Materials reviews from students

A review this morning from Ste for Formative Assessment in Applied Business for the Double Award GCSE says “Average, lose the dodgy animations”. What interests me isn’t the fact that it’s a negative review, but rather that it pretty obviously comes from a student.

When we put reviews on the site, I expected a certain amount of vandalism from students. It happens, we clean it off promptly, no big deal. But I didn’t expect this. This is a serious, succinct review, in which Ste clearly states what would make the resource work better for him.

Now I’m asking myself what would happen if more students were reviewing, and if teachers were making buying decisions based on students’ criteria and not their own. This review suggests that far from drowning in flashy trivia, school materials might actually become more serious. And just imagine how empowering it would be for the students.

But….please don’t send your students to the Chalkface site to write reviews just yet. Ste did it off his own bat. If you send them, they will write what they think you want to read. They’ll be nice reviews, of course, and we’ll get lots of stars so the authors will be happy, but they won’t be from the heart. And if they are not from the heart, you won’t trust them to inform your buying decisions.

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