How I plan to improve Revision Access

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We launched the Revision Access system later in the term than I would have liked, but now that it’s up and running there is finally some user data to start garnering insights from.

It’s certainly working; the log shows students revising through the half term, some of them with considerable diligence. However, I see some problems that I want to address.

Give everyone access

First and foremost, by making it a separate product we denied access to a lot of students who would have liked to use it. It may surprise you to know that there’s a major thread on the students’ forum demanding more quizzes, so we know there is an unfulfilled demand.

So from September, Revision will be a standard feature of Yacapaca, available through your existing subscription – even through free subscriptions. We will put it on the same meter as regular quizzes, with appropriate teacher controls to ensure you use up only the credits you choose to assign.

Better topic management

With Revision, students are supposed to indicate which topics they have completed, and then retain those topics in their lists. Yacapaca will automatically construct a spaced-practice review schedule, using Ebbinghaus’ principle. What I’m seeing in the usage logs is that many students don’t understand this. They are adding topics that are not useful to them, e.g. I see the same student adding both A-level and KS3 topics.

The solution will be to constrain what students can revise to only the syllabi of their student set. Technically, that is quite easy. I’m also wondering if we can parse from the quizzes they do which topics have been covered, so they can’t run on and try to revise topics that have not been covered in class. I suspect making that work reliably would require a fair bit of artificial intelligence.

At the same time as adding topics not yet covered, some students are clicking off the topic once they feel they have revised it. Without reinforcement, they are going to have forgotten it again by the time they get into the exam. We will have to move the ability to remove topics from the list back to teachers. I’m a little hesitant about that because it undermines the ‘student in charge’ philosophy, but I see no option if we are going to support students to revise as effectively as possible.

More motivation

Revision already uses the points and avatars that motivate students to do quizzes. I want to add teams as well. You may know that I’m wary of individual leaderboards, because for every winner, you create a loser. It’s at best net-neutral. Teams are different. Properly selected and maintained, they give even the weakest student in the class a taste of what it’s like to be a winner – and once they get the taste, they’ll want more of it.

Teacher feedback

Currently, Revision offers no built-in tracking tools of the kind you have in the rest of Yacapaca. The data is all there; the reporting pages are simply not built yet. I’m still trying to work out just what’s needed; but there certainly should be something in place next term. Once it’s there, we can refine it with your feedback.

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