Last month I ran a survey in which I asked “Which Scheme of Work do you currently use for KS3?” This was the spread of responses:
Teach Computing and Oak National Academy (which uses the same syllabus) together accounted for 29% of the total. In addition, I get from informal conversations that a significant proportion of the ‘roll-your-own’ SoWs are partly- or mostly-based on the Teach Computing syllabus.
Fortunately, Teach Computing had the wisdom to release all their content (including the end-of-topic assessments) under an open license. This enabled us to copy them verbatim into Yacapaca and convert them for auto-marking – even the tricky short-text responses.
Why Teach Computing is better on Yacapaca
Free your time to teach, not mark
Teach Computing publish well thought-out end-of-topic assessments, but they have to be teacher-marked. If you have read this blog in the past, you will know my view of that: your time and emotional energy are a finite resource that should be spent on only the activities with the greatest learning payback for your students – coaching, mentoring and inspiring.
Better for students
Students hate waiting a week or more to get the results of a test; when they do get them they’ve often forgotten their answers anyway. Yacapaca presents the results immediately on submission of each answer. Result: deeper learning and higher motivation.
A new way to understand your students
Yacapaca provides comprehensive analytics, giving you an instant overview of your class by topic or key concept. Oh, and it keeps a complete gradebook record too, all automatically.
What’s in the course?
(If you’re new to Yacapaca, a Course just means a collection of assessments. The teaching content is still found at Teach Computing.)
There are 5-6 topic tests per year. For three topics, Teach Computing did not publish assessments and we chose not to add-in our own as part of the ‘verbatim’ commitment. There are good quizzes around those topics in other Yacapaca courses, so you have plenty of options.
Towards the end of each year, or at the start of the next one, use these to spot the weaker topics that need revisiting by the whole class. 20 questions per attempt is adequate for this. These 3 quizzes are /not/ suitable for individual summative assessment; do that at the topic level.
Year 9 Tasks
Some of the Y9 assessments are presented by Teach Computing as ‘tasks’, comprising 2-6 questions linked by a common scenario. We have separated these into individual assessment mini-quizzes so that students will address them in logical groupings. Within each mini-quiz, the order is still randomised for all the usual reasons. https://blog.yacapaca.com/2021/06/23/randomised-vs-linear-question-sequences-in-tests/
Who created it?
The real hard work was done by Teach Computing’s assessment authors, and we gratefully acknowledge that. In addition, many of the questions were adapted for Yacapaca by Shiulee Begum of Icknield High School and Aimee-Louise Hooke of Queen Katharine Academy.
Like all 23,371 assessments in Yacapaca, this course with all its attendant features is completely free for light use*. So why not try it now? You will get your time back, and your students will love the instant results.
*We will ask for a modest subscription fee if you start using it for multiple classes or many assignments per month.