use in learning something, the more pathways you have to retrieve it. Wolfe, 2001; Pavio and Thompson, 1996.

Testing Effect/ Retrieval Practice

The learner attempts to recall information during practice with minimal or no cues. By doing so repeatedly, especially in varied contexts, the learner strengthens access to this information in memory, facilitating later recall and transfer of knowledge across contexts.

Test enhanced learning is based on the finding that taking a test on previously studied material produces better retention over time relative to restudying the material for an equivalent amount of time. Roediger and Karpicke, 2006.

A study done by the U.S. Dept. of Education reveals: The study found that students using the retrieval-practice studying technique- in which students alternate between reading a passage and writing memorable information from that passage- scored significantly higher than students using the study-once, repeated-study, and concept-mapping techniques. The average percent of correct test questions for each group was 67% for retrieval practice, 27% for study once, 49% for repeated study, and 45% for concept mapping. What Works Clearinghouse. Dept. of Education, 2011.

Active Learning

Many of the activities of the CCM are hands- on. In addition to using the games and cc flashcards, the learner has the option of constructing many of the learning tools themselves.

Active learning is defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process. In short, active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about what they are doing…Bonwell &Eison, 1991.

Active learning is the opposite of rote learning.

Generation Effect

Students who self-generate portions of a to-be-remembered stimulus show superior memory than subjects who merely read that stimulus passively. Begg, Vinski, Frankovich, & Holgate, 1991.