The Game of Education

GOT

Donald Clark is a reliably controversial blogger but a post last month took the biscuit. Based on some recently-published research that cast doubt on the claims of “brain training” software to produce learning that will generalise to other contexts, he concludes that “Gamification does NOT work!” in education. This is like finding a broken-down rickshaw and concluding that Continue reading

Online assessments are everywhere (except here)

header

Following on from my rant about paper-based exams, Ty Goddard  of EdTech UK asked me for some current examples of online assessment. Spoiled for choice! Although I could find no country that bases its end-of-school qualification entirely on an online process, there is a quite astonishing range of online solutions to different assessment problems. Here are just Continue reading

What bang are we getting from our PhD buck?

In the early years of the Space Race, it was discovered that ordinary pens do not work in zero gravity. NASA spent 2 years and millions of dollars developing an incredible ‘space pen’ that incorporated a tiny pump. Meanwhile, Soviet cosmonauts took pencils. 

Maybe you have seen this infographic from the World Economic Forum (citing this OECD report) showing that Continue reading

It is long past time to abandon paper-based examinations

chinese exam g edit

The ‘exam paper’ has been around for the last 14 centuries and it is still going strong. The way things are going, the exam-paper looks likely to outlast even the news-paper.

But it shouldn’t. Paper-based exams are a hideously-unreliable method of assessing competence. Here are some of the major reliability problems of Continue reading

This one small accounting change could save every teacher 8 hours per week

Here is a fairly typical budget for a smallish 5-teacher department in a mid-sized secondary school:

There is a third item that is usually accounted separately, cost of cover staff. If the average teacher is off for 1 week per year – whether for illness, external training or other reasons, they are covered by a supply teacher costing the school around £200/day.

  • £200 * 5 teachers * 5 days per year = £5,000/year.

CYPE-Infographic_E_Wales_cropped

Cover staff are notoriously Continue reading