Core Processes of Yacapaca

These are some of the key processes you will use when teaching via Yacapaca.

The assignment sequence

The Assignments page is organised to make it easy to simply accept the defaults if they meet your needs. Here are the categories:

  • Show questions

Underlying each quiz is a question bank. Yacapaca will present each student with the number of questions you specify, drawn at random. Students sitting adjacently will see different questions, thus reducing collusion. 10-20 questions is the common range. This value defaults to the lower of the value from the previous quiz, and the number of questions in the question bank.

  • Grade scheme

This applies to the student set, and once set up you don’t need to change it. Quizzes can now report results in any grade scheme you use (NC levels, GCSE, etc). Tell us the current average grade of the set, and Yacapaca will then automatically track it as it changes.

  • Students in set

By default, your assignment goes to all students in the set. If you want to exclude some students, change that here. If you regularly assign to sub-groups, consider splitting the set.

  • Start date

If assigning a lot of work ahead of time, set the start date to the date of the lesson when that particular content is due to be covered. Weaker students, especially, can be intimidated by long to-do lists. Assignments don’t appear in the to-do list until that date, so the list is maintained at a manageable size.

  • Due date

Due dates are mandatory to stop students’ to-do lists getting gummed up with long-forgotten assignments. The default is 7 days, but you can change it to any value you like up to 100 days. We recommend for the best completion rate to set tight deadlines (one day is ideal) but only assign one item at a time.

  • Students per team

If you already have the student set organised into teams, they will not be changed when you assign more work. If not, the default is 2-3 students per team. To change teams, move students manually or rename teams, open this popup. More details on that below under ‘Teams’.

  • Prize

If you give prizes for team effort, describe the prize here, along with the completion date for your competition. Students will see this in their Teams popup. Sorry, we don’t buy the prizes for you.

  • Attempts per quiz

The default is two attempts per quiz. Be careful of assigning too many attempts as this can lead to over-confidence in the students. Rehearsing one set of questions until perfect does not guarantee retention until exam time, nor does it mean that students will recognise the same issues if they are differently presented in the exam.

The Assignments List

This is your main page for managing assignments.

  • Allow extra attempts

The single most-requested feature is finally here! If students have accidentally missed a quiz attempt, go to Action->Edit and you will see a list of failed attempts that you can ‘forgive’ to allow students to try again. Use with discretion! Students can and do quit quizzes on the last question in order to rehearse themselves through a test before taking it for ‘real’. If you are trying to do a summative assessment they will take advantage of your trusting nature to completely sabotage the results.

  • Controlled assignments

Go to Action->Hide (or ->Show) to control the visibility of assignments to students. You can now quickly switch access on and off to comply with exam board requirements.

  • Progress bars

How many students have completed a given assignment? The blue progress bars will show you.

  • Progress charts whiteboard

Once you have enough data for a given student set, a little ‘graph’ icon will appear next to that set’s assignments. Click it to open the progress chart whiteboard. See below for full details.

Student module

The students’ to-do list has had a complete redesign, and this has made visible a number of features that were previously far too well-hidden. The aim is to create a minimalist look, whilst at the same time putting all the account administration features onto the homepage. Sounds contradictory, but I think we did it.

  • Sort order

The to-do list is sorted strictly by due date, with the most urgent items at the top. Assignments due in the next 24hrs have a flashing exclamation mark next to them. Assignments past due date or completed (in the case of quizzes) slide to the bottom, and are then automatically archived.

  • Archive

Anything that is not to do should not be in a to-do list, so it goes to the archive. Students can manually archive or unarchive any assignment, other than uncompleted quizzes. A previous problem of students accidentally archiving has now been addressed by moving the ‘archive’ button. The archive is sorted in date of archiving, with the most recent items first.

  • Teacher photo

The teacher who set any given assignment is identified by his/her profile photo. This gives quicker recognition and more motivation to do the work than just putting a name. Make sure your photo is uploaded to your profile. This is particularly important if you are not the only teacher in the school on Yacapaca.

  • Assignment type icons

The old icons have been abandoned in favour of simple abstract coloured squares. Roll over any icon to see what it means; you will quickly learn them.

  • Teams

In each assgnment listing, there is a Teams button. This opens a popup showing team members, a teams leaderboard and any details you have entered of prizes on offer for winning teams.

  • Feedback tab

Accesses our student voice system, a closely-moderated suggestion board for new features.

  • Change Password tab

Allows students to change their ID and/or password. To protect against pranksters, students must enter their old password first, before they can use this feature.

  • Merge accounts tab

Students often wind up with multiple accounts from different teachers. This tab allows them to merge those accounts into one so, for example, they get just one place to pick up and manage all their homework.

  • Join a Class tab

If you have handed out access keys to allow students to join a student set, they access them here.

  • Choose Avatar tab

Students can ‘buy’ new avatars with motivation points they have earned by doing work in the system.

  • View Archive/To-do tab

toggles between the archive and to-do lists.

  • Points log

Next to the student’s name is an indicator of the number of motivation points currently in their account. Click on this to see a log of how the points were earned.

My School and Peer Support

  • My School page

A list of all the teachers in your school, with some useful data about them. This same list will appear in your co-teaching menu, if you wish to co-teach a student set. The aim of the page is to encourage a supportive community of Yaquapacistas within your school.

Offline Assignments

Enter the marks or grades from any assignment done outside Yacapaca, and you can benefit from all of Yacapaca’s markbook features. Students see the results immediately, at home or at school, results can be shared with parents, and the data will appear in the progress chart for the student set, making this more accurate and more useful.

Access Offline Assignments from the Assignments List or the Markbook. Name the assignment and add it to a course. The course can contain Offline Assignments and Quick Assignments, but it cannot contain quizzes, ePortfolios or short-text tests.

Quick Assignments

Many assignments are very simple, e.g. an essay title, a confirmation or a small project. Set these quickly and easily with an instruction and (optionally) an attached file. Students can respond with text and/or an attachment, and you get the standard notifications when they do. Now the good bit: download all attachments for the whole assignment with a single mouseclick. They will appear on your computer neatly organised in their own folder. So much better than email!

Grade Quick Assignments through Yacapaca to get all the usual benefits – markbook, progress charts, instant notification for students and parents.

Course Editing features

The course page in the Resources section now contains rich editing features, that are visible to you if you are the course author. We hope that this will encourage you to improve the course description and to add resource files.

Author tools are on a dark blue ‘author bar’ so they are really easy to find and understand. Note also the Statistics button beside each quiz. This shows you complete statistics for all uses of the quiz, and it is an excellent tool for spotting duff questions.

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