We have just finished beta-testing the Prizes! Personal Learning Account (PLA). It went so well that we soft-launched immediately. I will post more about just how it works later (becos I’m proud as punch of what the team has achieved) but basically it throws all the clever software we’ve got at the problem of crafting a truly individualised revision routine for each student.
To generate really powerful motivation, we have linked study to real-world prizes like iPods. Rather than asking the schools to pay for this, we ask the parents.
At the end of the beta programme, I asked the students for feedback. Here is what they told me. I redacted their names, but otherwise this is verbatim:
|How many sessions did you do, approximately?||What did you enjoy about it?||What problems did you have?||How could we make it better?||4||The incentive to revise as I could win prizes.||The points I had prior to the beta were wiped once I was entered into the beta.||10||Concise simple questions, easy to learn and revise with.||none||More points||100||i enjoyed answering questions for revision and being able to win prizes.||there were a few typo errors and somtimes when there were supposed to be pictures they were not there.||Include a veriety of more subjects including craft and design or Home economics and if you added scottish qualification groups (SQA). Appart from that i realy enjoyed it.||15||It gives you something to look forward to and gives you a reason to revise and look forward to learning, it also means you can set yourself a target to achieve, unfortunately i didn't get round to ordering a prize even though I had the points. :(||None it's a brilliant idea, a few people have been saying the pictures could be a little more clear or define. But personally, from my perspective, it's fine because you only need to know what the picture stands for (e.g. the symbol for a variable resistor) and if you want to see fancy picture go to an art gallery.||More prizes, but don't groan and say it goes over you budget or something because all you need are little things like sweets which wouldn't cost as many points (maybe 10,000 for a one or two packs of tangfastics) as kids would like this and it means they wouldn't have to save up loads of points. Also some people don't like iPods or don't want an amazon voucher but everybody likes sweets :)||8||It was good because you had a whole range of topics, questions, examboards and years. The time you gave us was also good (to finish each question). The time limit idea is really good and flexible.||The questions where you had to pinpoint a position in a photo was kind of confusing and not really accurate. Sometimes between questions took really long to load (but i think it was because there was a picture involved)||I would put a timer so people can see how much they have left, or just some reminder. I'd also put an exit button which would exit the revision and save the points you got.||10||It was a nice and fun way to learn instead of just sitting on your table just keeping notes of what you read.||I didn't find any problems I can remember of.||Maybe the tests shouldn't be so strict on spelling. Also before the user submits his answer maybe there should be something that says are you sure that is your answer and it should say 'Yes or No'. Also before people do tests can we have a little revision lesson .|