Finally, we got our patent

And here it is. Patents are written in a language that is absolutely mind-numbing to the rest of us so I’ll forgive you for not reading it. Basically what it covers is our Thurstone Ranking approach to peer assessment system, which is absolutely unique in the world.

We applied for this patent four years ago so it has been a long slog to get it granted. You can imagine that corks are popping at Yacapaca HQ tonight.

Comparing Yacapaca to SAM Learning and Doddle

In conversations with teachers, the two sites I hear Yacapaca most frequently compared to are SAM Learning and Boardworks Doddle. The three sites are very different in both function and ethos and most schools probably use at least two out of the three. However, to the extent that a student who is using Yacapaca is not at that moment using either of the others, we can be said to be competitors.

So how do we stack up? In the following chart I have used as far as possible data published by the companies concerned and up to date as of June 2015.

Competitor feature comparison Continue reading

The Badge Log

If your students have enjoyed earning Yacapaca badges, you may need to track exactly who has earned what. There is now a badge log under the More tab. Nothing fancy, but it should meet the need. See yours here.

Badges have been a runaway success this year, with overwhelmingly positive feedback (such as this story from Patana School) about how they are motivating the students.

Are teachers abandoning NC Levels? Research shows the exact opposite.

One of the great things about running a really big database like Yacapaca is that you get an absolute ton of data to analyse, and you can sometimes give definitive answers to questions other people can only speculate about. The ‘disapplication’ of NC Levels is a case in point.

Michael Gove told teachers to abandon NC Levels last September. As it happens, we keep a detailed log of the gradescheme applied to each student set within Yacapaca. This morning, I grabbed the last 1000 changes to existing gradeschemes, and ran the numbers.

NC Levels 2

Out of 1,000 in total, 446 chose to Continue reading