Students setting their own assessment targets

I’m very happy today because for once I have an easy-to-explain new feature to introduce: self-set targets.

The mechanism is very simple. Students set themselves a percentage target at the beginning of each test. At the end, the target is re-shown together with the result. The reward (in the example below, the avatar’s victory dance) is triggered by achieving the target.

The target is not recorded, quite deliberately. This is a tool for students to use (or not) for themselves, as part of taking responsibility for their own learning. There is anecdotal evidence that students will set themselves higher targets, and be more motivated by them, if they know the teacher will not see them.

We are rolling the self-set target feature out across our most popular test templates during this week, starting with the Avatar version.



Top Dog

When we first introduced the Avatar template in Yacapaca, we only had one avatar, Bobo. Since then, he’s been joined by 14 friends – some human, some not, some … indeterminate. Bobo, having a head start, was the most popular – until yesterday.

Now we have a new number one! It can be exclusively revealed right here on Radio Chalkface that Britain’s Number One avatar is ….. [naff jingle] …… Amber!

Yacapaca avatar popularity chart

Amber probably owes her popularity to her resemblance to an Andrex Puppy, but her real namesake is this wonderful creature.

New to Paperless School?

When you are writing portfolio work, there is one golden rule to remember:
save your work every 10 minutes!

When you are just typing into the computer, the school network does not know you are there. Neither does the Paperless School server. One or the other of them will log you out eventually. By saving every 10 minutes you let the system know you are still there, and you won’t get logged out.


Every newspaper editor knows the middle of August as “silly season” and I think we bloggers should follow suit.

So without further ado I bring you Googlefight!

If you really must have an educational excuse for playing, it’s this: Googlefight is a great tool for learning how to use advanced search terms. Compare, for example, chalkface project with “chalkface project”. Not sure how many advanced terms it supports, mind. It doesn’t understand the ‘site’ restriction.