Jez Thompson reviews the Computer Science Practice Exams

Jez ThompsonThis guest post is by Jez Thompson, Strategic Lead IT at The Open Academy in Norwich

Jez blagged a free trial of our J276 OCR Computer Science Practice Exams in return for a promise to write up his experience. 

 

After reading How we cracked the auto-marking of GCSE short-text responses I asked Yacapaca for a trial.

Our Year 11 learners were privileged to trial Yacapaca’s ‘short-text’ artificial intelligent question practice exam questions; feedback from our learners was incredibly positive. Most of the feedback identified that that short-text questions recreated the exam experience and that the immediate feedback from the system was incredibly useful. Several learners pointed out that while multiple choice questions, be that true or false, drag and drop, type in the correct word or click on the correct part of the image were good in checking knowledge they did not help with exam questions, or ‘exam craft’ as many educators call it. For example, one learner pointed out that they were asked to ‘Define a computer’ for 3 marks and had no idea what to write despite studying Computer Science for two years.

In this trial, all the learners were already big fans of the ‘Mastery’ quizzes on Yacapaca. A unique feature that allows learners one attempt at a quiz a day, for a teacher specified period of time until they reach mastery, usually set at 80%. This coupled with Yacapaca artificial intelligent ‘short-text’ questions proved very popular.

The nirvana of automated marking provided by Yacapaca is on the right track. While the popular alternatives to quizzing students’ knowledge SAM Learning / Kahoot/ easyTestMaker, iSpring, Go Conqr are brilliant, none offer this unique feature of feedback to GCSE style questions.

Its exciting times we live in.

 

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