Timed questions help students get in ‘flow’

It all started one warm Friday afternoon about 12 years ago. I was observing a Y10 class in a fairly typical mainstream secondary school. They were taking a test using Paperless School, a now-defunct system that I had designed.

One pair of boys particularly caught my attention. They were lolling back in their chairs, chatting about snooker and doing their absolute adolescent damnedest to project a “too cool for school” attitude. Once in a while they would click on an answer on the screen so they could lay some vague claim to still being working.

Engaged with the task they were not.

Realisation slowly dawned that, as system designer, this was my fault. I had to take responsibility for Continue reading

February 2017 authoring online CPD

Author
Practicalities

  • Starts Monday 27th February
  • Completely online
  • 15 minutes per day, every day for 2 weeks
  • Choose your own time of day
  • CPD certificates will be issued on successful completion
  • To apply, take the pre-test, which is open now.

The course runs through a student account on Yacapaca, which you can sign up for at the end of this post. It uses some features you will be familiar with, and some that are not available to general users.

Philosophy

Unsurprisingly, I teach using the same philosophy I embedded into Yacapaca. Learning is your responsibility; my job is to provide the structure. In this case that includes pointers to useful content, collaborative activities and Continue reading

A very short primer on gamification

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Yacapaca is a gamified formative assessment system. I want to discuss briefly what that means, and how we interpret it in software.

Gamification is the art of making things you want to do anyway more fun, and more motivating. To understand why this is so powerful, I recommend this 12-minute TED talk by Seth Priebatsch because it is a lot more fun and motivating than the Continue reading

62.5% is the ideal quiz score. Here’s why

62.5%

 What is the optimum average score for a quiz? 100%? Not in my view. It is 62.5%, or a number close to that.

When using a quiz as a summative assessment, your goal is maximum discrimination. That is, you want to be able to see as clearly as possible which students have ‘got it’ and which have not.

Consider a Continue reading