The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second-best time is today.
I originally conceptualised Yacapaca as system that would be entirely teacher-controlled and teacher-led. That fits the market well, but I have always had a nagging itch that I don’t personally learn that way. My preference is to control my own learning, including my own assessment. Eventually I just had to scratch that itch, and the result is what I am calling the Revision Package.
The idea is really simple: just tag every question in our question bank according to subject, syllabus, difficulty level, average time required to complete, quality and core concept assessed. Then use this information to dynamically deliver a stream of questions that will keep the student both engaged and appropriately challenged for anything from 5 to 30 minutes at a stretch.
Well it would have been easy, had we not had 144,000 questions to chew through. As it is, it took rather a long time, even though we were able to automate some of that work. But it’s done now, and we launched it today.
Here are the key features:
- Matches the student’s current level in each subject
Yacapaca uses Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) algorithms to continually adjust to find the exact level of challenge for each student.
- Matched to syllabus
The questions are matched, topic-by-topic to the 55 most popular syllabi across all subjects. To check if yours is covered, look under the Resources tab for a Topics button against your syllabus.
- Spaced practice, automatically
The key to successful revision is spaced practice. Yacapaca Revision uses an Ebbinghaus forgetting curve reinforcement schedule to re-present concepts to students at optimum intervals.
- 144,000 questions written by teachers
Our teacher-authors have been enthusiastically adding questions to the question bank for over 7 years.
- Formative feedback
Most questions incorporate formative feedback. This helps students to understand and think more deeply, and turns each wrong answer into a learning opportunity.
- Instant motivation
Every action brings an immediate reward, so there is always an incentive to do just a little bit more.
Revision is completely free until July 2014, after which we will probably charge pro-rata with quizzes. Whether it works or not is really for the students to decide – that’s the whole point of student-led learning, isn’t it?
If you’re interested, log into Yacapaca and sign up here.