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StudentKeys Review by Christy Schaefer

8392 Tod Ave.
Boardman, OH. 44512

Recently my sixteen-year-old daughter and I were given the opportunity to review both the StudentKeys Student Binder ($55) and the StudentKeys Leader Binder ($75) from PeopleKeys. Right away, I knew this was going to be a fantastic fit for the two of us. The purpose of the StudentKeys program is to help students identify and understand their natural strengths and then put them to use in real-life situations.

The complete StudentKeys program consists of six workbooks: Personality Style, Perceptual Learning Style, Cognitive Thinking Style, Values Style, Career Choice, and Goal Setting. The Student Binder includes only the workbooks, while the Leader Binder has a copy of each workbook and the corresponding Leader Guide. The Leader Guide encourages leaders to go through the Student Workbooks on their own, so they can better discuss results with students. I do have to agree that completing the information in each workbook to determine my personality traits made it a more lively and personal discussion with my daughter.

Each workbook in the StudentKeys set has a specific purpose that assists students in further understanding themselves. The Personality Style Workbook uses the D.I.S.C method of personality assessment in order to help students understand their strengths and limitations. Part of the training also includes learning how other personality types will react in a variety of situations. This helps prepare the students for dealing with all types of people as well as discerning how they themselves fit into the world.

The Perceptual Learning Style Workbook helps the students understand how they best absorb information, or what their best learning style might be. Although students cannot force instructors to teach differently, knowing their own learning style allows students to adapt their learning techniques to blend with varying teaching styles. Then the Cognitive Thinking Style Workbook takes it a step further by providing a window into how the students’ minds think. By recognizing their thinking style, students can capitalize on their strengths and compensate for the limitations.

Personal values determine how one perceives the world around them, and thus the Values Styles Workbook help students see the motivators for their personal choices. Understanding your own values also aids in reducing conflicts with others. The final two workbooks, Career Choice and Goal Setting, help the students then plan for their future with all the knowledge they have gained in the previous workbooks.

The StudentKeys program is designed for any student who wants to become a better thinker and learner. It works well with a single student and parent, or the leader binder can be used to guide an entire class of students through the workbooks. Both options are equally viable. The Leader Guides are thorough and provide step-by-step instructions for guiding students. Although the StudentKeys program does not list an age range, I would hazard to say from our experience that teenagers are the target age.

My teenage daughter had already taken a version of the D.I.S.C. assessment with her occupational therapist and talked through how those results lined up with career information. However, we were unable to take much of that information home with us, since the website used to analyze the results was made available only to the therapists themselves. Because of this, we were rather eager to start with the StudentKeys program.

I read through the entire program before starting with my daughter, but opted to do my workbooks at the same time she completed hers. We then scored our assessments together and compared our personality types. It was interesting to see how we vary, yet we both agreed the key points of our D.I.S.C. personality types were correct. After understanding ourselves, we were able to go through the remainder of the workbook to learn the best methods for interacting with other personality types. While each workbook can be done over several sessions, we devoted a single longer session to the individual workbooks.

Perhaps it is due to her personality type, nevertheless my sixteen year old student adored going through the StudentKeys program. She looked forward to it each school day until we completed the program. She immediately began to comprehend more about herself and how she interfaces with the world.

I was concerned that she may not retain the information. However, my daughter was able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the concepts a week after finishing the program when we took the completed workbooks to her next occupational therapy session.

The occupational therapist was impressed with the work we had done through StudentKeys, but especially with how thoroughly my daughter could explain what all the results meant for me (her mother) and herself. That entire occupational therapy session was spent going over the StudentKeys results. As an added bonus, the StudentKeys program fit seamlessly with my daughter’s current occupational therapy goals and served to further her progress. The Goal Setting workbook even contains concepts the occupational therapist has been using with my child for a couple of years.

Our family greatly benefited from the StudentKeys program and I wish we had gone through it much earlier. As a note, your student will need to have an awareness of their own actions and be able to imagine themself in specific situations in order to complete the assessments. Still the assessments are not long or arduous, having a strict time limit for each type. The longest assessment allows for 15 minutes, where the shortest is only seven minutes.

The StudentKeys program is an easy method for teenagers to learn more about themselves in order make the best of their abilities, map out a future that suits their strengths, and become a better communicator.

-Product review by Christy Schaefer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2018