After five years of not charging anyone a penny, we have finally started asking frequent users to pay a small subscription for the service. As any fee introduction is unlikely to be popular I wanted to explain a little of the background to the decision. I also wanted to show you that if you really have no budget to pay you have other options, based around the idea of ‘contribution to the community’ – see below.
Because we need the money. It’s really that simple. For the last five years Yacapaca has been funded by our book publishing arm Chalkface. The availability of online content generally is killing the school book industry, and Chalkface no longer makes the profit needed to support an expensive-to-run project like Yacapaca. And it really is expensive: Yacapaca is run by a full-time and extremely dedicated team who don’t have other jobs, and who have families to support and mortgages to fund. On top of that we have offices, servers, data centre fees and all the rest.
Why not go ad-supported?
Oh, yuk. I’d rather eat broken glass.
How much does it now cost?
An annual subscription gives you the right to assign a certain number of quizzes per month. There’s a full rate table at the bottom of the post. The important points are
- If you are a light user (and in a recognised educational institution) assigning no more than 250 quizzes per month, it’s still completely free. (updated from 100 qpm Dec 2012)
- Graded levels above that range from just £99 up to £300 per year.
We meter assignments rather than quiz usage because this is completely under your control, and if you go over your monthly limit you find out at the time of assigning rather than in the middle of when students are taking a quiz.
The only thing that gets metered is quiz assignments. Everything else is free and unlimited – number of students, number of teachers, offline assignments, quick assignments, analytics, everything.
Add as many colleagues as you want to your subscription; department or whole-school contracts are fine. So you can cover the whole school for just £300/year. I told you it wasn’t going to be expensive!
Any other fees?
I’m an author, do I get consideration?
Yes, you do. Authors are the lifeblood of Yacapaca, and your contribution to our community is fully acknowledged. Here’s how. Whenever one of your quizzes is assigned by a teacher (including yourself), we credit this back to you at a rate of 4:1. So if a teacher assigns 2 attempts your quiz to 30 students, you get 2*30/4=15 assignment credits spread over your account for the next 12 months. What this means in practice is that if you are a moderately popular author, you won’t need to pay. And I’m very proud of that.
How can I earn credits by being a Champion?
There is another way to make a contribution to the community, and we will be delighted to reward you for it. Our Prizes! revision service is paid for by parents. Students love it because it has real prizes and teachers love it because it really improves results. Many parents are willing to pay for it provided it is championed by their child’s teacher, which is where you come in.
Read about Prizes! and if you think it’s worthwhile, become a Prizes! Champion. If a parent signs up via your personal link (requires login), we will credit you an extra 25 quizzes/month for the next year. Sign up just 20 parents, and you have already saved £99!
I need to get my subscription organised, where do I go?
Start here: http://yacapaca.com/teacher/subscription/buy/ (you will need to log in). You can buy by credit card, or download a proforma invoice that your school’s bursar can use to purchase on account.