2010 Year in Review

Milestone reached

100,000 questions in the question bank. We passed this milestone during September. As well as representing a truly humbling commitment from our authors, it is also represents a stunning teaching resource. Consider:

  • 100,000 question is 10,000 per each of 10 main subjects.
  • Across 5 years of secondary school to GCSE, that’s 2,000 questions per subject per year…
  • …which is 30 weeks x 67 questions.
  • Assuming you need to differentiate across three ability bands, that comes out as one, 22-question quiz per week, per subject, throughout Secondary school.

So you now have no excuses left for not knowing the current attainment level of each of your students!

Milestones missed

75,000 registered teachers. As I write (New Year’s Eve) we have exactly 74,863 so we missed it by just 117 teachers. Bah.

2 million registered members in total. We’ve got 1,935,622 members in total (except that is the November figure: I’ll update it when I get the Decembers stats in the morning). Actually, I don’t feel so bad about this because 2010 has really been about developing new things to do with the students you have already registered.

Some of the new features we have launched

Much of the work we have done this year has been ‘under the hood’ to cope with the increasing server load, but we’ve still made time for some great new features. Here is a partial list:

  • Reporting by grades: tell us the grade scheme of your student set, and we will report progress in those grades. Sounds simple, but it required a massive statistical exercise to achieve.
  • Progress charts: you only get to see these once there is enough data about the student set, but teachers who use them report that they are a fantastic aid for discussing progress with students.
  • Offline assignments: not officially announced yet, but they are in the interface. If you have ever wanted a markbook that gave instant, online feedback to students, here it is.
  • Structured Peer Assessment: I have really let this experimental system languish this year. There has been some progress, but not as much as I would have liked.
  • Student module redesign: The new interface has been a hit with both teachers an students. Not rolled out to all schools yet.
  • School groups: Who in your school also uses Yacapaca? And who is more experienced and able to help you? The school group will tell you.
  • Simpler assigning: There is a lot of choice in the assigning process now, so to make it easier for newbies we separated all the detail decisions into separate ‘expert’ screens, and set the most popular values as the defaults.

Not a bad year, all in all.

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