Upload files to your Yacapaca course descriptions

Want to include files with your course description? Now you can. Use them for teachers’ notes, rubrics, class handouts etc.

Upload them in the Course edit page in your authoring group.

They will appear in a small table in the course description.

Remember the course description is visible only to the teacher, and it is essential information for colleagues to understand the context in which they should use the quizzes and tasks you have authored.

Give a gold star (or three) for good work

When a student turns in a good essay, ePortfolio task or other written project, you can now apply any one of six animated reward icons (strictly, ’emoticons’) to their work. You will find the selection panel on the Results page for each Task:

Where’s the work? img
Unhappy teacher
Happy teacher
One star
Two stars
Three stars

Note that Rewards are only applied to written tasks, not to quizzes. It is a very deliberate omission. One of the benefits of Yacapaca is that once you have set a quiz, there is no more work to do. Marking and analysis are done for you, so you can focus on using the results to improve your teaching strategy. Introducing a manual element into the flow would undermine this principle. I decided against even introducing the option, so you could not come under pressure from your kids to include quiz results in your star-awarding scheme.

Textbook Mode competition winner

Congratulations to Katharine Wright of Colonel Frank Seely School in Nottinghamshire on winning our Textbook Mode Authoring Competition with Au Café. Katharine, your bright red iPod is already on its way to you.

This is the introduction to the task: for best effect snap it to full-screen and play it on your whiteboard before setting the task itself.

Judges comments

I ranked the Au café task as number one because it provides student so many different ways to learn and have fun:  respond to a video, create a menu, create a logo, write a dialogue or comic strip, research jobs, and create a collage. Gale Sperry

The use of challenge questions to stretch those who are keen or who are more able is good to see because this is something it is easy to forget when using ICT. Hannah Mohon

Good use of a variety of media but this example, in my opinion, is best because it uses the additonal features to support the construction of interesting, relevant and student-centred tasks.  For example watching the Animoto montage and then noting down all the examples in French – this is a realistic and useful task, leading onto further learning.  An excellent illustration of how to combine rich-media with useful assessment tasks. Andrew Field

The judges were

  • Gale Sperry, Englewood High School, Colorado. Prolific Yacapaca author (e.g. American Literature).
  • Aidan McCanny, Assistant Advisory Officer for eLearning and ICT, Southern Education and Library Board (SELB).
  • Ralph Holmes, Langley School, Norfolk. Winner: Author of the Year 2008.
  • Hannah Mohon, Huntcliff School, Saltburn-by-Sea. Runner up: Author of the Year 2008.
  • Andrew Field, Neale-Wade Community College, Cambridgeshire and EffectiveICT.co.uk.
  • Krystie Alleaume, Ultranet coach at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria, Australia.

My thanks to the hard-working judges, and to everyone who entered. I was really inspired by all the different techniques I saw tried around the basic theme of Textbook Mode. For me, it really validated the hard work the team (most particularly Sasha Kostin) put in to make this feature a success.

Textbook Mode shortlist

Here is the shortlist for the Textbook Mode competition. If you want to set any of these for your students, they can all be found in the Yacapaca Demonstrations area.

  • Modelling (for Year 8 ICT)
    Author: Jez Thompson at Alderman Peel High School
    The text and the questions are embedded in a Zoho spreadsheet. Note you have to give it a minute or so to load.
  • Sin Noticias de Gurb
    Author: Lesley Abbiss at Presdales School
    An extended comprehension (in Spanish) for this popular book.
  • Copyright and Sharing
    Author: John Dunthorne at Thomas Hepburn Community School
    Internet safety resource. If you have not seen the video on Question 2 before, it is worth a look just for that.
  • Inspirational Athletics
    Author: Chris Knott at Harbour School
    A first attempt at designing a cross-curricular scheme of work with a real-world learning objective that could be accessed in class or off-site. It has been designed with the needs of EBD boys in mind.
  • Europe (from A2 Economics)
    Author: Heidi Watkins at King Charles I School
    A series of thought-starters to introduce European notions of capitalism.
  • Au Café
    Author: Katharine Wright at Colonel Frank Seely School
    French vocabulary, grammar and consolidation around a theme of a restaurant.
  • Romeo and Juliet introduction
    Author: Mark Ricketts at St Luke’s CofE VA School
    This is an introductory lesson which will lead to the pupils embedding a photostory presentation simulating a 60 Second Shakespeare play. During this lesson they will produce Excel spreadsheets to capture each student’s 60 second estimate.